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Unrest doesn’t worry recruit

When Rick Eid took the test earlier this year, he never thought about the Navy, or the USS Cole.

Thursday, October 26, 2000

When Rick Eid took the test earlier this year, he never thought about the Navy, or the USS Cole.

"I thought I wasn’t going to do anything like that, so I didn’t really try," the Rock Hill High School senior said.

Yet, high marks on the ASVAB exam attracted a recruiter’s attention. Then, another test moved him a step closer to sea – into the Navy’s coveted nuclear power training program.

"I went from one day I never thought about it to one day I was thinking about it to two weeks later I was enlisted."

Sitting in class today, he is counting down the weeks.

On Aug. 15, five months after turning 18, Richard Joseph Eid Jr. will officially ship out to Naval Training Center in Great Lakes, Ill., for his basic.

"I don’t get to catch too much of the news anymore," Eid said, speaking about the Cole.

He takes several art classes at school and works part-time at Lester Telecommunications in Wurtland, Ky.

"I know terrorists loaded bombs into a boat and blew them up by the ship," he said. "But it doesn’t really change my perspective about the Navy."

It’s not about the fact the young recruit will spend years in school before pulling active duty on the world’s oceans, either.

It’s more about life’s real challenge – taking the risk, he said.

"I’m not really afraid. I’m more looking forward to it."

Eid will get a good education, good pay, see different parts of the world.

"It really is an adventure," he said, with a little grin. "I just think I’ll be going into a submarine hopefully we won’t be pulling up to too many tugboats."

Eid enjoys movies like "U-571" and "The Hunt for Red October." He doesn’t think about his upcoming Navy career too much. Yet.

"When I’m done, it will be good to know I’ve been able to take part in defending my home," he said. "If we actually went into war, with other submarines, you can get shot at anytime there are a lot of risks."

But risks exist in everything you do in life, Eid said.

"I take the risks, usually," he said, with another grin.

You see, in taking the risks you can get ahead.

Sometimes the risks just make you look stupid, he said.

"But other times you get a real feel for what’s actually going on out there."

A real feel for the world.

Even if that world has terrorists. And news stories about the USS Cole.