Young Army recruits from Flower Mound and Lewisville high schools started their military careers on Wednesday with an out-of-this-world experience.
"Welcome aboard the International Space Station," Lt. Col. Andrew Morgan, a NASA astronaut, said on a satellite video call from space. "Everything I did in the military prepared me for this moment."
Morgan administered the oath of service to about 1,000 future soldiers and members of other branches of the military who were watching from 150 locations across the country, as he floated in zero gravity from the International Space Station.
"He's in the International Space Station right now, up in space, floating around, so that's pretty cool," Noah Sedam said. Sedam is a senior from Flower Mound High School. "Oh man, if I had the opportunity to do it, I'd take it in a heartbeat!"
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Sedam enlisted in the Army. He'll go to basic training after graduation in May.
"I mean, serving your country is an honorable thing, but also, gaining life experience," Sedam said.
"It's a transition that a lot of people are scared to take because they're like, oh military, you're going to go to war and everything, but it's not just that," Briana Banuelos said. The Lewisville High School senior also enlisted in the Army. "You would never think that, like, the military and, like, space would be kind of, like, together you know?"
About 61% of NASA astronauts come from military service. Every branch has been represented. The Army claims 20 astronauts.
"I was a soldier, and then I became a physician, and then I became an astronaut," Lt. Col. Morgan said from space. "Because the most important thing to me was I wanted to serve my country as a soldier."
"The sky's the limit," Lewisville High School Assistant Principal Lanele Lindsey said. "They can be in space, and they can be on a battlefield, or on a ship. Do whatever they want to do. The sky's the limit."
"I like to think outside of this world," Banuelos said. "Because it's not just us now. It's, like, the whole universe."