ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - A local Army sergeant known around Rockford for his recruiting is practicing what he preaches by re-enlisting in the Army himself.
Sgt. 1st Class Derek Melendez was at Jefferson High School where he took part in what's called an indefinite re-enlistment; that's a commitment of ten years or longer.
Melendez wanted to re-enlist surrounded by men and women who have enlisted themselves and are preparing to report to basic training.
Melendez says it's his love of this country that is first and foremost his reason to make such a commitment to the Army.
"I've been in the Army for 15 years now. So it's given me everything I had; It's paid for my education. I have a wonderful family, both my family and my military family. So really, I just love being a soldier more than anything else," said Melendez.
Melendez is a recruiter for the United States Army recruiting command.