HUDSON, Fla. - Stability and structure are a couple of things Micah Waterbury never really had as a child, growing up in Hudson.
"Growing up, my father died when I was six and my mother lost custody of me, so I was back and forth in foster care then I ended up living with my grandma," Waterbury shared.
They are two things the recent Hudson High School graduate will gain as he heads off to Army basic training next month as well as financial stability.
Waterbury is one of the first in the Bay Area to receive the Army's new $50,000 enlistment bonus.
"The Army will provide that for me and I wanted to honor and serve my own country," he said.
The $50,000 bonus is up from $40,000. It's available to qualified candidates who sign on for a six-year active duty enlistment. It's a way for the Army to compete against other service branches as well as the private sector.
"That’s not the only benefit. Free college, free medical, free dental the opportunity to see the world. It’ll make you more marketable than your peers," stated Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Murray.
He says the military should be a consideration with so many people taking a renewed look at their life and career path thanks to the pandemic. COVID-19 has also made recruiting tougher as many face-to-face meetings, whether at schools or other events had to be delayed.
"Definitely something that can set you up for success in the future. You just need to put the time in and have the drive and will to want to win," Sgt. 1st Class Murray said.
For Waterbury, the money's nice but it is about more than money.
"I wanted to be part of something bigger of myself," he said.