There was a grand opening ceremony Wednesday for Salt Lake City’s new Military Entrance Processing Station, otherwise known as Freedom’s Front Door. The facility is where potential recruits from a 5-state area go to complete their application process for the military, and to take an oath before entering into service.
The new facility is just west of the Salt Lake City Airport. Military officials and local dignitaries were on hand to cut the ribbon and stand for the playing of a service branch medley, before heading inside for cake. But some recruits were there to say good-bye to their families.
Five young men representing different service branches take a military oath in the brand new ceremony room. One proud mother Karen Hamel of Draper watches her son through the glass doors, before he heads out to train for the Navy.
“That’s Mason Theodore Marshall, his cute smile,” says Hamel laughing, but then she is fighting back tears. “It’s hard you know, people go on missions, you send your kid off to college, but he’s going to the military. I’m not going to see him for a while, but he’s in good hands, and I’m excited for him.”
The next stop for Mason Theodore Marshall is a plane to Great Lakes Illinois for Navy basic training. This new facility – which was previously located closer to downtown Salt Lake City - serves about 50 recruits a day from Utah and four surrounding states. Military officials say it provides more space, an efficient layout, and better accommodations for recruits and their families.