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Marine Corps Recruiting Command

Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.

3280 Russell Road, 2nd Floor Quantico, Va. 22134
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American Idol Marine steals show in the Bronx

By Staff Sgt. Amanda Rose Hay | | July 01, 2004

RECRUITING STATION NEW YORK, Garden City, N.Y. -- Recruiting Station New York recently took advantage of an opportunity to maximize their presence at an Enhanced Area Canvassing event by showcasing the talents of Lance Cpl. Josh Gracin, country-artist of Lyric Street Records, at the Bronx Salutes America Fireworks Spectacular held at Orchard Beach, Bronx, N.Y.

Working alongside his record company and promoters, RS NY brought the “American Idol 2” fourth-place finisher, on recruiters assistance to help generate leads and awareness.

The New York Marines got more than they bargained for as the crowd of more than 1,000 cheered and danced during the performance and swarmed the booth afterwards.

According to Lena Henriquez, a Bronx native and self-proclaimed “biggest Gracin fan,” she loved him on the show “American Idol 2” because he is such a people person. “I like the fact that he’s genuine and talks to everyone, especially to children. We like him even more that he is a Marine; it shows he is humbled and is serving our Country. Considering all that is happening in the world, this is a good distraction and just makes me feel a little better.”

Even the recruiters became celebrities thanks to Gracin. The crowd, swept up in the moment, even asked the recruiters for their autographs. Sgt. Leonardo Howell, of Recruiting Sub-Station East Bronx told them, “I’m not anybody. I’m just a Marine.” The fans still insisted and of course, Howell happily obliged.

According to Maj. J.J. Dill, commanding officer RS NY, this event, which also highlighted the Oath of Enlistment for 15 Bronx poolees was greatly enhanced by Gracin’s presence.  “He energized the crowd and brought a record number of people to the Marine booth,” he said.

Gracin helped to generate more leads than to be expected for such a small event

Gracin maximized exposure not only by singing four songs of his newly released album or signing autographs, but also by talking to local television outlets. While talking with WUPN, channel 9, which reaches the tri-state area, Gracin said it was an excellent opportunity and he was honored to be a part of the event and the chance to help out Marines on recruiting duty. “The Marine Corps has helped make me who I am and gave me the foundation that allowed me to be successful, so this is my way of giving back.”

After almost three hours of crazed fans swarming the tent, the smoke cleared. The recruiters were happy and there was not a mug, CD case, key chain, t-shirt or even CD-rom to be found.  This is what EAC is all about.

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