Stars and snipes

The military says recruiting and racing go hand in hand. Others aren't sure.

Updated: March 29, 2011, 3:11 PM ET
By Ryan McGee | ESPN The Magazine

Note: This story appears in the April 4 edition of ESPN The Magazine.

A soldier stands watch at the entrance to one of the U.S. Army's flashiest mobile facilities. Amid the flight simulators and climbing walls, as a drill sergeant leads a line of young men through push-ups, the soldier feels a tug on his camouflage pants leg. "Excuse me," says a 7-year-old in a Jeff Gordon T-shirt. "Can I have your autograph?"

Surprisingly, this slightly surreal scene isn't ...

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