Today marks the 70th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. I'd love to say that my grandfather marched to the local recruiting station the next day to enlist, but he was actually in Africa at the time fighting with the Brits. However, once he returned, he marched right into his local recruiting office (found out that he never had a birth certificate issued...), and joined the logical branch of service for someone from the southern part of a landlocked Midwestern state, the Navy.
Strangely, this isn't too surprising. When looking at the number of Navy Recruits per capita, it's not the states with the longest coastlines who enlist. The top ten include Guam and Texas, who have higher military participation rates than the average state (or territory), and a couple states that make sense like Alaska and Washington. Virginia, home of Norfolk? Down at number 13. Maryland, home of Annapoolis? Number 17. You are more likely to join the Navy if you are from the landlocked states of Wyoming, Montana, Oklahoma, Idaho, or Colorado than either of these states. However, the bonus of joining the Navy over the Army or Air Force is that yes, you will not be stationed anywhere near the Black Thunder Coal Mine. So perhaps there is something to the idea that kids run away from home to join the Navy.