But United States Army Sgt. First Class White had other things in mind.
White wanted to get into recruiting and did just that.
"I needed some stability for my family," White said Saturday at the Brazil American Legion as he spoke with the Clay County Optimist Club.
In a few months, White will have started his 10th year in the military.
The 1997 Northview High School graduate joined the military to help his family pay off medical bills after his mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
His mother went into remission after he enlisted, but she died in 2002.
White volunteered for to become a recruiter and will continue to do so for three years. He moved back to the area in July 2007 and is stationed in Terre Haute as an Army recruiter.
On Saturday, he spoke with the Optimist Club about the importance of recruiting people into the armed forces.
He provided a slide show on recruiting, which included all the benefits the military currently offers.
White said despite continual media footage regarding the war typically being negative, recruitment numbers have not decreased.
"In the last six months, since I've been in Terre Haute, our numbers have increased," he said, pointing to the benefits the Army has to offer recruits.
While in Afghanistan and Iraq, White was on the front line in the infantry.
He said his unit spent time constructing schools and helped transport medicine while in Iraq.
"The kids over there don't have anything," White said. "We're so fortunate to be Americans."
He also said his combat unit saw no casualties.
Still, White said he believed it might be time for troops to leave Iraq.
"I think it's time to come home, but we can't pull everybody out," White said.
"But if I was called back, I would go. It's in me as a soldier, to help people,"?he added.