What caused the six flag raisers to enter the U.S. armed forces?
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After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, America's attitude toward the war changed; now Americans were involved in a "two-ocean war." American citizens jumped at the chance to make sacrifices for their country. Mike Strank enlisted in the Marines before America entered the war. Ira Hayes surprised his Pima tribe by enlisting in the Marines, since the Pima were a peaceful people, and became a USMC Paratrooper. Harlon Block enlisted with his entire Weslaco High football team, much to the chagrin of his mother, Belle, a Seventh-Day Adventist. Jack Bradley decided to enlist in the Navy, in hopes of avoiding battle. Rene Gagnon enlisted at the age of seventeen in May 1943. As members of the Raiders outfit in the Pacific, Mike Strank, Ira Hayes, and Harlon Block fight at Bougainville. After a stunning victory at Tarawa, "Howlin' Mad" Smith gains confidence in the valor of the Marines and focuses on planning amphibious assaults.