Harmony County

2011 & 2009 Winner of "Best Humor Column" awarded by the SC Press Association

Me, the Walking Jane and Jake

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My grandson Jake is a senior in high school. He is due to graduate this spring. In a very surprising act of maturity he determined that he is not ready for college and wants to do a tour in the military, specifically the Navy. He said he wanted to see the world. I told him that the earth is 75% water and he would get to see it through a porthole.
So after a brief family conference I got volunteered to take him to see the local Navy “Walking John” in Columbia. (“Walking John” is a term of disrespect for recruiters.) I had only one rule. I told Jake that, “If he attempted to sign anything or even looked at a pen I would break every bone in both his hands.” This is experience with recruiters talking.
I would like to see a show off hands of all of my readers who enlisted and got everything that the recruiter promised. Humm, somebody, anybody? Well, that is shocking news. It seems that we all have been sold a bill of goods.
So Jake and I walk into the recruiting office and, I know this sounds sexist, lo and behold it was not a ‘Walking John’ it was a ‘Walking Jane’. Petty Officer Holcomb greeted us cordially and the very first thing she wanted was for Jake to fill in a form. I immediately said a rather gruff, “No”. That sort of slowed her down, but she went into her spiel after a slight hesitation.
Let us get something straight. Quite possibly the biggest truth benders, even worse than journalists, are recruiters. They get paid to tell you what you want to hear. Their time ashore is based solely upon how many people they can sign up. There is a quota. If they do not make that quota they are going back to the room with the porthole view.
There are other bennies for recruiting duty. Holcomb told us that she gets an extra $978 a month to live on civvies’ streets. Think how nice an apartment you could get for that and how much left over. They get a special uniform allowance and a free car. Top it off with they do not see their supervisors except weekly as opposed to constantly when they are out on the rolling waves.
Holcomb went on and on about the time spent in port. Her ship pulled into Marseilles and they got time off and a discount trip to Paris and stayed for free at a USO hostel. La, la, la. Then I dropped the bomb and asked her just how long she had been at sea before pulling in. It turns out it was six months.
Well Jake and I had a few questions concerning pay and how long was the enlistment, etc. Jake is now thinking it over that is good. While I am pleased he is going in I am not taking any chances.
I am going to buy some Iraqi war bonds just in case.© 2014, Jim McGowan

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Written by harmonycounty

November 6, 2014 at 4:42 p11

Posted in Americana, Humor

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