Saturday, July 29, 2006

Odds and Ends

Spent the morning housecleaning. I have hired two girls to come in twice a month to do general housecleaning. I field-dayed daughter's room and the livingroom. Both rooms were filled to over flowing with toys. OK, I exagerate but I just hate clutter and both rooms were cluttered with her toys. I boxed them up (she never plays with them!), put out the rocking horse, Barbie house, Little People Farm in an orderly fashion. She plays with those three things alot so they stayed.

I am getting antsy. I had to turn in my computer to automation. It wasn't able to "replicate" or connect with Big Brother Server and upload my recruiting activities. Hence I was unable to make packets (permanent enlistment records) for any of my prospects/applicants. I will get my computer back Monday. Greaaaat. The day before the caca hits the fan I get to try and input all my info, cross my fingers and hope it is right. I was hoping to get it Thursday or Friday and have all weekend to make a stab and then have a seasoned recruiter check it on Monday. Oh well.

I found some ACU material to make valences for my office. I also have a collection of sayings to print and frame against a background of warriors. Here are some of them:

Kill a Commie for Mommie (old, but... so am I)

Happiness is.... a belt-fed weapon.

"I love the smell of Napalm in the morning.."
Lt Col Bill Kilgore (Robert Duvall) in Apocalypse Now

"Don'tbe a fool and die for your country...
Let the other sonofabitch die for his!" General Patton (attributed)

"Courage is fear holding on a minute longer." Genral Patton

“It often requires more courage to dare to do right than to fear to do wrong.” Abraham Lincoln

“In peace prepare for war, in war prepare for peace. " Sun Tzu, The Art of War

That's about it. Just anticipating the beginning of the school year.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Busy times

Well, August 1st is fast approaching and I will be very busy. I will *try* to blog, but no promises.

I have been getting much better at pre-screening prospects. Most of my applicants have a good shot of making it through MEPS.

I continue to work-out hard. Monday we had PT together as a unit. I kept up pretty well. When it came to running back to the unit I was out of energy. I didn't quit and walk...but I had no steam so sprinting was out of the question. SO... I got a series of work-outs called Turbo Jam and did the first work-out this morning. While I did work up a sweat.... the Army could show these people a thing or two. This will be a good supplement to my routine now. It will help me build up some cardio endurance but it cannot replace anything I am doing now.

I am getting more organized and getting into a groove. I have been visiting the schools and talking to counselors. At the first school I came loaded down with "goodies" like desk calendars, wall calendars, lanyards, pens etc. I murmured "Beware of Trojans bearing gifts..." to the sergeant accompanying me into the school and he roared with laughter. The schools are VERY appreciative of any help we can give them. I am looking forward to working with the students.

More appointments with prospects, more heartbreaking stories. My resolve for reaching these kids before the bad choices increases each day.

I get to take a few days off before the onslaught. I plan on spending a ton of time with the kids. My husband will be attending a conference in Atlanta, so I am scheduling picnics, pool time and plain old fashion fun!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Lining 'em up

I have three people lined up to enlist next week. Wow, next week! Then I need to really work my schools since the school year starts Aug 4th. I have met most of the counselors who are really receptive. I am very excited.

I tell ya, it will be hard to find people for my unit. They are being very picky. I can COMPLETELY understand. If I could pick and choose who would serve next to me in Iraq or elsewhere, I would be very selective. So I *am* selective about who I am recruiting. However, they are being overly picky. They want to look 'em over! If I am talking to a prior service person they want to look at their DD-214 and meet them. Like I said, while I can understand that.... I am concerned that they are going to get really picky and not give anyone a chance.

Other recruiters for this area would put anyone with a pulse in. They said they had a recruiter that put 100 people in a unit up north and only 4 of those showed up for the deployment. YIKES!

I am meeting a lot of people, making lots of phone calls and things are smoothing out. I am told that August and September are crazy. We shall see.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

July Recruiting

I have been actually really been recruiting on my own for about a week now. I have learned quite a few things.

1. The recruiting year runs with the school year calendar. Our new recruiting year starts August 1. My mission also starts August 1st. I have a mission of 26. At first I thought "piece of cake!" Now I am not so cocky.

2. There are oodles of people interested in joining the military. Not many of them are qualified.

3. There are plenty of qualified people I run across. Not many of them are interested in joining the military.

4. There are Leads, Prospects and Applicants.
a. A lead is simply a name and a number.
b. A prospect is someone who has expressed interest in the National Guard.
c. An applicant is someone actually going through the process of joining.

5. Following a lead is easy. I spend an inordinate amount of time chasing down a prospect only to find out they can't be an applicant. Too overweight, has asthma, flat footed etc.

6. People who avoid you when they see you are probably qualifed, so chase 'em down!

I find that I am wasting a lot of time on paperwork and getting organized. I know there is a learning curve and I am at the beginning but.. I really need to find my groove.

As I said, my assigned mission is 26 for the year. Three for August and September and two a month for the rest of the year. MY mission is for 3 a month or 36 for the year. Next year my goal is 4 a month and the following year; 5 a month.

We take a PT test in the Army. Passing is 180 points or a score of 60 for each event (push-ups, sit-ups, 2mile run). Excelling is 300 points or a score of 100 for each event. I know me and my body and what I am capable of doing. I will never see a 100% or 300 points. However I am constantly working on what I KNOW I can achieve. I can get 100 on the sit-ups and push-ups if I work at it. My run... I can get an 85 if I really push. So MY goal for the APFT is 285. I score a 200 right now. So I am "passing" but I failed myself.

As far as recruiting goes: I need a score of 26 to pass. I want a score of 40 or 50. See what I mean? If I really push myself to get 5 recruits for the month of August then I have worked out all the kinks and have a good valuable system. I can see holes in my method right now. I get a lead (either myself or someone else) I call and talk to them and pre-screen them lightly with the APPLEMD.

A- age
P- prior service
P- physical conditions
L- Law violations
E- education
M- marital status
D- dependants

I screen lightly and they seem like a good candidate. Then I drive all over creation to see them (an appointment) only to discover they are not qualified at all. Here are a few examples from this past week.

1. 17 years old soon to be eighteen. No physical conditions like asthma etc. working on getting her GED. The Army told her she needs to lose 30 pounds and she has lost 15. Wants to know all her options and someone told her about the National Guard. No law violations, not married, no children. Sounds good right? I arrive to see that she is 5'11" and weighs 270 pounds.

2. 18 years old, a senior in high school. Took the asvab for the Army but they can't enlist him until he has graduated, he wants money now. No law violations, not married, no children. I arrive to talk to him. He then discloses that he took the practice asvab and scored a 29. Did you take the asvab at MEPS? Yep. He scored a 6. I dig a little deeper. He has been diagnosed with depression and is prescribed meds for it.

3. 26 years old. Soon to be married with four kids. We can work around the four children. She arrives at my office and I begin to dig a little deeper. She broke up with fiance, has had cervical cancer and a subsequent hysterectomy, and a lot of law violations.

4. 17 years old, soon to be 18. needs GED, a couple of traffic tickets. Physically fine. I meet him at a local Armory. Can we say METH mouth? He was stoned. He was really really dirty. He has more than just a few traffic tickets. And to top it all off, he has asthma, been diagnosed with it.

What is really really heart breaking... the ones that are older probably could have been enlisted at one time. They thought they knew it all and chose not to. Now that the reality of LIFE has hit them and they are paying the consequences of poor choices....they want to turn it all around. I applaude them for that. However I can't help them. Sad but true.

Each of these people had dreams at one time. Almost every single kid I talk to wants to go to college. They have aspirations of a better life. The National Guard can make it happen for them IF they chose it.

So ... I have set my sights on the high schools. I plan on scaring the crap out of them. I plan on letting them have it right square between the eyes. I will set what I have out on a platter. They can either take it or leave it.

That is at least a month away. In the meantime I have a stack of papers with approximately 900 leads that I will call. I am sure I will go through that pretty quickly. My goal is to talk to 5 real live prospects each day from my list. I also have a goal of making an appointment with at least one of them a week. I will keep working my list until I have eliminated each person on it. I will also go to the Department Of Labor, get some of their business cards and brochures for our office (we have a lot of soldiers returning from Iraq) AND leave some brochures and my business cards with them. I also plan on getting the names of local big industry and visiting their Human Resources Office. Let them know I can do a presentation on college money for their employees or their children. Meanwhile shaking the hand of everyone I meet and introducing myself, giving them my card.

It really is about volume. My job is to meet as many as I can and then whittle it down to the Few, the Qualified, the Guard! LOL

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Once Upon A Time........ (The Elvis Story)

To set this story up you have to understand a few things. The first thing is that my mother was VERY young when she started to have children. She was 16 when she married my dad and being good Catholics began to have children one after another. By the time they were 26 they had 5 children. Four girls and one boy (the youngest). My mother was/is quite the beautiful woman. Now in my opinion every woman has some beauty and somthing about them that makes them beautiful. Some let it die and others culitvate it. However my mother was stunningly beautiful. She was a natural beauty with dark brown hair and deep blue eyes and built like a brick house. The conversation in a room would literally stop when she walked in. Even at age 40 when she was attending my brother's high school football games the high school boys would stop and stare as she walked by. She was is very conservative but she couldn't hide what God gave her. Think Shania Twain.

My father was the stereotypical Latino male. He was/is very handsome. He was tall for being Colombian standing at 5'11' with thick curly dark hair and soft brown eyes. Think of Mongomery Clift. He was handsome but he was a scoundrel. He had a terrible temper and he was not faithful. He was a smooth talker. My father did eventually change his ways but not before he almost totally destroyed every single relationship he had.

When I was a young girl in elementary school we lived in California. My father was a computer programmer for NCR. My dad's sister, Gabriela or 'Gabi' for short, lived in Las Vegas and we used to go visit her quite a bit. The summer when my parents separated and then divorced, we spent a few weeks in Vegas. My Aunt thought it would be a good idea to get the kids away and help my mom cope a little bit better. She knew all too well what my father was like and she *was* taking mother's side.

One night while in Vegas, Gabi invited my mom to go to the Hilton to see where she worked in accounting. They would also spend a little time gambling and have adult time without kids. They dressed to the nines and went to the hotel. They returned later in the evening giggling like school girls and terribly excited. It seems they got to meet Elvis! Here is how it went down:

After they spent time looking at my aunt's office and playing the slots they sat in the bar sipping cokes. My mother's mom was an alcoholic and my mom never drank liquor. Anyway, Elvis happened to be playing at the Hilton that week. His manager Joe Esposito was in the bar having a drink when he noticed my mother and Aunt. He slid over next to them and struck up a conversation. They weren't interested so he pulled out his trump card...."I am Elvis Prestley's manager". Yeah right, said my mom. He persisted but they wouldn't bite. Finally he offered to take them to the Penthouse where Elvis was staying and introduce them. It finally dawned on Gabi that he was serious. She and my mother were not going anywhere without the other so he was going to have to take both of them. So he did.

My mom explained that when they walked in Elvis was practicing Karate with Peggy Lipton of the Mod Squad. His back was facing my mother when Joe Esposito introduced them. Elvis turned briefly to murmer a 'hello' and then did a double take on my mother. He turned back to Peggy and told her that he was done practicing Karate. When she realized it was because of my mother she went to a room, closed the door and never emerged the rest of the evening!

My mom described a suite of rooms that took up the top floor of the hotel. She said every room had a TV playing Elvis movies. One room had a competition sized pool table, another room had slot machines that had been brought up for Elvis to play. All Elvis had to do was ask for something and he had it. He was indeed a "King".

My mom described some of the women there. Basically they were hookers. She was really shocked. However she mentioned that Elvis didn't care for them. I have read stories about Elvis and his choices of women. He tended to gravitate towards the "girl next door" type. He would have dated Marianne and not Ginger. However he *was* captivated by my mother. He talked to her most of the night. He was shocked to find out that she was 30 years old since she looked 21. He was even more shocked to find out she was the mother of 5 children. My mother was/is quite intelligent and a good conversationalist. They had a great time and discovered they had a lot in common. They hit it off right away.

Elvis was in the process of getting divorced and very lonely. My mother said she could tell he was in a lot of emotional pain. He was starting into drugs by this time. He was beautiful, in fact I believe this was the best Elvis looked in his short life. He was 35 and on the top of his game. This was before he was totally addicted to drugs and obese.

He really enjoyed talking to my mom who was *real*. He invited her to come up to the suite the next day. My mother gave him the number to my Aunt's house. She and Gabi left with the experience of a lifetime!

The next day we rose and left to go to Lake Mead for a day of water skiing. We had a blast and returned to the house sore and tired. It was around 3:00pm and the phone rang. My mom was in the shower and my aunt was outside. I picked up the phone and said "Hello?" I heard Elvis Prestley on the other end! I KNEW immediately that it was him and he said "Hey baby, this is Elvis honey, is your Mama there darlin'?" I DROPPED the receiver and ran to find my mother. She ran to the room, picked up the phone, took a deep breath to calm herself, placed the reciever next to her ear and said "hello..." with a real light voice like she was talking to the power company or something. LOL.

The first thing Elvis said was "Where were you, I've been calling you all day!" She SCOLDED Elvis! She said with a touch of irritation..."I *told* you last night I was going water skiing today. What did you thinking I was going to *do*? Sit by the phone and wait for you to call???" He laughed and asked her if she would like to have dinner with him. She said that would be nice. They chatted for a little bit then hung up. She was THEN jumping up and down and screaming "IAM GOING TO HAVE DINNER WITH ELVIS!!!"

She and Gabi went shopping for an outfit. She bought a brown "rib tickler" shirt (basically a shirt with elastic in the fabric so it hugged your frame, something new at the time.) and chocolate brown hip hugger shorts. They are just shy of being "Daisy Dukes". She wore suede brown boots to match. Big hair and nice make-up and I swear she looked like a star! LOL.

My mom left and we anxiously awaited her return. At 10:00 pm my Aunt made us go to bed. She got home at 3:00 am!!! That morning around 10:00 over a cup of coffee, she described the evening. They had supper in the suite since Elvis cannot go anywhere without being mobbed. They sat and talked. She said she felt he just wanted to have a normal evening with a real person. He popped pills and called them his vitamins. He loved TV and was just a small town guy. He gave my mom two tickets for the show that night.

Gabi and my mom went to his show. They sat in a private box and were waited on like royalty. She said that on stage he transformed into ELVIS. He was doing what he did best. He loved it and the audienced loved him for it. After the show they met for awhile in his suite and then parted ways.

A month later my youngest sister got a birthday card from Elvis. And that is the last we heard from him. I had asked my mom in later years why she hadn't persued a relationship. As a child I romantized that Elvis would fall incurably in love with my mom and we would live a life of luxury for the rest of our lives with Lisa Marie as a sister! She laughed at me at first "Like Elvis would marry me! What a thought!" Then she got serious and explained what kind of life that would be for a wife and especially for kids. Even though it sounded like it would be great it would be a miserable shallow exsistence. Indeed.

We pestered my mom for years about "what happened that night!" and she maintains her innocence to this day. Honestly knowing my mother...nothing happened. And knowing Elvis was on drugs...more than likely nothing could happen. If it was me??? hmmmm. I don't know.

On August 16th, 1977 we were living at Homestead Air Force Base. I had just graduated from high school and turned 18 two days before. I was getting ready to leave for the University of South Florida and was dating my high school sweetheart, the very handsome David Farber. I was driving home from work (I believe) and I heard on the radio that Elvis had died. I immediately thought of my mom. How would she take it?

I walked in the house and my mom was humming as she did some house work. I said "You're taking it well!" She stopped and said "What?" I stopped, paused and said "You haven't heard.... Elvis died today...." She stood stunned and then said "Don't mess with me Lori!" as I was NOTORIOUS for playing jokes and trying to scare my mom. Her face was going white and I said "Oh, Mom... it's all over the radio! He died of a drug overdose!" She ran to her room sobbing and closed the door. I was blown away.

By the time my dad (my step-father, then a Major in the Army) got home for supper, she had composed herself, washed her face and put on some fresh make-up. She played off like Elvis' dieing was sad but not more important to her than the average person. Hmmmm.

So that is the story. Our 15 seconds of fame or our brush with an entertainment icon.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Elvis Can wait...

I am so tired!! I worked all weekend at RSP. I'll explain:
The National Guard has an unusual situation when it comes to new recruits. Normally when someone wants to enlist in the Regular Army they do one of two things. They either enlist and ship off to Basic Training right away or they go into the Delayed Entry Program or DEP. When someone is in DEP, they live their life like they did before, and wait until their ship date. When I enlisted in the Navy I shipped right away. I had friends who had been in DEP for up to 2 years waiting for a certain school to have an open slot. Once their slot came open they enlisted then shipped to Boot Camp and then to their school.

The National Guard doesn't do it that way. You enlist period. There is no DEP. If you have to wait to go to Basic or a certain AIT (Advanced Individualized Training for your MOS or job) you are enlisted and drill with your unit. This was very unproductive. The new recruit had no military training at all and either stood or sat around all day with nothing to do...or they were put to work doing the things no one else wanted to do like KP duty (kitchen patrol). So while they *did* get paid to drill, they were not motivated at all. Pretty soon Georgia and others states had high "Pipe Line Losses", or people who went AWOL prior to either shipping to Basic or AIT. To combat these costly losses Georgia and other States have started what is known as the RSP program. RSP stands for Recruit Sustainment Program.

RSP has only new recruits in a unit. They learn military customs, they learn Drill and Ceremony (how to march, etc.), they learn Guard history, who their chain of command is, how their future unit fits into the big picture and ultimately how important they are to their unit. Once someone enlists they report to the closest RSP to drill one weekend a month. They are prepared for Basic and get all their paperwork in order. Once they return from Basic they either go straight to AIT or report back to RSP to await their orders to AIT. Finally once they complete all their training they attend one more RSP drill to have a hand off ceremony to their new unit Commander or representative.

SO, this weekend I got to attend a RSP drill. Wow. This was the first one for my Team and the local Armory. Prior to this they had a regional RSP held at Dobbins Reserve AFB comprised of hundreds of kids. We had 35 recruits attend. The brand new recruits dressed in our old BDU's minus the rank and names, wore tennis shoes and tried to not look scared. We had 5 PVT's that were being promoted and handed off to their new units so they had full ACU's with boots, name tags and rank ensignia. They all brought sleeping gear, a change of clothes and PT gear.

The first day we practiced close order drill and marched them all over the armory parking lot. It was HOT! They (and we) were sweating bullets. They carried mock weapons and learned how to pivot and do facing movements (right face, etc.). They learned how to march like a soldier. In case you didn't is different than marching in band! Or at least my NCOIC thinks so. He is a Ranger and is FULL of attitude. He was having a ball. He cut up with the kids, but kept it serious. He joked so they would lighten up but kept them on the move. He was hilarious trying to show them how to march. "Stand up straight, you're a SOLDIER! Don't swing your arms out, you're not a dammed helocopter!.... Take good sized steps but don't goose step, you ain't no dammed Commie or Nazi! ......Have a little attitude in that step, you're PROUD to be a SOLDIER but you ain't no home boy, hooah?!" They ate it up.

Lunch was MRE's. Blech! I guess if you are in a survival mode it will do the trick, but the NCO's all went to eat at a local buffet! :-) The kids didn't mind a bit. After lunch we marched for 2 miles to a local rifle range. We unloaded 6 air rifles and the four squads took turns practicing marksmanship. One of the NCO's husband arrived with their two Glocks. My NCOIC pulled out his two handguns and my supervisor strapped on his holster and handgun. They had target practice for quite a while. MY NCOIC let me fire the handgun handed down to him from his father. His father served in Vietnam and had the weapon engraved with scrolling, his name and dates of service. It was beautiful and easy to use. Don't ask me what type of handgun it was. I want to say a 9mm, but I really have NO clue. Another thing to add to my ever growing list of things to learn.... handgun use and types.

We marched them back and the very last 1/8 of a mile the Platoon SGT thought it would be a good idea to run them in the over 90 degree heat. We had eight fall out. He got his butt chewed by the NCOIC. SFC Ranger explained to the Platoon SGT that these were raw recruits with little to no training. He said "Tailor your training to the overweight red faced kid. Always consider what the lowest denominator is capable of doing. They aren't here to do Basic."

We got them in the Armory to cool off then let them assemble in the airconditioned classroom to drink water and play a game while supper was being delivered. They ate Chick Fillet. They were in heaven!

Everyone (except a few of the NCO's) slept overnight in the armory on cots. The recruits that had attended RSP at Dobbins were used to sleeping in hotel rooms!!! They bed down on the floor in sleeping bags at 2200. At 0430 they were roused out of their slumber by the playing of Reveille VERY loudly and the Platoon SGT banging a big stick against the inside of a metal garbage can. Ahhh shades of Boot Camp! Everyone dressed quickly into PT gear and we marched them to a high school track about a half a mile away. We held a PT test for new recruits which is running one mile and push-ups and sit-ups for one minute. We marched back, had them change back into BDU's and they ate breakfast from Cracker Barrel!! It looked pretty good. Since I get money for food (separate rations) I have to go buy my food. It is considered stealing to eat the food provided for free.

For the next few hours they got to relax a bit, practicing the handing off ceremony and promotion ceremony for the five PVT's. I walked around talking to several of the kids asking them what they thought, how did they like the RSP. They loved it! One kid said "I went to my first drill last month at Dobbins and thought 'What did I get myself into!' but this was GREAT! I am glad I enlisted!" Later as I was putting something into my vehicle a kid with a beard (a guest of one of the recruits) said "See ya later SGT!" I asked him how he liked the weekend. He said "I loved it! I am going to talk to my friend's recruiter tomorrow." I congratulated him, shook his hand and told him "GOOD NEWS!"

The ceremony was nice. You could see how proud the PVT's were. They stood and recited the Soldier's Creed; sounding off very loud and clearly. OK, yes I got tears in my eyes. They were standing tall and looking like soldiers. I saw the future generation and the future looks GOOD! Hooah!

I left the armory very tired, exhausted but feeling very good and motivated. Several of the young recruits from my area said they would bring a friend next time. I gave them my card and told them if they had any issues to not hesitate to contact me. I have their names and will call them this next month to just check in on them and make sure they are staying squared away. Man o man, and they are PAYING me to do this job!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Big Brother

Well. Hmmmm. OK, we arrive in the classroom for our continuing lecture series of Phase Two RRNCO. Our laptops were taken up and we were asked to write down our login info. Then we got intruction on a pilot program to monitor our telephone and interveiw skills.

In walk the top 8 Recruiters for the State as far as getting their applicants through MEPS. Seems that the State average is 10 people on the floor at MEPS but only 3 get through (or 33%). These guys (and gals) have a 90% or better success rate. I felt like someone had been reading my mind.

These recruiters will mentor two new recruiters each. We will talk to them twice a week for two months. We will be evaluated to see if our MEPS rate can imporve to at least 66%. If it does, this program will implemented State wide. Sounds good to me.

We talked and role played all day and will do so again tomorrow. In a nut shell? Disqualify to qualify. Try and find any problems with your applicant PRIOR to showing up at MEPS. Sounds like a plan to me.

On the downside? We upload these recordings to a secure website that can be accessed by ourselves, our mentors AND the chain of command. Hmmm, do I hear George Orwell snickering?

I did learn some skills that I can use. I'll track my progress here so y'all can see how I am doing. Of course I can't use names or specifics, however I can use numbers.

I have a system that I call my hopper. Some people call it a funnel, but for me a funnel implies liquid being poured out rapidly and a hopper can be used to plant seeds in the ground. I think of me filling my hopper with names of people and when I enlist one, I have planted him or her in the Guard. A tender root, a young plant. OK, got it?

So I have quite a few leads. Leads are simply names and numbers of people. Nothing more or less. I have 912 cold leads. Then there are prospects. These are people who have expressed an interest. Lastly are applicants. These are people who are in the process of enlisting. I have 5 prospects and one applicant in my hopper. I need to have at least 10. I have appointments scheduled with 3 of the prospects for next week. Hopefully they will turn into applicants.

That's about it. Tomorrow I will post about the time I spoke with Elvis on the phone. ;-)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Mission Possible

We each received our "mission" for the year. As recruiters we are required to put in a certain amount of people each year. It is called your mission. My mission for the 2006/2007 school year is 26 people. I think that is very doable. In fact I will be very surprised if I don't double it.

OK, that may come across as very arrogant or at the worst; very optimistic. Well , I have several reasons for believing this is possible.

1. I believe that there has to be at the very least 50 qualified people in my county who want to join the National Guard.
a. There are a lot of good people who would love an opportunity to help or be apart of an organization devoted to helping others.
b. There are a lot of people who believe in the higher calling of Service to Country.
c. There are ton of kids who lack direction who would be willing to let the Guard be that guiding force.

2. I believe the National Guard has something to offer everyone. They just don't know it yet.

3. I believe my area has been GREATLY neglected as far as a source for recruiting. No one has worked these high schools in YEARS.
a. one recruiter assigned to the area did not even know these schools are on a year round or "modified" calendar!!!
b. recruiters from the neighboring state have been recruiting out of the highschools!!
c. no one has culivated the JROTC in the biggest high school in the county.

4. There is a large prior service group that has been essentially untapped.

5. And lastly, being who I am I know I can do it. Let me explain....

My husband opened his chiropractic practice. A year later he closed his doors and moved his practice into our home out of necessity. A year later he was seeing only 10 patients a week and breaking even (read not making a dime). I quit work and went to work for him. Within 5 months he was seeing 120 patients a week.

For me it was easy. I used to go out into the front yard and say "There has to be 100 people in this area that need chiropractic!" I kept saying it and thinking about it, and one day it became real to me. I can't explain it. It was like one day the light bulb came on and I KNEW with every fiber of my being that there WERE 100 people who needed chiropractic.

Then we went and shook hands, we set up booths, talked to people and talked to more people. I published a single ad and put little real estate signs pointing the direction to our office. We live out in the middle of NO WHERE. We live across from a 500 acre ranch on about 150 acres of woods. In one month we got 30 new patients. My husband was astonished. I just kept going out, meeting and talking to people, handing out his cards. I would talk to our patients and ask them to bring in a friend. They would.

I don't believe in luck. I believe in hard work. I do believe in being a positive thinker. "As a man is he..."

The girls in my office don't understand it. I can talk to a patient and get them to commit to a six-month treatment plan. The two girls have a tough time of selling. Why? They expect the patient to say no. I don't take no for an answer. Am I pushy? No, not at all. However I realize that if most people understood what is in it for them, they would be sold. And so I find a way to make sure they know what is in it for them. Then I back off and let them choose. Very few say no.

I really honestly and truly believe that EVERYONE ought to serve their country in some way, shape or form. So if they are not qualified, they can serve with the volunteer force and help me find recruits. When I talk to these people I don't expect for them to be unconvinced. I know they want to serve, they just are not educated on how the Guard can help them. That's my job, to show them how the Guard can help them and how they can help their country.

I met a long haired waiter. He looked like a hippie, acted like a hippie and when he spoke he sounded like a very educated liberal. None of the other recruiters thought he would bite. They said "Don't even try, he won't cut his hair." I said "He would for the right reasons." By the time the meal was over I had his name and number and made an appointment. Hair was not even his issue. Missing time at work was!

I know I am a female, middle aged and not one of those cool high speed MOS's like Ranger or Air Assault. But I can sell it. I don't know of a concern that cannot be overcome with logic. People actually WANT to serve. They just need to know the facts so they can get over the jitters. If someone is talking to you the recruiter...THEY ARE ALREADY SOLD!

Well, my mission for August is to have 20 appontments and 10 people on the floor at MEPS. My NCOIC says that will give me 3 recruits. MY GOAL?? My goal is to have at least half of them get through MEPS and raise that right hand. That is where the challenge lies. We shall see.

Maybe in September I will be eating Humble Pie. I hope not. I just can't see how I can't find 5 qualified people to enlist in one whole month.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

On Running

There is a book I want to read called "On Killing". It describes the way the Military trains its soldiers to get over killing and the psychologicqal ramifications of that training. I haven't ordered it yet... Maybe I just don't want to know.

I have kept up my running, and yes Pogue, it has stayed enjoyable! I run 2-3 miles three times a week. I have a little of the "Oh do I really want to run??" when I first wake up but then I "just do it" to coin a phrase. It FEELS GOOD! I am so surprised. I want to keep this up so it stays enjoyable. I have also cut 2 minutes off my time.

Tuesday I worked doing the Fourth of July Parade (lots of fun) and then worked a booth at a local park (not as much fun). I got 5 good leads. One of them was assigned to me. I called and called and called and never got an answer. I left one message. Yesterday I decided I am trying one more time and told him "This is my last call... if you don't call me back, I won't be calling anymore." He called me within 30 minutes.

Potential Recruit "Did I mention my probation? Yeah I have 2 more years of probation and a $6K fine to pay..."
SGT Lori (heavy sigh) "Um, no you said you had no law violations. Well I am sorry I can't help you...Oh the Army says they are willing to work with you? Wow that's great. Let me know how that turns out."

I get a phone call from my NCOIC that 2 names came up for me on 1800GOGUARD. My computer is STILL not configured to work so the names go to him. I call the first name, she is scheduled for an appointment with me this morning. She is Prior Service Army. This *should* be easy.

The second one is in the process of getting her GED and losing 30 pounds. She has lost 15 pounds already so she is motivated. I will meet with her and her parents the 19th of July.

I visited some schools yesterday but since school is out not many people were there. I also put out some countertop displays in local stores and met people. I plan on getting a solid lead today after I meet with this girl.

Next week I have meetings all week long in South Atlanta. Oh Joy! Things are moving slowly but... I should be moving right along with recruits soon.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Home, Sweet Home

Well, I took the highway through Mississippi and Alabama. It shaved about 30 minutes off my time but was not worth the headache. Lots of lights etc. I got home safely and I was so glad. Grace was in heaven! She would not let me out of her sight and even spent the night inbetween mommy and daddy in the bed. Josh was still at Church Camp so I got to see him the next day. He was very happy and so was I. Payson and I had to wait somewhat. The kids were overwhelming and Payson gave me room to spend time with them. However, Grandma watched the kids on Monday and we spent the whole day together....alone!! We had a great reunion.

Tuesday, July Fourth, was my first day back at work. I was in the local parade as you can see. I was able to swing for Joshua and his three older boy cousins to ride in the huge troop carrier! You talk about 4 very happy boys. They thought they had died and gone to heaven.
Later I worked our booth at the local July Fourth Fair at the park. OK, what is hotter than Georgia between 1000 and 1600 on July Fourth? Probably Iraq, but I know it was hotter than 500 Hells! I was sweating profusely and sucking down water as fast as I could. It was all worth it as I got to meet quite a few Vets. I also talked to lots of prospective recruits and got five good solid leads. We will see what comes of it. I gave them all to my squad leader as I am not officially "on mission" until August first. It gave me good practice and a chance to meet and talk to people. I had fun, ate too much and had my hand shaken and given so many hugs. I was offered free meals (I paid anyway) and ordered a snowcone but the vendor refused to take my money. It was so sweet. I had a great time but the best moment was when the Flag was raised as a local singer belted out the National Anthem. The other two guys and I came to attention and saluted with pride. Many people stopped to listen with respect and when it was done I heard quite a few cheers. Man that felt good.

I still have a string attached to my side for a few weeks as I get trained and processed in. Soon I will be my own person and free to roam the streets of Floyd County. :-)