Thursday, August 31, 2006

Tug of War

Ever been in a game of "Tug of War"? It can be a lot of fun when you are on the winning team. You put forth a great effort and at the last moment the pressure is off the rope and you are declared the winner. Not so fun to put forth a ton of effort, feel the rope slipping away, suddenly you are swept off your feet as the rope is jerked free and you are left in the dust. Recruiting is a lot like that!

I had a great August. Now onto September. Things were lining up nicely for putting 6 people in the first two weeks. Then I got back 2 bad background checks. Giant tug pulling towards the loser line. I had the jail recheck one of the backgrounds as my guy assured me it was a mistake. It was a mistake! I regain some ground. Another guy is backpedalling by putting off making an appointment to interveiw with the unit he said he would kill to get into. Still another calls me all excited. He is ready to commit, he is ready to go, he is so ready he misses his appointment tonight. Another gal wants to do "something". Her husband is in the guard. He is encouraging her and had her to call me. She knows how good it will be. She makes her appointment and we talk. And talk. And talk. She says she will get me her information to put her into the computer...I wait, and wait and wait. I will hunt her down tomorrow. Several sharp pulls forward and I lose ground. I send off medical records to MEPS to get them seen by a MD for an ok to take someone to MEPS. Still waiting...and waiting. So I am down to taking 2 guys to MEPS next week.

WAIT! Good news, I get a call from my fella that took the practice ASVAB today and did well, he has a friend that wants to join too!! Hooah! I haven't prescreened her...but hopefully I can get her to MEPS next week with her friend. I yank that rope back really hard! Gaining ground again.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Female Dress Blues

I am not one to gripe... but whoever designed the female uniform was not female and was uncomfortable with looking at a sexy female form in uniform!! Here is the dress blues for female officers on the right. It is shapeless AND the rank is smaller than on a male uniform. Hmph. I have sergeant stripes on both arms, again smaller than on a male's uniform. They have recently changed it so the female rank is not miniscule, however it is still smaller than the male counterpart uniform.

The skirt is A-line. Again shapeless. Even the Dress Mess which is the shortwaisted jacket paired with a long A-line skirt is shapeless and ugly. The shirt for the females has a long flowing ruffled front (hides the boobs I imagine) and a short little triangular shaped black tie at the neck. The males wear both jackets (Dress Blues and Dress Mess) with the lighter blue pants with the gold braid down the side. VERY impressive. The shirt is a form fitting white shirt with a bow tie. If I was king?? I would shape the skirt like a sheath with a high kick pleat in the back. I would lose the ruffled front 70's disco rented tuxedo shirt and have a tailored (fitted) white shirt with a BOW TIE. Think Barbie in unifrom! LOL. The uniform should complement the female shape while maintaining Military bearing. It shouldn't HIDE the fact that we are female.

Anyway, I wear my uniform with pride and within regulations. How does that saying go??? "Mine is not to ask why, mine is to do or die."

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Wild Wild West

Anyone remember the show called Wild Wild West? Yes, I know I am dating myself. But I was a wee child in my mother's womb! LOL. In the show James West was the lead character (played by a very handsome Robert Conrad) and James had it going on. I remember as a KID having a crush on James T. West. He was just so cool, so suave, so.... hot!

Have you seen the dress mess with the short waisted coat?? Here it is to the right. The picture does not do it justice. It is a darker blue and very spiffy. Imagine the left shoulder decked with medals and fitting very snuggly on a really nicely muscled older man. Think James T. West. I kid you not. I have always thought my SGM was a nice looking man, but Saturday night, in the Dress Mess.... Holy Cow. I was a good girl and kept my eyes firmly glued to my very handsome husband.... but James T. West would skirt into veiw every now and again and I would have a hot flash! LOL.

The banquet was lovely. I didn't mind wearing my uniform even though the other ladies were all in very beautiful gowns. They looked so proud holding onto the arms of their husbands. I felt all the prouder escorting my husband into the banquet room. We ate a wonderfully delicious meal. I have been to banquets before and usually the meals are lacking, but this was great. The actual awards part of the banquet was kept short and followed the meal so we were'nt all starving! Then we had a time to fellowship and have a great time. Our team has a lot more comradrie than the others teams which is really nice. We look out for each other and treat each other like family.

My husband had a GREAT time. He enjoyed meeting the people I work with and talking to my Boss SFC Ranger. I am very fortunate in a boss. He is a wonderful family man with great Army values. He knows how to pull us together as a team and keeps us focused. I can honestly say he is probably the best boss/leader I have ever worked for. I would like for the team to do something special for him (besides make 200% mission) but I can't think of anything. I will have to give it some thought.

We went home the next day, tired but in a good way. I have been very busy the last two days lining up about 6 people to take to MEPS in two weeks.


I attended my first Recruiter Awards Banquet in Savannah this past weekend. Very nice. The hotel was on the river in the historic section of town. Speaking of historic I have noticed a new trend. The word "historic" has been replaced with the word "historical". My garden club (yes, I belong to a garden club) has a committee to research "historical gardens". Homes that are over 100 years old are not historic but historical. I first noticed this a few months ago on TV. I have paid close attention now and have noticed that everyone is doing it. Am I crazy? Maybe.

So anyway, the HISTORIC section of town was really neat. Lots of really old buildings and relics. We arrived a day early to see the sights. The first night my handsome husband and I walked through the whole of the historic area and had supper at a Scottish pub called Molly McPherson's. GREAT food and atmosphere. They also have the largest selection of "Malts" or Scotch I have ever seen. Two pages (in small print) of Scotch were listed! Payson had a "black and tan" beer. He was in heaven. My husband looks very German to me. His heritage is seeped in Scottland so I'll wager a Saxon is in the woodpile somewhere. He is stocky and very strong. He would make a good extra in the William Wallace movie. Sitting in that pub, he looked right at home!

Friday the rest of the recruiting command arrived. My team, which is known as the X-Men, went to the Pirate House to eat supper. The Pirate House is a historic building that has been converted into a restaurant. It is an old creaking building with twisting narrow halls and rooms decorated with a nautical theme. I was in heaven! Our SGM came along for the meal and fellowship. The food was good and the drinks were better. The atmosphere was wonderful. After the meal and halfway through our fellowship I spot my husband and the SGM talking in earnest. They are looking at a small card and the SGM is pointing to it as my husband looks on in great interest. ACK!! The SGM is discussing the new bonus system based on accessions to my husband! I jump up from my seat where I was happily talking to some wives and say loudly "SGM! WHAT are you doing?" He turns to me with the biggest crocodile smile and says "Why, I am explaining the bonus system to your husband SGT Fields!" Smart man. Evil man. LOL.

Saturday afternoon was spent in meetings. Saturday night was the banquet. I'll write about that later. I need to go for now. Just remind me to talk about the SGM looking like James West.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Mama Lori

My boy, Billy, got through MEPS. YEAH!!! It took several years off my life, but it happened. Well sort of.

We arrive at MEPS after I give him the loooong speech about how messed up MEPS is, how they are like AL Queda and try and stop people from enlisting. First thing we find out is...Billy boy is not in the system. So I walk over to the liason's office and get a song and dance about how their computers have been down all day and how I should have had my NCOIC call and verify that Billy was in the computer. The SFC Nimrod says he can do a walk-in. I repeatedly say that Billy is going in under the GED + program and requires a AIMS test in addition to the ASVAB. Repeatedly. No problem. I walk the paperwork up to the reception area and again state that Billy boy needs the AIMS test after he takes the ASVAB. No problem.

2 hours later, well on my way to North Georgia I get a frantic call from Billy. He is at the hotel and they have no reservation for him and they are booked. Did he take the AIMS test?? no. sigh. I call around and get a call from the hotel. I need to come get my recruit or he is going to have to sleep on a couch in the lobby. sigh. Half an hour later and another call from the hotel, they had a cancelation so Billy now has a room. Counting new white hairs in my head now.

I call Billy, my NCOIC and 2IC and figure out that we can get Billy to stay a second night to take the AIMS test and swear in on Thursday instead of Wednesday. I get up at o-dark-thirty to drive to Billy's house, pick up a change of clothes since he is staying second night, and drive through horrendous traffic to arrive at MEPS.

SFC Nimrod NOW says "SGT, all you had to do was tell me he needed an AIMS test...."Excuse me??? I hold my temper. Billy passed the ASVAB, sailed through his physical, took the AIMS test tonight and is sound asleep at the hotel. Tomorrow morning around 11am he will swear into the Georgia Army National Guard. Hooah! I told him I wouldn't be there to watch him swear in, but another SGT would be. He was disappointed (so was I) but I told him next week I would take him around to the armory, introduce him to the unit and the RSP NCO. I also told the SGT that is picking him up I want a PICTURE of his swearing in ceremony.

Heavy sigh. My NCOIC says it is good to be passionate about my recruits but I need to make sure I don't burn myself out.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Whoo Hoo! RSP Weekend!

Recruit Sustainment Program or RSP is a program designed to keep kids motivated until they ship and hand them off to their new unit. I explained it in detail here. This was the weekend we had RSP. And we had it at my armory. The armory where I have my office has sweeping pastures as well as dense woods.

This morning we had training on how to advance (low crawl) through the pasture. The kids were broken up into 4 squads. Each squad leader called out orders to manuver their squad through the pasture while the seasoned soldiers shot air guns simulating live fire. It was hilarious. We had Floyd County's finest show up because some of the neighbors were concerned about the sound of gunfire! :-)

After a lunch of MRE's we made our way to the woods. Each squad took turns advancing into the woods where the seasoned soldiers were lying in wait with paintball guns. If you have ever seen documentaries about sniper school training, this was very similar. We were not allowed to shoot at them if they were doing the right things. But if they raised their heads to look around, or stood up or did anything other than stay concealed or low crawl; they were open game! Hee hee. Off to the sides of the course we had trashcans that we threw firecrackers into to mimic the sound of machine gun fire. We also shouted things like "Allah is God!" as well as "Die Americans".

OK, it was hilarious but it was also very educational. The kids loved it but we also taught them why we stay in teams and how to look after each other. The winning squad got to pick the movie to be shown tonight (X-Men), got first chance to shower and get to eat breakfast first tomorrow morning.

I didn't stay the night, but drove home at 2030 hot sweaty smelly dirty nasty and grinning ear to ear.

Friday, August 18, 2006


OK, so I hunt down my one applicant who has been a little gun shy. He is more than willing, he just needs a little coaxing. He gets his paperwork together and has arranged for us to pick up his high school transcripts. Oh! I almost forgot, lets do a practice ASVAB! 45 grueling minutes later I go and look at his score. Are ya ready?? Drum roll please. He got a FOUR. A four!! I stood stock still staring at the computer screen not comprehending what I was seeing. Then I quickly recovered myself saying "oh...... ok..... um. You need to study a little bit." I was stunned.

I drove him home so very sad. I explained that it was imperative that he bring his score up to a 31. Now let me explain about the ASVAB. According to the powers that be, there is no pass or fail on the ASVAB. The test is designed to test your acedemic AND vocational abilities and skills. It tests how well you comprehend basic scholastic skills as well as your ability to grasp concepts, much like an IQ test. It is not a test that if you get a 31 it means that you only got 31% correct. It means that if a person scores a 31 he has the very basic abilities and knowledge to perform well in the Military. Certain MOS or jobs in the military require a higher score. For instance a communications specialist needs to have a higher score than a 31. To qualify for extra money for college you need a 51 or better. So in theory there is no "pass" or "fail" for the ASVAB. In theory. Reality is you have to have a 31 to enter the Army.

Now I was trying hard not to be judgmental. After all not everyone is equally gifted. However I have another applicant in almost the same identical situation as this kid I'll call "Rock". They both come from poverty. Both have parents who never completed high school. Both dropped out, both have no GED. Neither can drive or have jobs. They are both staring a bleak future in the face. However, comma, "Billy Joe Bob" decided a year ago he wanted something different. He began to play basketball and diet and get into shape. He began to study the ASVAB tests. When he started studying the library would not let him check out any of the books unless he put down a $15 deposit. He didn't have it. So he stayed at the library for hours studying. In fact everytime I have to track him down he is at the library. He walks several miles to the library in this heat. One day the librarian (who also is a math teacher) decided to help Billy Joe Bob. She saw how determined he was. She began to help him with his math portion and he slowly brought up his ASVAB score from rock bottom, to 31, to 51 and now to 75. He showed me a notebook with the notes he has taken from her AND the notes he takes from the videos he watches at the library on Math and English. He watches the videos for hours. Now he has a cousin sitting and watching the videos with him. He wants to join too.

My Rock with the score of four is currently enrolled in an adult education class. Every time I drop by he either has his head on the desk taking a nap or he is outside shooting the breeze with his buds. Rock thinks that everything is supposed to fall into his lap. I guess he thinks he will learn this stuff by osmosis.

Rock probably thinks Billy Joe Bob is "lucky". He lucked up on a math teacher at the library, a recruiter who is willing to go to any lengths to get him in, and he is in tip top shape. Lucky? Yeah maybe, but Billy Joe Bob has learned a valuable lesson. "Luck" is being prepared when the opportunity presents itself.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Talk about stress

I love my job.... I really do. It is exciting, adventurous and keeps me hopping. I am getting better at allocating my time. It doesn't take three times as long as I anticipate, now it only takes twice as long!

My three applicants for this week dwindled down to one for next week. I am postponing one for September 1 because I am waiting on a waiver. Then one backed out on me. So. I have found two more qualified applicants however I won't be able to put them in until September. Maybe. Confused? Join the club.

Here is how it works. Since we have one of the worst MEPS in the country our Recruiting Battalion did an analysis on different techniques that can improve our odds of getting an applicant through MEPS. One is timing the other is screening heavily.

The recruiters who had the best odds of getting an applicant through MEPS (90% or better) screen their applicants and only submit an applicant that they are SURE will make it through. I was taught ways to get prospects to fess up (it works) and to make sure there are no hidden secrets lurking around to bite me in the butt when I send an applicant to MEPS. SO that is one technique...only send someone who is squeeky clean.

The other technique is to only send applicants the first half of the month. Since ALL recruiters have to meet a quota MEPS gets BOMBARDED with applicants the second half of the month...ESPECIALLY the last week. So MEPS gets swamped. Those MEPS people look out at the sea of faces and begin to get nit-picky. They try and thin out the ranks pretty quickly and your odds of getting an applicant through drops from 66% to 33%. SO the other technique is to only send people the first 2 to 3 weeks of a month. Prior to the 20th is our best bet.

I have a conference to attend in Savannah late next week (can we say PAAAARTAY?) so I need (yes need) to get who will count towards my quota by WEDNESDAY the very latest. But.... there is always a but isn't there? This paperwork can take TIME. I put three people's paperwork into the system yesterday so that means they MIGHT get to go to MEPS next week. Sigh. We shall see.

On the postive side?? Did I mention a recruiter's conference in Savannah?? Oh yeah, baby! I get to dress up in my Dress Blues (did I mention I look great in uniform??) be escorted by my sexy and handsome husband, eat a great meal, drink some adult beverages and dance dance dance. We get to go to the beach between very short but productive meetings, dine on local cuisine and have a wonderful time. I am not too keen on spending a lot of time with the higher ups like the Colonel, Majors or the Sergeant Majors. ESPECIALLY if I don't get these other three recruits in!!! Oh well.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Well, yesterday was my birthday. I am old. Let's leave it at that! :-)

Sunday the girls in my circle of friends and family (all 10 of us) got together for lunch and a movie. We met at Sweet Tomatoes at 2pm, ate until we were stuffed and then drove to the big 24 screen theatre nearby. It was my choice of movie since it was my birthday. I chose to see World Trade Center.

Wow. My eyes were still red yesterday! I cried through just about the whole thing. Oliver Stone did an OUTSTANDING job. I won't give the movie away because EVERYONE should go see this. There is a section of the movie that involves two Marine Vets and everyone in the theatre cheered. Everyone clapped when the movie was over. It is just a really good flick.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Green, Again

I posted this before, but it is good enough to re-read. This guy just simply puts into words how I felt prior to re-enlisting:

July 14, 2005

Green... again

(Originally posted at Red State Rant)

At Lance’s request, I’m proud to announce on Red State Rant that after an extended effort, I’ve finally been accepted back into Uncle Sam’s Big Green Gun Club. A little background:

My efforts began on September 11, 2001, when the news about the terrorist attacks in New York City came over the radio. I immediately drove to the recruiter’s office to inquire about reenlistment options. My advance was rebuked, however, due to an ankle injury that I’d sustained two months previous, one which eventually landed me on the surgeon’s slab six months later. Running, and therefore staying in shape, was a painful proposition for nearly a year thereafter. Then my wife and I decided to start our family, a decision that I in no way second-guess, but one which further altered my plans.

As I watched the kick-off of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom from the sidelines, I couldn’t stand the fact that Marines were out there doing what Marines do, and here I was, a man of eligible age, riding the bench. The final straw came on the day that my brother, a career Marine until a back injury put him out of active duty after 15 years, emailed me a photo of himself being sworn back into the Corps as a reservist. That was simply more than I could stand.

I got off my ass, got back in shape, and got on the phone with the prior service recruiter. Skipping all the sordid details of a paperwork nightmare, a little more than a year later, on July 10, 2005, I stood before a Captain with the 4th FSSG, raised my right hand, and took the oath of enlistment for the second time in my life, sworn-in as a 35 year-old Corporal of Marines (reserve) as my wife and son looked on.

I’d been off of active duty for almost 10 years, but as we walked out of the HQ building at the Navy/Marine Corps Reserve Center and passed a Colonel, the salute that I snapped felt just as natural as it ever had, and the uniform I wore felt like an old friend. I straightened my back, poked out my chest just a little, and stepped more smartly. God, it felt great to be green again!

I give the reader all of that to answer a question many people have asked, including the worshipful Red State Rant blogmaster and my life-long friend, Lance: Why? After all, I’ve already served my country, “paid my dues,” or “done my time,” as some say.

To that, I have this to say: Serving my country is not a 4 year contract. It is a life-long commitment. Nor is it a “due” to be paid like some cheap membership fee. It is a deeply personal obligation. And it is certainly not “time” that has to be “done” like some felony prison sentence. It is nothing short of an honor that I hold in the highest regard, an honor that I must prove worthy of, an honor that must be earned every single day.

Many people have shaken their heads in disbelief, sometimes I think in disdain, when they learned of my plans. I’m a family man now, after all. Why would I volunteer, when there is a very real possibility of a combat deployment? Don’t I care about my family?

Without question, my family is the single most important part of my life on earth. But just exactly what sort of husband and father do I want for my family? What kind of man do I want my wife to devote her life to? When my children are grown, what is the picture of their father going to look like in their minds? I’ll tell you: I want my beloved wife, to whom I am utterly devoted, to go through her days without a shadow of a doubt that the man she married is a man of honor and commitment, a man that knows there are things in life worth giving one’s own life for, if necessary. I want her, as she looks out upon all of the world’s deception, falseness, infidelity, and evil, to know that her husband is on the right side of things.

I want my children to have a father that they can unwaveringly look up to as an example. I want them to grow up, not with an attitude of entitlement, but with a sense of duty, obligation, and reward. I want to teach them that we don’t always say, “Let the other guy do it.” Instead, I want them to learn that there are times that we must ask, “If not me, then who?” I want to be the best father I can be, and I can think of no better lessons to teach them than the value of honor, integrity, dedication, perseverance, and selflessness. I can offer no better example for my family than to strive to live those values every day in my own personal life.

All of that is a way of life for United States Marines.

In addition to all of that, throw in any applicable clichés regarding patriotism, fighting for our country, etc. They’re all no less true for me than anyone else who has said them, but they have become overused to the point that they have begun to lose effect. I will add one: Revenge. I make no apology for wanting to kill the bastards that want to kill us.

I harbor no illusions about saving the world, being a hero, or altering the course of events. It’s simply that at no time in my life have I been more proud and satisfied with what I was doing than while serving as an active duty Marine. My decision to leave the Corps, if I had it to do over, likely would have been different. I want to at least partially amend that decision while I am still young enough (barely) to do so. I love being around fellow Marines, doing what Marines do: training, fighting, working, sweating, cussing, bitching, adapting, improvising, overcoming, accomplishing the mission, and taking care of each other.

Lastly, these are historic times for our country and for my Marine Corps. For me, it's decision time- sit on the sidelines and merely be an observer, or step up and be a participant.

I’m stepping up.

Semper Fidelis

I just couldn't say it better myself. HOOAH!!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Is that a Light at the End of the Tunnel...

or a train headlight!!?? Just kidding.

The prospect with the plates and screws called me. His MD told him those need to come out and he would heal in about 6 wweeks. WHOO HOO!! He would still need a medical evaluation and a waiver, but it would be MUCH easier.

After much urging from my husband I called Dial-a Medic and asked about the boy who had the brain surgery. He had an achrinoidal cyst. The MD at MEPS said to send in his surgical reports and post-op reports. He said all that meant was he had a leakage and they went in to remove the cyst, not as dramatic as "I had brain surgery". The MD said it might have been a very simple operation. WHOO HOO!!

I had to call an applicant and tell him that I wouldn't put him in. He had been working with a former recruiter. He had numerous law violations. Could I get the waivers? Probably. But I won't. Let me explain.

I have a girl who ran away from home quit school and was a general teenaged idiot. One day she woke up smelled the coffee and said "I don't want to live like this the rest of my life." So she got her GED, completed her first year of college and ran out of money. She has always wanted to join the Army. Her dad was in the Army. However she was never eligible because she has 4 children. By the time she was 18 and could have joined she had 2 and was single.

I am working with her. Why? Because she shows promise. She isn't wanting to *use* the Military as the sole source to turn her life around. She is taking the steps already, the Army National Guard can help her and I REALLY believe she will be a good soldier.

My felony boy? He committed forgery. Several times. He has a charge for evading and eluding. He has a DUI. He broke probation 3 or 4 times. All over a period of several years. These are the things he is telling me. NOW, he wants to straighten up. He hasn't proved in getting his GED, staying clean and criminal free for years. If I put him in, he will be in the papers as the soldier that did thus and so. No thanks.

I was a pothead when I joined the Navy. I knew I wanted my life to change. It worked because I wanted it to. But it also took me far away from my home and my creepy friends. These people would be coming right back to their stomping grounds. For 28 days a month they would have no military influence. For 2 days a month they would be at drill. That's NOT enough to "turn your life around".

I spoke with the 1st SGT of a local unit. He said "I like the prior service enlistees. They have more discipline and know their job. It is rare we get a new raw recruit that turns out well." Indeed. For someone who wants to do a 180, they need years of military life. I need to go meet the Army recruiter here in town.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

three for three

Well the weekend is over and I am feeling pretty good. I was able to line up three of my Prior Service people for physicals. They all passed and all three raised their right hands! SWEET! They were so excited afterwards and it was contagious, even through the hours of paperwork I had to do to finish up processing them. I worked 13 hours yesterday and 5 hours this afternoon. However it felt really good to finish everything up. My NCOIC is really proud, told me to take two days off this week. I will.

I have another prior service guy that wants to get in. I will work him and find two Non-Prior Service or NPS people to put in. It is REALLY hard finding NPS that are qualified.

I want to get to 200% of mission for Aug-Sept-Oct. I want to take leave in November, December and attend PLDC school in January. I have to have PLDC to make E-6. So I need to put 6 people in a month for three months. Then if I only get 2 in a month for Nov and Dec I am still ok. Also if I kill myself now getting people in, I can hone my skills and get really good at this. So far, these PS people have fallen into my lap. That won't keep on happening. Know what I mean?

Thursday, August 03, 2006


OK. week one of august is almost over. I could just scream. I have had interveiw after interveiw after interveiw. Literally. Today I had four back to back. By the end of the evening I felt like I was a participant in a wacky game show. I was on the team trying to score a point and the applicants were on a team trying to fake me, trick me, manipulate me and score a point if they could slide one by me.

First I need to explain that there is a method to disqualifying prospects. It is called APPLE-MD. It is an acronym for AGE, PRIOR SERVICE, PHYSICAL CONDITIONS, LAW VIOLATIONS, EDUCATION, MARITAL STATUS and DEPENDANTS.

Contestant #1 please step forward:
Clean cut, good looking kid. High school graduate. Been to two years of college, quit when he ran out of money. Wants to serve his country and go to school at the same time. No law violations, no drug use. No dibilitating diseases etc. I was getting excited. This might be my first Non-Prior Service Assension! This might be my first applicant I send to MEPS! I went through the extensive list of things that might disqualify him. No, no, no were his answers! Yes, He might make it through the gaunlet! Then I said "Oh, have you ever been to the emergency room?" His response: Yes... Me: OK, lets talk about that. When did you go to the emergency room? His response: When I had my brain surgery. Next applicant please.

Contestant #2:
Nice looking, short hair, clean, eyes look bright and intelligent, good teeth (GEEZ I sound like a dog show judge!). VERY nice and polite. We sit down to talk. No drug use recently. Has a sprained knee right now. No law violations. I keep probing and picking. I want to make sure he is good on Physical and Law before I get to Education. Lookin good lookin good, almost to the end of the line... dropped out of school in the 9th grade. Can't touch him until he has his GED.

Contestant #3:
OK, young looking guy, 17 years old and a junior in high school. No physical problems, no law violations. Would love to join. His dad is a Viet Nam Vet and doesn't want his children joining the military. Wants me to talk to dad. Never married, no children. WOW. This guy looks golden. OK, great...what High school do you attend?? A High School in a neighboring county. ARRRGGG Boo Hoo.... I can't touch him, it is call poaching. So I call the recruiter and let him know he has a great lead.

Final contestant:
18 years old. Looks ok, a little out of shape. Wants to join to get his GED and serve his country. Law violation, and oh by the way I broke my arm 2 years ago and I have two plates and 11 screws in my arm. sigh. Better and Better.

The good news?? I have 4 prior service people enlisting next week.