Sunday, September 24, 2006

Sad, but true

I have been very busy as promised. I am able to slide in a quick post. This is my first day off in three weeks. Don't feel sorry for me, I am loving it. I really enjoy meeting people and traveling so this job is right up my alley. I know I can't continue working these kinds of hours but I am hoping to have my mission made by December 1st putting me (and my team) well ahead of the pack and able to relax and enjoy my family. I still drive the kids to school and take my daughter to ballet lessons. So I am working hard to keep balance in my life.

I wanted to post because of a kid I met yesterday. He called 1800-go-guard. His lead was sent to my boss who passed it on to me. I called and talked to him briefly. He seemed like a nice polite kid as I asked him questions about his age, etc. I got lost on the way to the appointment and called again. He answered the phone and I told him I was running late but would be there soon.

I arrived at a very poor section of a very poor town. There were Georgia Bulldog banners and flags displayed all around the yard and the mailbox was painted with Georgia Bulldog colors. I had to smile as I realized I was interrupting the game Georgia was playing that afternoon against the Colorado Buffalos. My husband was tivoing the game at home to watch later. I noticed a very young looking kid in the yard with a Bulldogs ball cap on. I got out of the vehicle and introduced myself to him. He was my prospect. He was a quiet person and led me into the modest but clean home.

I started by asking him questions but mom soon began answering for him. She mentioned being concerned that he would be ineligible due to being in special education. I replied that as long as he can pass the ASVAB test it would not be a problem. So I got out my computer and gave him the practice ASVAB test while I chatted with mom and dad.

He took the test with great difficulty. I learned that he had a reading disability. He has the same reading disability my son has. But he had a teacher who took a special interest in him and was helping him. Mr. Canada. The mom went on and on about how much Mr. Canada was helping her son, even changing teaching grades as her son grew up. I did not think this was odd. This has happened to my son. His reading teacher was his reading teacher for 3 grades, 3rd through 5th grade. She is a distant cousin and her son is in Joshua's grade, so it was natural for her to follow her son through elementary school. But I got a funny feeling about Mr. Canada.

I began to feel like I was being too suspicious as the mother went on and on about how much he was helping her son. He was getting all A's and B's and doing so well. He was a junior in high school and would graduate next year.My prospect finished the test. He scored a 2. Heavy sigh.I pointed to his math score and said "Well you did pretty good in Math, but we need to bring up that reading score" and closed my laptop.

I told him he needed to study, read and take some practice ASVAB's through his library. I encouraged his parents that when he brought up his score I would be happy to work with him. I feel like paying Mr. Canada a visit.

I am waaaay ahead of my "mission". I am getting a lot of attaboys, medals, trips, etc. I don't look at these kids as a number. THEY are my MISSION. So I don't "need" to enlist this kid. I would have LOVED to have seen a 35 and helped him be a diesel mechanic which is his life's desire. Damn. I would have loved to put him in an Armory close to home, given him a marketable skill and seen him soar....he may just yet.

Most of the prospects I meet are bored children with NO clue about life or what is going to hit them when they leave home. They are looking for "something", they want to make a difference in their world, they want to make something of themselves and I am sorry if it offends some but I BELIEVE in the Military. I believe that a disciplined life is the high road, I believe a life lived in the pursuit of making a difference and helping others IS a higher calling. Some are able to discipline themselves. Some need Boot Camp to kick start them, Hooah.

I am praying this kid can work hard and try and make at least a 16 or 17 on the ASVAB, then I will wait until the Army says they are open for category 5 enlistments and squeeze him in.


Blogger JimNtexas said...

I'm sorry you're having to slow down or stop posting, just when I found you.

My kid is in his fourth week of basic, and I've found recruiter blogs to be very helpful to me and his mom in understanding what's going on with him and the service.

Speaking of service, thanks for yours.

Sunday, September 24, 2006 5:27:00 PM  
Blogger SGT Lori said...

Thanks Jim. I guess I am addicted to blogging, because I can't seem to stay away!!!

Sunday, September 24, 2006 6:21:00 PM  

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