Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Best and the Brightest

I run across some great kids in my job. I know I write quite a bit about the ones that break my heart but there are many others who are America's best and brightest.

The first one that comes to mind is a girl who is currently in JROTC at a very poor school in a very poor county. Her parents are divorced and have joint custody. So she shuffles between two homes all the time. She doesn't let her circumstances get the best of her. She has worked hard in high school and has a 3.8 grade point average. She has only taken the practice SAT but scored over 1300 on it!! She is determined to serve her country. She approached me to ask about the National Guard and a college in the state (North Georgia Military College) and how she could get the $80K scholarship.

In the following weeks as I began to work with her I realized she had a burning desire to fly and be in the Air Force but thought she was disqualified due to poor eyesight. Yesterday I was attending a local college fair for high schoolers and met an Air Force Officer who just so happens to be the liason for the Air Force Academy!! I picked his brain and asked if this girl could possibly attend the academy or be a pilot. He said she still had a shot and sounded competitive. I got his card and called her father. He was overjoyed. I said "Now if she *is* disqualified from the Air Force I would LOVE to have her!! SO please keep my number!" We both chuckled. A few minutes later I got a call from her thrilled mother. I think they both could not believe I would do that. My husband couldn't either.

I would NOT sleep at night knowing I put this girl in the National Guard when her heart was set on the Air Force. More than that... if she *is* disqualified from the AF, fine.. but at least she KNOWS FOR SURE! And I will feel better knowing I did all I could to help her.

I met another kid recently. He is a tall good looking average American teen. He came up to our table at the college fair and said he had always wanted to be a soldier. He said "I have just always felt this way. I want to serve my country. I want to join the Army, but you can take me now right?" Yep. "My parents are all for it. My dad thinks it is wonderful..." What about mom? "Well, she knows it is what I want to do and the best thing for me, but you know...she worries...." Yeah, I know. "But she is behind me 100%". He has good grades, has never been in trouble, comes from a good family. He is a very impressive kid.

Then there is my "spook". When I was in the Navy we called the people who worked in Crypto "Spooks". They were usually extremely intelligent people who spent their spare time coding and decoding things. Then they went to work and coded and decoded intelligence. One guy I knew could break into any cypherlock!! He said "it's easy!" and would procede to practice on every cypherlock he saw.

Well, I met a future spook one day. He has a very slight frame and thick glasses. He sits quietly and just observes. He has been trying to get into the service for years but has a heart condition. The guy is crazy smart. You know, like Albert Einstein, gets lost in his own backyard but decyphers the secrets of the universe. This kid scored a 96 on the ASVAB. Seriously. What does he want to do for the National Guard??? Spook. His second and thrid choices are MI (Military Intelligence) and Psychological operations. He thinks it would be "cool".

So he is currently chasing down his medical records and I will send it down for a medical review at MEPS. I meet a variety of people who are smart, bright, motivated and dedicated to serving their country. They rarely ask about the bonus or what's in it for them. They want to know how they can serve and where. It is inspiring.


Blogger El Guardia Rural said...

We need more recuiters like you.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006 12:07:00 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

This AF Mom thanks you for what you did! You are a true hero M'Lady!

Thursday, October 05, 2006 3:05:00 PM  
Blogger Chuck aka Tully Mars said...

Thanks Lori for being an honest recruiter. Our AF Core Values start w/ Integrity and you surely have it. If you ever decide you don't like the color green we'll welcome you to "Cross into the Blue".

I think it's great if a girl from a poor school in a poor county can get a shot at the academy! I knew a guy in high school who turned down his appointment to the AF Academy!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006 7:22:00 PM  

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