Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Thank you....

I drove to Alabama today to do an interveiw. The kid that wants to join is 19, graduated High School last May, working a factory job and wanting "somp'en differnt." So we met at the local Huddle House. The food was awful. I wasn't cooked nearly enough. I sat and sipped my coffee as he took the practice ASVAB on my laptop.

I noticed an older pair of women walking up to the restaurant. They weren't wearing the latest fashions, in fact the were dressed very dowdy. They didn't sport savvy coifed hair. In fact one needed to comb her hair! LOL. They were clearly poor. They walked in, looked around and took a seat in a booth at the far side of the restaurant. My kid asked a question and took my attention off of the old women for a moment.

The friendly waitress warmed my coffee and I continued to sip and contemplate. I looked at the kid in front of me. Poor, barely educated and wanting more. Instinctively he knows the Military can open those doors for him. What promise awaits him! Training, education, experience and intangibles that you can't put a finger on like self confidence, discipline, team work, and challenge. In a short 6 months he will be transformed from a kid into a soldier.

Suddenly I spot one of the poor women approaching me. She stops short of the table not wanting to interrupt. I look at her with a questioning expression that asks "Can I help you?". She blurts out. "Kin I jest say 'Thank you'?" I jump to my feet and grasp her extended hand. I gratefully thank her for the thought. I sit back down but she stands for a second before leaning down and giving me a very firm embrace. She backs away slightly and with tears in her eyes she continued "I jest want you to know thet someone appreciates all you do. All of you. So...Thank you." She turned and hurried away to her booth before I could say much more.

My kid, who had stopped taking the test, sat with a stunned expression on his face. His eyes followed her back to her seat and then back to me. I smiled, he smiled and went back to his test with renewed vigor.

I sat sipping my coffee warmed by more than the hot beverage.


Blogger RTO Trainer said...

Great story. I want to say thank you, too. It's kids like that that we so enjoy receiving from IET.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006 3:36:00 PM  
Blogger Station said...

How come that stuff never happens to me. When I'm with my applicants I usually get told what a @#$%head Bush is or get called a terrorist.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006 6:47:00 PM  
Blogger SFC B said...

don't keep us in suspense. What did he EST?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006 7:17:00 PM  
Blogger Smith said...

Wonderful Story. Keep up the good work! :-)

ps: I found you via Jack Army.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006 9:09:00 PM  
Blogger SGT Lori said...

SFC B, I am taking him to MEPS next week. He scored a 40. Station Commando... all I can say is...maybe because I am Female?? I had it happen again tonight while I was eating supper with SGT F2 my partner. My boss calls me F1 and him F2 and combined F-squared. We both have last names that start with an F. But I digress. SGT F2 was sitting with me and a lasy came up grabbed my hand and said thank you about three or four times. She glanced at F2 and said thank you but never took his hand.

RTO, I hope you meant that in a good way.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006 9:10:00 PM  
Blogger SGT Lori said...

Smith, thank you

Wednesday, December 06, 2006 9:11:00 PM  
Blogger SGT Lori said...

a LADY not a lasy. sheesh.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006 9:12:00 PM  
Blogger SgtHook said...

That's one helluva a close.

Thursday, December 07, 2006 8:01:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

Good deal.

Saturday, December 09, 2006 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger Edward said...

That's so cool. That is something that would never happen to me in my current civilian job. I suppose it is one of the "intangibles" you speak of. I'm looking forward to being issued my ACUs and looking at myself in the mirror.

I can't tell you how important it was to me when the Army raised the age to 42. It was great to see this article in the Washington Post yesterday, it was my story all the way. 35 on 9/11 and been trying to find a way into the Army ever since. I'm shipping off to Fort Benning (11B) on 09JAN2007 at the age of 40.

Like the woman who approached you in the restaurant, I want to thank you for what you do.

What would be an appropriate show of appreciation for my recruiter )Sgt. Dan Barton, Evanston, IL). I don't want to violate any guidelines, probably just a "thank you" letter from BTC when I graduate?

-Ed, GlobalCop

Tuesday, December 12, 2006 7:13:00 PM  
Blogger Edward said...

Forgot the link to the Washington Post story. Here it is: Army Likes Its Older Recruits

Tuesday, December 12, 2006 7:16:00 PM  
Blogger SGT Lori said...

Edward, it would not be inappropriate to drop him a line, send a bottle of wine or tickets to his favorite team's game. LOL!! Seriously though, you can do whatever you want. He would love a copy of your swearing in pic and a letter from basic.

Congratulations. Are you going Airborne Infantry?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006 9:57:00 PM  

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