GI Joe is the type of recruiter who shoots straight with his potential recruits. There's none of this "you'll never go to war" or "you can become a 5 star general before the age of 22 if you sign up" stuff that sometimes lesser recruiters feed impressionable recruits. Nope, he keeps it real and does his job with utmost integrity. Because of how he does his job, he builds a relationship with every single one of his recruits and oft times their parents, spouses, etc. A relationship that lasts throughout boot camp and beyond. That can be a good thing and a bad thing. Good, when they are calling to tell him thank you or that are so happy with their choice that they convinced their friend to join. Bad, when they think he can solve all of their problems for them or that he' s their psychiatrist. I really wish he'd hand me the phone sometimes when those types call.
Remember, how I wrote about the annoying recruit who ruined my date to the Kenny Chesney concert? You can refresh your memory here: http://hillbillyhilarity.blogspot.com/2009/05/good-stuff.html. I'm still bitter, by the way.
By an act of God, that kid managed to make it through basic training and advanced individual training. Little background on this kid: he was so gung ho when he signed up, sights set on special forces, basically he was going to be running the whole Army show before his enlistment was up. This is also the same kid who sent GI Joe the text the day he arrived at his boot camp station BEFORE boot camp even began and said he wanted out, couldn't take it. But he made it and has now returned home. Turns out the military really didn't toughen him up much. Check out the series of texts he sent GI Joe out of the blue. This had me rolling on the floor laughing:
Wimpy Kid: I'm pretty sure i'm done with the military
GI Joe: I'm pretty sure you still have a few more years. You don't want to have to pay back your bonus.
WK: idc (kid speak for i don't care)
And that was the end...for that day. Next day:
WK: Help me start getting discharged.
GI Joe: No can do, there's no reason for discharge.
(This is my favorite) WK: AWOL or DON'T ASK DON'T TELL
Commentary by Prairie Princess: Did he really just play the "don't ask don't tell" card? He did, he really did. Strangely enough, part of the reason he wanted to get out of boot camp in the first place was because he was afraid his girlfriend would leave him. Desperate times call for desperate measures I guess. Wouldn't that have made a great story to tell his grandkids someday about how he got out of the military though? :)
GI Joe: You made a commitment now be a man and honor it.
WK: Yeah so.
WK: That's how serious I am.
GI Joe: It's not even April Fools Day! You're making me laugh.
And that's why I love GI Joe.
You may or may not know this but signing the enlistment papers and joining the military is kind of a big deal. One that some stick in the muds, such as the goverment and military officials, take pretty seriously. Who knew you can't just tell your recruiter you decided you want out? Weird.
Bet you feel really confident in the high quality of men and women we have protecting our freedoms huh? Well you should, because for the most part they are loyal, strong, smart individuals like my GI Joe. All except for THAT guy, oh and THIS guy.
Later that week GI Joe got a call from a drill sgt at Camp Whatever in who knows where. Apparently, the drill sgt had one of GI Joe's recruits under his command during basic training. He was calling to tell GI Joe that the young man was being discharged even though boot camp wasn't over. GI Joe was shocked by this, moreso when he found out the reason.
The Drill Sgt said, "He's being discharged because of mild retardation."
GI Joe, "Are you kidding me? There's nothing wrong with him."
Drill Sgt: "This kid is just not all there,man. But we've told him over and over how to fold his socks and he still doesn't get it. "
GI Joe: "I met with him countless times and he's been fine with me. It's gotta be something going on there. I'm telling you that kid is not retarded."
Drill Sgt: "Maybe he had a brain injury or something since you enlisted him, before he got here. Something's not right with him.
GI Joe: "Are you sure he's just not nervous?"
And then there was me listening to all of this, thrown into an uncontrollable fit of giggles.
OK I know retardation is nothing to laugh at, but c'mon that's funny since he's not actually retarded and they are using folding socks properly as their diagnosis tool. And also, I'm no expert but I thought drill sergeants specialized in screaming at new recruits and making them tough, not so much making diagnosing brain injuries and retardation. This kid had successfully passed the entrance test (ASVAB-which many do not pass) and made it through the all of the other processes the military puts them thru upon enlisting and had no problems.
And also, the poor kid! Can you imagine what must be going thru his mind? I hope something's going thru it anyway. I still think it's a severe case of stage fright.Turns out it wasn't any of the above. GI Joe got a call just today letting him know that the kid had been caught LYING. HE HAD BEEN PRETENDING TO BE RETARDED in the hopes they would send him home. Plan failed, when he was caught being not mildly retarded. Now the big question is, will they dishonorably discharge him for pretending to be retarded OR will they make him go thru basic training all over again? Well thought out plan there, son. I'm beginning to think he really is retarded, just maybe not in the clinical sense.
So you can rest easy tonight knowing that our nation is protected by those being all they can be in the Army...even if that means those who are not above pretending to be gay or mildly retarded. Next time you see someone in uniform please be sure to thank them. Thank them for serving our country AND for not being retarded. Let me know how that goes.