No announcement yet.

Listen to the recruiter

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Listen to the recruiter

    Started to put this in the Joke section. Thought it would fit here better.

    No not a sea story from me. I'm not that old.

    But it does reinforce to those wanting to enlist to pay attention to what the man says.

    Back in 1942 as World War Two was heating up and the draft was in full force, I was going to turn 18 three days after I graduated High School. Since we were poor dirt farmers and I was the first in my family to actually graduate from public schools, we didn’t have enough funds to enroll me in college.

    Athletic scholarships were unheard of, and besides, my main strength ability was tossing hogs and driving a plow from behind a two mule team.

    So a decision was made with a lot of teeth grinding and agonizing over what to do. I finally made up my mind that I would enlist into the military instead of working aimless jobs during the summer waiting for my draft notice. On my 18th birthday, my dad and I rode into town with Mr. Vancroft who lived down the road a way, but he had a model “A” that he managed to have fuel for all the time.

    Back then, the military service recruiters set up part time booths at the local town hall, they would do a round robin circuit ride of a region they were assigned to and often were tasked to drive out to a residence to serve a draft notice. A lot of times they were met with a shotgun or some other form of hostile confrontation from well meaning family members. Often the local constabulary or Sheriff would ride shot gun so to speak to maintain the law and order.

    Since our family attended the same church as the Sheriff and two of his deputies, we also knew that avoiding a draft notice was not in our best interests within the community.

    The military regional liaison knew that my high school was graduating 14 of the finest young boys in the area and had no issue if a 16 or 17 year old pup wandered in with no proof of birth. It was a quota game back then much like it is now, only thing is, now a day, you have to have every type of identification possible and then some. But, all the services were there, Army, Navy and Marines. The Air Force hadn’t been born yet, so no easy out with them.

    So we arrived at the town hall building which was a quant squat building that had three small offices in a hall way that lead into the main setting area. These offices were in a row and were about 14 by 10 feet and had a desk and three chairs with a lamp hanging from the ceiling, a door and that was about it.

    As we walked in, I still had not made up my mind as to which service I was going to volunteer for. Navy, life at sea, sailing from port to port visiting exotic places and wearing that damned fine cracker-jack outfit that all the school girls raved about. Army, rough tough and in the thick of the fighting, they actually jumped out of planes with a parachute on their backs and lived to tell about it. The Marines, didn’t know to much about that outfit, had some smart looking dress uniforms, but today, the representative for the Marines was wearing a uniform similar to the Army representative, all khaki, shirt, tie and trousers. But the Marine had a gold tie clasp with a funny emblem on it.

    I had heard that the Marines were the toughest of the tough. They did a lot of fighting and had to live in the bottom of the ships. They were a part of the Navy and every time I heard something about Marines, it was some sort of trouble. Bad food and a lot of hard ship all piled into one organization. Who would want to be a volunteer for that?

    I went into the Navy guys office first which was the nearest to the main hall, my dad and I were welcomed and we sat down to see what we could find out. We were told of grand trips on the finest war fighting ships ever built and exotic ports of visit. Places a hayseed like me would marvel at.

    We sat there and nodded and my dad nudged me to say, we’ll think about it. I could see the Navy guy, a Chief I later found out, was getting antsy, but just then Mr. MacDonald with his two boys walked in. I was pretty much of the mind set that the MacDonald boys were destined to be in jail or dead sooner then later. Always in trouble and only 13 months apart in birth, they were the true Katzenheim kids.

    When they were younger, I think Mr. MacDonald whipped them at least twice a day for things that were perpetrated by them. When they got older, they got bigger, almost as big as me and Mr. MacDonald was ready to get rid of them as fast as he could.
    The Navy accepted them with open arms that day.

    Next I went into the Army Representatives office. He told me of adventure, training to do things and all of that with out ever picking up a rifle or being in combat. The support and logistical branches of the Army needed young men to fill the ranks to support the fighting man. I wanted to fight, so he adjusted his sell, you can be a parachutist, be a Ranger, fly in the Army Air Corps and be a gunner or maybe become a Pilot of an ace fighter swooping down out of the clouds. I almost got so excited at his description, I almost hyperventilated.

    My dad nudged me, knowing good an well that at 6 foot 1, my chances of flying a fighter plane were pretty low, plus, I’d never seen an airplane in real life, let alone jump out of one. I can remember being up in the loft in our barn and slipped and fell the 14 feet. Scared the life out of me and I really didn’t like heights that much anymore.

    I asked him how much the pay was, he stated $50 a month and an extra $10 for jump duty if I qualified. The Navy guy stated that it was also $50 with an added $10 for submarine duty. So if I joined either the Army or Navy and qualified for a special program, I could rake in $60 a month. Our whole family lived off of $70 a month as it was. I could live like a King and send the rest of the money home to help my Dad and Mom.

    I had to go outside and get my head clear and Dad followed right behind me. He was saying that the money wasn’t that important and that he just wanted me to be safe and taken care of. I wanted to make sure Dad and Mom had money to pay for the other kids and to have money for themselves. I stated, dad, it is about the money and I can make $60 a month.

    Just as I was walking out, I looked at the Marine Representative who was leaning up against the door jamb with arms crossed. He had heard the whole conversation between my dad and me. I looked at him and was taken aback a bit as he had a long scar that ran from his left ear across his cheek to his upper lip. At that same moment he said the only words I heard “Seventy-Five”…wait, the other services paid $50 up front and an extra $10 for some sort of hazardous or hardship thing that I had to qualify for. And here was the Marine Corps with $75 right up front, that was $15 more then if I had to Qualify and $25 if I didn’t.

    This was a no brainer, I forgot about the Navy and Army; I signed up and was sworn in shortly there after by the local magistrate. I went home grabbed my clean underwear said my good byes and rode the train to Parris Island South Carolina for 15 hours. Seems funny now, 24 years later I retired a Master Sergeant.

    The Marine Representative was a Gunnery Sergeant or what the Marines called a “Gunny”. Sorry son of a b1tch didn’t say “Seventy–Five” meaning $75 in my pocket, he said “Semper Fi”.

    Damned Gunnys.

  • #2
    Good to wake up with a grin and a chuckle
    Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

    Abusing Yellow is meant to be a labor of love, not something you sell to the highest bidder.


    • #3
      See the kind of stuff you jarheads pull on people!!?