RYAN had talked non-stop over dinner about the military
recruiters in his high school -- and the cool free stuff like t-shirts and
video games! They said he could be a helicopter pilot and get a job
anywhere. His little brother said helicopters were cool. His sister
said a friend's boyfriend died in Afghanistan. She was dumb"the
recruiters said he wouldn't even have to go to combat!
His folks said not to sign anything the night he and his friend went
with the recruiter to visit a military base. But they'd stayed in a
hotel and never got to the base - the recruiter said the CO had called
to say it wasn't a good time to visit.
Then the recruiter talked all friggin' night about how cool the
military was, how much they'd learn, how much people would respect
them, what a great opportunity it was to get money for college. They'd
signed after he offered a $10,000.00 bonus!
His folks had been furious and asked the recruiter to tear up his
papers. But the recruiter said it was all legal and binding and even a
lawyer and a lot of money couldn't break the contract.
So Ryan went to basic training where he learned he couldn't train as a
helicopter pilot as his test scores were too low. Now he's an
Basic was pretty weird -- kinda like high school with buzz cuts and
uniforms. There was funny sh*t too: a recruiter had promised a
vegetarian guy that of course the military served vegetarian food. So
at Basic he couldn't eat anything! He just cried and cried; finally,
when he couldn't take it anymore -- everybody laughing at him and
dragging him out of bed for another midnight blanket party -- he slit
his wrists at morning chow.
They stuck him in the brig for damaging military property -- that is, he was the property!
Two weeks after Ryan arrived at his permanent duty station his unit got
order to deploy to Iraq. When he told them his recruiter had promised
he wouldn't be in combat they'd just laughed and called him a "p*ssy."
Now Ryan can't reach his recruiter on the phone.