Thursday, June 09, 2005

Moms Just Don't Understand What "Volunteer" Means

We've written before about the fact that we did not serve our country in the armed forces. And the country is better off for it. We were, however, once interviewed by an Air Force recruiter. He was an affable fellow, rather straight backed and closely cropped, and apparently pretty intelligent too, because he realized pretty quickly that we were not military material. We wonder what would have happened if we had run across this guy.

The recruiting sergeant and an assistant showed up at the the restaurant where 18 year old Axel Cobb worked, and before Axel, an older cousin and other co-workers knew or understood what was happening, Axel was whisked away in a car.

When asked if kidnapping was standard military recruiting procedure, Brigadier General Walter E. Gaskin, Commander of recruiting operations said, "It depends. This recruit was under age, so alcohol was not an option."

"They said we were going somewhere but I didn't know we were going all the way to Seattle," Axel said. At about 3:30 in the morning, Alex was awakened in the motel and fed a little something. Twelve hours later, without further sleep or food, he had taken a battery of tests and signed a lot of papers he hadn't gotten a chance to read. "Just formalities," he was told. "Sign here. And here. Nothing to worry about."

When asked to explain what those "formalities" might be, Axel was told that since he was a citizen of the United States he had certain rights which must be set aside before he could serve his president.

But Axel's mom was on the case. Why do moms hate America? She went to the Burlington recruiting center where the door was open but no one was in. So she grabbed all the cards and numbers she could find, including the address of the Seattle-area testing center. Then, with her daughter, she headed south, phoning Axel, whose cell phone had been confiscated "so he wouldn't be distracted during tests."

"That is standard procedure," said General Gaskin. "We find that if we allow recruits to talk to their loved ones, it's very difficult to convince them that dying is a good thing."

Axel's mom eventually tracked him down in Seattle, but after being told her son would be returned, her daughter spied him being taken down a separate hall and into another room. So mom ran down the hall and grabbed him.

"We believe that possession is nine tenths of the law," General Gaskin explained, "So by rights that kid was ours and we're considering asking the police to open a criminal investigation as to how she got him out of that Center."

Turns out Axel's mom was way ahead of the Marines though. She got a lawyer and after the attorney called the recruiters, Axel's signed papers and his confiscated cell phone were "in the mail." End of story.

Well, maybe. Hey Axel. Don't go anywhere by yourself for a while. At least until the war's over.

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