Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Storm Grill Army

Keen-eyed readers of this deep thinking mind blog will know that my eldest son, popularly known as "the Cadet", made the smart decision to join the US Army instead of a Scandinavian death metal band, in Canada. 

Don't get me wrong, both are good, but the Army probably makes more sense. So what's the score?

Typical Climate Change

Longish story short. The Cadet bravely ventured forth to a Dallas recruiter, got his packet made up, took a language aptitude test (D-Lab) at the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) downtown and... the Army discovered he had to complete some extra paperwork before he could do his physical. 

Annoying but not a huge deal, so we fell back to the Compound and enjoyed the countryside and its storms. Yes, hail storms and the kind of climate change that says tornado, take cover. We took the opportunity to stand on the porch and watch it come down. Exciting, in an Ahab brave the elements kind of way.

Metrosprawl Compound Grill Scene. Note Mary Shrine

Then, papers complete, headed to the Metrosprawl to grill, celebrate a nineteenth birthday, and launch the kid at MEPS again. I dropped him off at the recruiters' this afternoon and they drove him to his date with destiny, but not before we spent all of yesterday getting his ears cleaned. 

What?!? You say in that shocked tone of voice. Yes, ears cleaned, that's because the quacks at MEPS turn people away if they have too much wax in their ears. 

Have to see all of the ear drum, you see, and if they don't the unfortunately waxy child has to leave MEPS, see an an Army sanctioned ear shaman for a 5 minute ear scrape that could've been done at MEPS, and then return to MEPS, mission complete.

Does that reek to you of low-level, bit part skulduggery? It does to me, and imagine how much money someone's raking in from all those ear wax referrals. It'd soon mount up to a nifty shamanic faux mansion somewhere in Plano.

Regardless, the boy's now in the caring hands of Uncle Sam and, all things equal, should pass his physical tomorrow. If so, in a couple of weeks off to Basic, and I respect that. 

Good call, kid, and his plan's simple if not easy. Go Signals, get a degree, get a commission, get a sword, and then set up on some compound, grill, and play Scandinavian death metal.

Good luck with all of that, Cadet, and with MEPS tomorrow. Stay tuned. 

Oh what a carry on!



LL said...

You have to be able to hear the bullets whiz past your head...

However, today, I’d rather be having BBQ at the compound, at the DLC officers mess.

LSP said...

I second that opinion, LL. As does Blue Burger Thief, though he finds the sound of gunfire exciting.

Adrienne said...


Theodore said...

Best of luck to the Cadet with Uncle Sam.

Bonus points there LSP for the Steven'n'Seagulls - that version is one of my favs.

Anonymous said...

"Gloucesters, Gloucesters by the fire..."

LSP said...

It is, Adrienne, but I'll be happy when he ships out!

LSP said...

Thanks, TC. And good luck with the new gun -- I have an eye on a used Silver Pigeon but it has to wait 'til the boy's launched and a new rig...

Fredd said...

Been dere, done dat. I enlisted in the army as a 19-year old know-nothing, passed the MEPS and they sent me to Monterey CA to attend the Defense Language Institute (DLI) to learn Hungarian. I originally wanted to enroll in the German language program since I had several years of high school and junior college German under my belt, but the recruiter told me that since the German program had no immediate slots, I could sign up for Hungarian, and then once I got to basic training I could change it to German.

After 47 weeks of Hungarian study (my recruiter lied to me, who knew?) they sent me off to San Angelo TX (Goodfellow AFB) to become an electronic signals intelligence analyst.

Then off to Augsburg West Germany, where I was stationed in a window-less building working 6 days on, two days off (trick work). I mostly lived for the beer fests and traveling Europe using my 30-days a year of leave annually.

Tell Cadet to stay in college, get his degree and then a commission. Life as an enlisted slug is not the way to go. Officers have it much better, just ask LL.

LSP said...

What a great old poem, Anon!

"Schmoolie flare lands to the left
On the right there's movement slight.
Gloucesters, Gloucesters win the firefight!"

Alas, that fabled unit is no more.

Brig said...

Always felt this was much harder on us parents and grandparents than on the young whippersnappers. Prayers up for the Cadet, and for you, Padre. The range is HOT!

LSP said...

Good advice, Fredd, but the young 'un wants to take the "degree on base" route followed by OCS. All things considered, this is probably the best path for him but yes, College/ROTC/Commission would've been the normal way forward.

Let's see how it goes, good luck, kid.

LSP said...

Thanks, Brig!

I was taken aback by the physical thing. Back in the mists of time, I remember a 30 minute visit with some medico in Cheltenham who tapped me on the knee with a rubber mallet, listened to my chest through his contraption and sent me on my way. Off you go, young man, and best of British.

It's harder now in the UK and seems pretty thorough here too, which is probably for the good, ear wax skulduggery notwithstanding.

Fredd said...

Oh, man. I suppose it wouldn't kill him to see how the other side lives while he slums it as an enlisted maggot. It would be much less trauma on him if he just listens to someone who's been there (me) and just take my word for it and go directly to school then receive the commission and bypass all of this enlisted misery.

But that's not what 19-year old kids do, listen to those who have been there and done that. I know this, too, I was 19 once.

LSP said...

Fredd, I know. I put it to him that college/rotc might be a better avenue but "dad, I have to do this my way." In fairness to him, high school was... difficult.

And I was 19 too, remarkably, which meant blowing off Sandhust (real smart, LSP), a guaranteed place in the Royal Green Jackets (massively double smart, LSP), and studying theology (which turned out to be smart, curiously). Went back to the army as a not very successful private potential officer, but that's another story again.