For mom Marcia Cobb and her teenage son Axel, the white letters USMC on their caller ID soon spelled, "Don't answer the phone!"
Marine recruiters began a relentless barrage of calls to Axel as soon as the mellow, compliant Sedro-Woolley High School grad had cut his 17th birthday cake. And soon it was nearly impossible to get the seekers of a few good men off the line.
With early and late calls ringing in their ears, Marcia tried using call blocking. And that's when she learned her first hard lesson. You can't block calls from the government, her server said. So, after pleas to "Please stop calling" went unanswered, the family's "do not answer" order ensued.
But warnings and liquid crystal lettering can fade. So, two weeks ago when Marcia was cooking dinner Axel goofed and answered the call. And, faster than you can say "semper fi," an odyssey kicked into action that illustrates just how desperate some of the recruiters we've read about really are to fill severely sagging quotas.
Next thing Axel knew, the same sergeant and another recruiter showed up at the LaConner Brewing Co., the restaurant where Axel works. And before Axel, an older cousin and other co-workers knew or understood what was happening, Axel was whisked away in a car.
"They said we were going somewhere but I didn't know we were going all the way to Seattle," Axel said.
Just a few tests. And so many free opportunities, the recruiters told him.
He could pursue his love of chemistry. He could serve anywhere he chose and leave any time he wanted on an "apathy discharge" if he didn't like it. And he wouldn't have to go to Iraq if he didn't want to.
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."
"Apathy discharge." Riiight.
Sleep deprivation as a recruiting tactic. Riiiight.
Kidnapping. KIDNAPPING! How the hell is KIDNAPPING a juvenile supposed to create someone with pride in the Corps?
Jesus H. CHRIST on a FUCKING POGO STICK, what the FUCK are those SHITHEADS trying to pull?
As I said, I do not for a moment want this tale to be anywheres near the truth. Because, if true, this is a disaster in the making. And I'm too furious right now to think straight about it.
Full text of the original story at http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/paynter/227497_paynter08.html