Tuesday
May112004

« Playing With Army Men »

I recently got this email from an Army recruiter here in town. I decided I would have a little fun with it.
NOW HIRING!!! The U.S. Army is hiring qualified men and women to fill key positions now...

Thanks, I have other things to do than get killed in a senseless imperialistic war I did not vote for, but will run up a bill so high in monetary and ethical terms that my grandchildren won't be able to pay it off.

We will prepare you to better meet life's educational challenges, pay you a competitive wage and train you in a skill of your choice.

Right now I am a budding web designer and polemicist. You got any positions I could fill, with that skill set?

Look at just a few of the benefits you will enjoy:
MONEY:
The Army offers a $20,000 bonus, if you qualify and enlist in a selected job. Not only is military pay competitive with civilian pay scales, but factor in all of these benefits:

I like money. But what civilian pay are you competing with? I know Wal-Mart loves to say they are some great American company, but the evidence suggests they would rather exploit people from foreign countries, as well as people here at home. You may be offering a competitive package, but I've known more Wal-Mart dropouts to go into the service than do MBAs, designers, sysadmins, and others. Oh, I did hear about the football player who quit pro football to join and fight. A very, very noble act, and very commendable. But he was killed. I hope his family values the "freedom" now available to Iraqis for his supreme sacrifice. I think they should get free gasoline for life from the government-slash-oil companies (it's harder and harder to tell the difference between them these days). But I hope they will think to park their cars and campaign against the excessive use of oil that gets our finest and most patriotic young men killed. If you were asked to die so that someone could drive in wasteful and arrogant ways, would you?

The Army as a competitor to Wal-Mart? I dunno. It may be the case, but it's not what I am looking for, and is too narrow a choice for me. Exploitation at home or the opportunity to be shot at in foreign countries? Are those my only options?

FREE! FREE! FREE! FREE! FREE! FREE! FREE! FREE!

Free is always a good thing. Usually.

  • 1. Housing and Food allowances
  • 2. Medical and Dental coverage
  • 3. Legal assistance and tax-free shopping
  • 4. And, you'll see a job in the Army has more to offer than most.
  • This sounds great. I hear being in the army has "occupational hazards." What happens if I lose a limb? It will be hell for me as a drummer and guitar player. Mortar shells are hell for musicians' ears.

    EDUCATION
    The Army is dedicated to helping you continue your education! While serving your country, you'll earn college credits from the Army training you receive and the Army will pay 100% TUITION for classes you take while on active duty. The Montgomery G.I. Bill plus the Army College Fund provides up to $50,000 for higher educational needs. Ask about Electronic Army University Online.

    Man, I am sooooo into all this.

    GUARANTEED TRAINING OF CHOICE
    From OVER 212 JOB SPECIALTIES, you choose which one is right for you and we will GUARANTEE IT IN WRITING before you join. The Army will train you and give you practical experience and skills, which will help build moral and boost confidence. During your time in service, you will learn Technical Expertise, Teamwork, Discipline, Responsibility, Self-confidence, and other skills that directly relate to civilian employment.

    I guess my buddy didn't get anything in writing before he went in, because he was fueling trucks in Arkansas or something. Then he went AWOL. At the time we called him a fool for bailing on the best job he ever got. He was a fuckup though. Nice dude, but a fuckup.

    Here's Your Chance To Become An 'ARMY OF ONE'

    I already am. I just don't have to go to war.

    If our President and your Commander-in-Chief was working for me, representing me, I might be inclined to even think about doing this noble service. But as such, the man would gladly put you and your fellow soldiers in harm's way, while not really daring to put himself in the same position (nor would he allow his son anywhere near the same, if he had one). All this for the joy of enabling all of us fat, arrogant Americans to drive to the malls in gas guzzling cars, calling it "freedom" and "the American Way."

    Another word about our fearless leader. So he's pro-life, eh? How did a pro-lifer ever get in charge of an organization that has sent over 700 young men and women to their deaths? Something just rubs me funny that way.

    Hey, my grandfather was on the Yorktown in Midway when it went down. I am not just some peacenik with a bad attitude. My grandfather's war had a legit and noble reason for being fought. This war...doesn't. This war is being fought by the "army of one" of which you speak. Mr. George W. Bush is that army of one. I know for sure, if I carried on as an "army of one" while a part of your institution, I would be cleaning latrines with a toothbrush and washcloth. But, on another scale, our "army of one" president can do as he pleases without scruples. And what's worse than that? Idiots actually think he is doing a good job as prez. Oh, the propaganda. I think even my Republican grandfather would be upset. Good thing he didn’t live to see all this go down.

    Read about the M1 Abrahms tank

    I read here that an M1 Abrahms tank costs $1,700,000. In my line of work, serving meals to seniors in Clairemont and University City, we charge $4.50 a meal on donation basis. Some can't pay. And sometimes our organization, funded in part by the county, can't afford to keep a full range of services. For the cost of one M1, my service could deliver 377,777 meals. That would mean 30 clients of mine could eat 12,592 meals each. That would feed my seniors one balanced meal a day for 34 years, or two balanced meals a day for 17 years. One can only imagine how far we could stretch the 160 billion dollars this war is costing us.

    Most of my people will be dead before then. Some will be dead in a few months, and one might be dead any day now. Think how far that mil-point-seven can go. I'm very sorry Sergeant, but I have to beg you allow me to disqualify myself from your otherwise lucrative position. I just don't think I would be a good fit.

    —The Artist Presently Known As Ed

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