28 October, 2006

Shirt Destruction & Greatest Interview Ever

Shirt Destruction

You're going to wonder what the following story has to do with a shirt. It does but you have to bear with me. I was going to write about this a while ago but forgot about it until some moonbat posted about this guy today:

Darrell Anderson deserted the Army a while ago after his first 7 month tour in Iraq. He finally surrendered himself earlier this month. From Military.com:

RADCLIFF, Ky. - An Army Soldier who fled to Canada rather than redeploy to Iraq surrendered Tuesday to military officials after asking for leniency.

Spc. Darrell Anderson, 24, said he deserted the Army last year because he could no longer fight in what he believes is an illegal war.

"I feel that by resisting I made up for the things I did in Iraq," Anderson said during a press briefing shortly before he turned himself in at nearby Fort Knox. "I feel I made up for the sins I committed in this war."

Anderson, of Lexington, returned to the United States from Canada on Saturday. He could face a charge of desertion.

Attorney Jim Fennerty of Chicago said Anderson will be interviewed by military investigators, given a uniform and assigned to a barracks while his case is processed. In three to five days, he will be given a discharge of other than honorable. At that point, he should be free from his military commitment and face no other charges, Fennerty said.

Did the lawyer just say "discharge of other than honorable"? That's just great. I'm sure every veteran will be rolling in their grave after this happens. What ever happened to Duty, Honor, Loyalty, and Integrity? I believe that in WWII he would have been shot for this wouldn't he?

"He's not a criminal," Fennerty said.

Sorry Jim, under UCMJ he IS a criminal - it's the law, you're a lawyer, you should know that.

As Anderson left the news conference, World War II veteran Les Powers confronted, and shouted: "They should have shot you."

God bless Les Powers! Les, if you ever happen to read this - thank YOU for your honorable service and the sacrifice you and the Greatest Generation made for us all.

Powers said Anderson abandoned his military commitment and should face a court martial, not receive a deal that lets him out of the Army.

"He's a deserter. He's a coward," Powers said after Anderson was gone. "He should be given a dishonorable discharge."....

I couldn't agree more with Les on this one.

.... Anderson's mother, Anita Dennis, said the military failed in its responsibility to take care of her son after he returned from war. "They treated his physical wounds, but they left his emotional wounds untreated," Dennis said through tears.

I'm sorry ma'am, but I have to ask if he even went to an Army psychiatrist? How about the VA?

Anderson said he suffered from nightmares and was unable to get the treatment he needed by the time he was ordered to redeploy. He said he was able to get some treatment for emotional distress while in Canada.

So he apparently waited until he was in Canada to take care of that. Was it on his "to-do" list prior to his second deployment that he just never got to before deserting?

Anderson's Canadian wife, Gail Greer, said she supports her husband's decision.

"I'm really anxious and nervous, but he's definitely doing the right thing," Greer said. "I just hope people listen to what he has to say."

Did that really just say "Anderson's Canadian wife"? Yep it did. Is there a difference between a "Canadian Wife" and an "American Wife"? Does he have an American wife who left him for being a pussy but they never got divorced so now he's got 2 wives? If they're married, why didn't she take his name? Is the name Anderson too "American" for her? Just a few questions I have - I'm calling "Shenanigans" on the whole wife thing.

Anyway, that's the story that has to do with a shirt. I saw the picture of Anderson wearing that shirt and realized that I have that VERY SAME SHIRT!!! As a matter of fact, my big sister picked it out for me!

No here's where the story gets really weird....

About 3 days before this story broke in the news I brought that shirt along with a pair of ACUs and other clothes to the laundry mat. I might as well admit that I don't do my own laundry - the laundry mat does it for me and I wouldn't have it any other way. So they did my load of laundry and I apparently forgot to take a pen out of the pocket of my ACUs - I mean seriously, after 7 years of putting a pen on my chest by the top BDU button, how can I be expected to check my friggin sleeve? Anyway it exploded in the wash. There were only 2 things that got ink on them - a few, hardly noticeable, spots on my ACU pants AND that shirt got it ALL OVER! On a side note, I don't understand how the ACU top didn't get any ink on it but it didn't.

I think there are some cosmic forces at play here. How weird is it that that shirt - one of my favorite up to that point - got totally ruined 3 days before a deserter is photographed wearing it and the photo is spread all over the world?!

Somebody was telling me I shouldn't wear this shirt..... so I burned it in the parking lot of the Armory! I felt it needed to be burned in order to cleanse myself of the evil leftist forces it contained. Damn that felt good.

Greatest Interview Ever

Today I honestly had the greatest interview ever. Let me tell you how I came to this interview:

I did a post-prom party at one of my high schools last year and this kid filled out a survey requesting more information. I tried to contact him but he didn't leave a phone number! I looked in every school list I had but I couldn't find him. He or anyone with his last name wasn't in the phone book and my usual places on the internet to find people didn't list him either. I had all given up on this kid until a local Guardsmember called me up and wanted to enlist this same kid through the Guard Recruiting Assistance Program, GRAP for short. I asked if he pre-qualled him and he said yes and he had taken the ASVAB through the school last year but didn't know his score - low and behold he scored a 53 - excellent! He ended up calling me and scheduling the interview on Friday at 1800.

Now on to the interview:

I had to drive about 40 minutes to this kid's house which was very surprisingly easy to find given he was out in the sticks. For once the maps on Google Maps were accurate for my area!

I get there and the kid's dad is doing some yard work and greets me and SGT D who is GRAPing him (I make all my RAs go to the interviews with me) with a hearty hand shake and a big smile. He invites us in out of the cold and offers us coffee. He tells us that his kid called and said that he was running late and asked if we could wait for him - of course we could.

We BSed with Mom and Dad for a while waiting for him to get there. Mom and Dad were really great people. Stark republican from what I could tell and very pro-military - I liked them already. I found out their other son is in the Navy but they were curious what the National Guard had to offer because they didn't know much about it.

The kid finally gets there (only 15 min late, can't complain about that too much) and I BS with him for a little bit. Eventually I start my presentation and all 3 of them listen to my every word with great interest. All 3 of them would wait till I asked if they had any questions and ask very good questions dealing with what I just talked about instead of going off subject. At the end I asked if they had any more questions that we didn't cover and they had a few - again all very good questions. These people had obviously done their research!

I asked them what they though and the kid says "Man, that sounds good!" and his dad chips in, "Man, that does sound good. If I were young enough I'd do it! What is the maximum age anyway?"

"42 years old. You just have to ship to basic training before your 43rd birthday."

"Wow" he replies, "I turn 42 tomorrow!"

I wish you could have seen me smile on the inside.

"There ya go! You're eligible too!"

"I might have to seriously think about this here... "

"But Dad, you'll have to cut your hair!" says the kid. We all laughed at that one.

Then the Dad, says something amazing, "It's only one small sacrifice for my country..."

Then there was a long silence where everyone pondered what he just said. I won't call it an "odd" silence, just a silence of pondering.

"So you said your brother is in Iraq. Tell me about that." the mom said.

And for the next hour and a half we just chatted about my brother in Iraq, SGT D's experience in Afghanistan, and the Global War on Terror in general.

It was by far the greatest conversation I've had with a group of people in the last 2 months. What was really interesting is that they told me they can't stand to watch the news any more. They explained that all they hear about as far as war coverage is all negative and they know that it's not the truth about what's going on over there. They spent a lot of that hour and a half picking my brain about what's going on with our troops and giving me their opinion - one of which was only of support for the troops and support of their mission. Like I said, a great conversation. I really like this kid and his folks. They're just your typical American family trying their best to live the American Dream.

Eventually SGT D went out for a smoke with mom and I realized it was time we get going as it was almost 2100. As I was leaving the kid and his dad walked me to the door and gave a heartfelt thanks for our time. I thanked them in return. They told us to call back on Sunday to see if he's ready to join or not, they just wanted a day or 2 to think about it. Right before I walked out the door the dad said he was serious about him thinking about joining too. I told him that's great and if he does it'll be a decision he wouldn't regret.

SGT D got in the car with me and I asked what he and the mom talked about.

"You'll never believe this! She said that somebody would be stupid to not join if they could - including her. She's not 42 yet and the idea sounds better by the minute!"

So here I am, still giddy after the greatest interview I've ever had with thought of being the guy who enlisted a kid and his parents all at the same time. I bet it'd be cool to bring them all to MEPS at the same time!

I'm sure I'm jinxing myself at this point and none of them will end up enlisting - but I can dream can't I?

-SGT Guardsman


Station Commando said...

You have definately jinxed it now. You need to go out and burn the ACUs you were wearing. That is the only thing that will purge the jinxification.

SFC B said...

They're growing pot in their backyard and selling it to fund Islamic terrorism in Minnesota.

Guardsman said...

I sort of jinxed it - The dad just turned 42 and I apparently I didn't read the reg properly. He must ship prior to his 42 birthday, not his 43rd like I thought. Damn public education!

But the kid came in today and pre-tested a 53 on the new EST! GOOD TO GO!

And SFC B, just because the Muslim Brotherhood is not allowing Muslim taxi drivers to carry passengers with alcohol to get a ride in their cab, and just because CAIR is providing an islamic radical for the Minnesota State University Moorhead fall keynote speaker, AND just because CAIR is also promoting Keith Ellison for U.S. Congress here in Minnesota doesn't mean we're all supporting Islamic terrorism!

It's only about half the state....

Anonymous said...

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SGT Lori said...

Ya didn't jinx it. As I was reading the original post I was thinking, "Wow! Minnesota can put them in at 42??" Then I read your response. They can be 41 and 364 days old at their swearing in. But not 42. However it sounds like it was a GREAT interveiw!

Anonymous said...

Great story. I had a interview like that many years back. Sat down with the son and ended up enlisting father, son, daughter. If mom wasn't a little over weight she would have enlisted also. Now father is in Iraq and son must be a Major or Col. by now. He spent many years as enlisted prior to OCS. Unsure about what the daughter is up to.

"Ole Sarge"