Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Me and Uncle Sam's Man-Catchers

Being a male American citizen near the age of majority, I get stuff from the various military branches, containing variants on "Join Us and Risk Getting Your Internal Organs Rearranged in Iraq (or Basic Training)!"

Well, one came along from the Marine Corps...and it had a cool poster...and a card you could send for an information packet and a free bag...and it was free...and I had a

Anyhow, a package from the Marines arrived just now. Here's the little letter they sent me.

Dear [Histor's real name],

They spelled it right. My name tends to be misspelled. Kudos to the Marines for not misspelling it!

Good News! You'll soon be eligible to apply for enlistment in the Marine Corps.

That just gives me warm fuzzies all over, thinking of the day I leave dadwithnoisykids and set off into the real world, burglars, IRS agents, credit cards, and all.

The fact is, if you have the fortitude, confidence, and will to improve yourself,

Fortitude? Check. Confidence? Seems to be missing. Will to improve myself? Just between you and me, I can't even keep my room clean.

then the Marine Corps may be right for you.

"May be right for you" is one of my least favorite phrases, which include "self-improvement," "lifestyles," and "the problem with your essay, Histor, is..."

Of course, it will not come to you easily.

Probably not. See my comment about my room.

You will work harder than you ever thought possible.

I believe that with my whole heart.

To help you with this decision, I have enclosed a brochure that highlights what it really means to be a Marine.

Haven't looked at it yet, so I can't say.

The best thing you can do right now is stay focused, remain determined and finish school.

Hmmm...who has told me that before?

Becoming a Marine will be the challenge of a lifetime, why not dedicate this next year to making sure that you're ready.

How d'y'all know I've decided to become one?

On the other hand, be assured I did not apply in order to get that bag. Although it's a nice nifty bag indeed.

So, look through this package and consider what it really means to be a Marine.

No doubt the cool bag helps tell me what being a Marine is about. No doubt the package will help me in my decision. However, anything binding will come after I consult a former Marine on the subject.

Then if you think you could be one of us, contact your local Marine Recruiting Substation, which I've listed below for your convenience.

[Address withheld]


John L. Estrada
Sergeant Major, United States Marine Corps
Sergeant Major of the United States

Thanks, Sir!

(Now, don't take that "sir" as being of any bearing on my opinion of the Marine's actually a Southern thing.)


Now I have examined the package itself: one (1) letter, one (1) brochure on enlisting in the Marines, one (1) medium-sized bag of indeterminate purpose, and one (1) gargantuan poster with cool pictures on it.

The poster is probably not going to go on the wall. Too much up there already. Then again...