16 May 2012
It Says More About Me Than I Care To Admit
Special Forces Recruitment Ad - 1976
I sat across from Army recruiter Dusty Rhodes in early May of 1976. A wooden name plate flanked by SFC chevrons was centered on his steel desk. He chain smoked Parliaments that he put out in a giant Army issue glass ash tray and two finger typed at a computer terminal.
"No, doesn't look good. You're too short."
"Yeah, you gotta be five-ten to be an MP. I thought it might have changed by now but no luck."
"You mean it might change?"
"Sure. Hispanics are suing for discrimination. That sort'a thing. Could be next month or next year."
I stand. Shake Rhode's hand and head for the Air Force recruiter down the hall ignoring the Old Man's advice, "Join the Air Force as an MP and you'll be freezing your ass off guarding B-52s in Minot, North Dakota."
In the hallway is a poster. The understated graphic lends guts to the words, "It says more about you than you'd ever say about yourself." Words of comfort to a boy whose father always said, "You can't do anything right" and a mother who complained, "Nothing makes you happy." I'll be a Green Beret and everything will change.