The Eager Recruiter
Miss Barons: You're talking about fourth graders. That's unreasonable!
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: Between fourth and fifth, and no offense ma'am, but I think you're the one being unreasonable.
Miss Barons: How is that?
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: Ma'am, I'm just trying to give these kids the opportunities they deserve in life. A chance to serve their nation and become a real Marine. Oorah!
Miss Barons: How could a fourth grader possibly become a real Marine?
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: There are so many ways, ma'am. This is part of the Early Advantages Program we just started last year. It has been a resounding success. I've got almost 95 signups that will be shipping out to their units in two to four weeks depending on their MOS.
Miss Barons: What job could they possibly do?
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: Oh, anything under the sun, ma'am. You'd be surprised. Some things the little rascals are better at than regular Marines. They have trouble humping an 80 pound ruck uphill but in hand-to-hand they will put an e-tool right through a coccyx, oorah!
Miss Barons: They're fighting?!
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: One of those little guys scored an expert on rifle and went straight to sniper school. Little dude has a wagon he carries the gun around in, but he can head shot a terrorist from 900 yards over open sights.
Miss Barons: That is ridiculous.
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: I know it sounds like it, but America has a proud tradition of youth induction into the Armed Services. Did you know that during the Civil War both sides employed drummers and buglers as young as seven? We're not going that young. Right around ten.
Miss Barons: Ten?
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: That's the sweet spot. Very fast learners and at the same time they don't have to forget any garbage they might have picked up in civilian life. Drug abuse is almost a non-issue with them, just have to watch them around sweets or they'll be off the walls.
Miss Barons: I really don't know what to say. This is frankly disturbing to me.
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: I am really sorry to hear that, ma'am. All I ask is the opportunity to come talk to you and the class about the opportunities available in the Marines.
Miss Barons: I think some of the parents would have a real problem with that.
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: Heck, invite them too! I have a pamphlet I can talk about how the EAP can provide tax incentives and credits to parents. Did you know that if you have two children ages 10 and 11 and you send both of them to the Marines you get almost 1500 apiece back on your next filing? Plus 50% combat bonus if their kid's unit is deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan.
Miss Barons: You're paying the parents?
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: We tried toys for the kids at first but the parents complained a lot in our test program. Once we switched over to giving the money directly to the parents they were happy to cooperate.
Miss Barons: Staff Sergeant, this all sounds inappropriate. I am going to say firmly no to you and ask you to please leave my students alone.
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: Fair enough, but you're passing up on a sizable referral bonus.
Miss Barons: What?