The Navy Recruiter

by John Petersen, MM1

Comic Navy Recruiter Postcard (1940s)

This is the life, the recruiter said all bright eyed and without a doubt,

as he (she) as instructed thru the door would not let you out.

Your name, last and first, SSN, birthplace, life’s history on the spot,

all aspects of your upbringing the recruiter instantly records like it or not.

After what seems like hours, you’ve spilled your guts from day one,

Seems the recruiter wants to know everything, this person will dig till they’re done.

Comes to a point where you think ‘Can I just get signed up and move on with my life’?

Do they really need to know the history of my wife?’

The Moon with a fence around it, it can be all yours, that’s what you hear,

you’ll get everything you want the recruiters message is clear.

As you sign your name, and subject yourself to the unknown, you ponder,‘

My life is now golden, I’ll have all I’ve ever wanted, and the world I’ll wander!

I’ve been promised a future of travel, glamour, a life truly one to turn others green,

The jealousy and envy they’ll forever grumble about, quietly, unseen.

I’ll visit places ‘round this globe most only dream about, and I’ll hear it,

The closest they’ll get to those places would be National Geographic’.

You’ve passed the ASVAB, and with this it has been found, in your favor,

That you CAN walk and chew gum simultaneously, your choice of flavor.

The military physical, oh what an absolute thrill, all would vent,

Only an alien abduction would top this momentous event!

Being poked and prodded, in ways never thought allowed,

Longest day you’ve ever had, at the end feeling less than proud.

Things are not what you expected so far, not what you thought was true,

This you consider while inline to get your first official military hair do.

The line outside the door, those from all walks of life, no matter the season,

Hair of all colors, long, short, mohawks, styles that defy any reason.

Won’t matter within minutes, you notice while watching the exit position,

In the end we’ll all look like a tennis ball with a thyroid condition.

Trip to the beauty shop has come to an end, yet the fun’s just begun, no gag,

Around the corner you’re marched, time for uniform issue, civies in a bag.

A never ending line of enthusiastic, eager young cronies,

Starting their new lives fashionably attired in Maytag white chonies

.Assuredly, you’re told , these uniforms will fit like a glove,

You’ll have the appearance of professionalism, a look you will love.

The outcome, however, belies all you’ve been guaranteed,

The mirror reveals a two-toned eggplant, full and ripe with seed.

Your new home for the next several weeks is now within sight,

A huge block of concrete shining brightly in the Sun’s light.

A slight snicker you stifle as you enter this shiny abode,

That personal room you were promised, a promise put on hold.

There they are, spaced and measured with a MILSPEC measuring tape,

Twenty sets of bunk beds lined up either side, the precision leaves you agape

.For the next several weeks, life becomes an unforeseen reality,

You and all your new shipmates have become a family.

Think about it, and consider all the new friends you’ve made, if you will,

That in a few short weeks this new ‘family’ will be separated against all will.

Roughly 80 humans, each with a desire of their own,

Have chosen the path of their future, and with their hand held high that seed has been sown.

Final pass and review is now nothing more than a memory for us all, they are,

Each of this ‘family’ now heading off to parts until now unknown, some very far.

So we’ve passed that first step in our lives in the service, no longer a booter,

And our experience is proof, ‘Never trust fully that Recruiter’!

Written by John Petersen, MM1