The Army has increased the number of recruiters by more than a third and has offered extra cash bonuses to new recruits. It is also targeting teachers and parents to explain the benefits to young people of joining the military. These "chief influencers" are believed to be the source of some of the recruitment problems. "We're going to appeal to patriotism. We're going to appeal to the value of service. And we're going to do that in a very proactive way." - the Washington Times

Salem, Va., Mar. 24 (FGAQ) -- The Salem Army Recruiting Office issued a press release today, requesting that John Jenkins of 843 Arcade Street either "put up or shut up".

Recruiting Sergeant Ben Davis said that he had been at the Long Branch Bar and Grill three days earlier, and had engaged in a lengthy conversation with Jenkins, who "claimed to support our troops 100 percent, and wished there was more he could do to help out. Well, when we told him that we had just raised the maximum age for the reserves to thirty-nine, he seemed to get a little nervous. That's when he blurted out the news about little Debbie and Johnny Junior."

According to the release, Davis showed up the next night on Jenkins' front porch, asking to talk to the children. Jenkins demurred, stating that it was nearly their bed time. "I knew right then that he wasn't being on the level with me. Sure, the kids are three and five, but I told him that it's never too early to start taking to them about their future. Man, he didn't like that. He starts mumbling and fumbling with his tongue... I think he must have been half in the bag. He let word slip about some college fund. 'College fund?', I shout at him. 'What the hell do you need a college fund for when the army provides the best education fund in the world with just four years service?' He didn't have an answer for that one."


2005, Mark Hoback