Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Scootie joins the Air Force!

So the past two days were an adventure for Scootie. He reported on Monday to the recruiters office and was then taken to MEPS (here we go with the acronyms: Military Entrance Processing Station) at Ft. Gillem. One of the first things he did was take the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) which will tell the Air Force what areas he would excel in career-wise. He then took another test to evaluate his "personality" with choices like "I like to party or I like to sit at home." It's an either, or kind of like the lesser of two evils. Or, as Scootie likes to say, "How big of a d-bag are you."

Scootie and the other guys were then taken to a Hotel near the airport for the evening with a special area in the basement just for personnel from MEPS. I have no clue why they had to be in the basement, but Scootie said it was relatively nice. It was here he first met "Cowpoke." Apparently, Cowpoke went through everything the day before but was held over a day because he couldn't pee in a cup. In a few minutes, you'll figure out why it was so hard for Cowpoke to "pony up", so to speak.

Dinner was an all you can eat buffet ... for free! This was right up Scootie's alley. His critiques of the menu were as follows: " The catfish was a little dry, but I got the last of the tartar sauce right before Big Sexy J (an apparently self-bestowed nickname for Scootie's "buddy" for MEPS) could get to it. There was no sweet tea (gasp!) and no water. But I was THAT GUY and asked for sweet tea and they (the hotel staff) provided some. The steamed veggies were nice and there was a lopsided chocolate cake that was mediocre."

After dinner, everyone retired to their rooms due to a 0400 wake-up call for the next day.

Wait! I forgot the best part. At some point during day one, a lot of the enlistees were assigned nicknames. Scootie is now "Jonas" (I told him he needed a haircut!). There was also "Fiddy", "white Carlton" (think Fresh Prince Carlton dancing to Tom Jones), "Kobe" and, of course, "Big Sexy J". Well, Big Sexy J forgot about the whole "no body piercings allowed" thing. Big Sexy J had two big, not-so-sexy nipple piercings. That could only be taken out with pliers. So, picture this. Big Sexy J and Jonas go up to the front desk AT THE HOTEL and ask for a pair of pliers. Now, the front desk guy isn't just going to hand over a pair of pliers, so the boys have to tell the whole story. After Front Desk Guy gets up from the floor where he fell after laughing so hard and wiping his tears, he then calls Maintenance Guy. Maintenance Guy has to hear the whole story as well. After he finishes laughing, he gives the boys the pliers and wishes Big Sexy J luck. Guest services only go so far, I guess. So, after a lot of blood, sweat and tears the last ring was removed at about 0200. This is a life lesson people. If you're going to get your nipples pierced, one day it's going to involve four guys, a lot of sweat and a pair of pliers. Back to the story.

Apparently, Scootie's roommate hadn't showered in months, because when Scootie walked into his room, he was hit in the face with a stench even he couldn't describe. And that's saying something. Luckily, this not-to-be-named roommate got in the shower and saved Scootie's sense of smell from totally disintegrating. The one thing that Scootie hasn't learned yet? Fall asleep BEFORE your roommate because he might snore like a freight train and keep you up until 0300. Did I mention he had a 0400 wake-up? Yeah.

Day two was the FUN day! After a lovely breakfast of bacon, powdered eggs, french toast sticks, hot orange juice and "sounds like" starshucks coffee, the boys and girls were back to MEPS for fun and excitement. They then got biometrically entered into the vast "US Military database", fingerprinted and photographed. Everything is "signed" with a fingerprint these days. I wish I had known this. I wouldn't have spent all those years harping about Scootie's handwriting looking like a serial killers. Who knew he would never have to write again? Scootie then took his first ever (I hope) breathalyzer ... and passed! Whoo hoo! Then forms, forms, forms, wait, wait, wait.

Scootie then became "THAT GUY" again. It was now time for the "pee test". I hope I'm going to do this justice, because the telling of it was hilarious. At the start, you're given a cup and a bottle. You're told to put exactly 60ml in the bottle. If you can't do this, you become like Cowpoke and stay another whole day. Everyone goes in four at a time, but Scootie noticed no one was coming out. By the time he got in there, there were 12 guys standing around waiting ... meaning there were 12 guys watching Scootie try to pee. Scootie was THAT GUY because he's not into exhibitionistic peeing. When they reminded him of Cowpoke, he was finally able to overcome his issues and get the job done. Scootie says it was like a "firing squad watching you pee." Then came the hard part. He had to pour in exactly 60ml. Picture a mad scientist in his lab. Pouring potions back and forth ... back and forth. Scootie was worried in the telling of this because he didn't know how I was going to blog the motions he was making in the attempt to get 60ml. I think you can get the picture.
They then had to turn their pee cups over to the guy in the "drive-thru window" ... in the bathroom. I don't know and I don't want to know. I'm going to pretend it's a military thing and go about my business.

Blood tests are next. "Oh, I don't have AIDS, by the way." Good to know. Some kid who is afraid of needles went into some kind of seizure or convulsions during this little test. I'm not sure the military is the best place for him. I'm going to spare everyone the details of the part that came next. Let's just say it involved Scootie in his underwear with an old German dude and then Scootie not in his underwear with an old German dude.

There were more tests: ears, eyes, audio (isn't that ears?). Then all of the guys are sent into this large room ... in their underwear. They are measured for height and weight, then made to do some calesthenics ... in their underwear. They also do the duck walk and the Ranger Walk (I think Ranger Walk = Power Walking) ... in their underwear. As Scootie said, and I think it sums up the day pretty well, "It was just a bunch of awkward."

Scootie then was unofficially, officially sworn in to the United States Air Force and then met with his career counselor. He was instructed to prioritize his choices in the order he wanted. He chose some pretty good paths, such as Visual Imagery & Intrusion Detection, Ground Radar System, Satellite and Wideband Communication Equipment and so on and so forth. For those of you who know Scootie, I think his number one choice might just suprise you. **

He "most likely" will be going to boot camp in January and we are hopeful it stays January so we can give him a great Thanksgiving and Christmas before he goes to Lackland AFB in San Antonio, TX.

** What did Scootie pick? Security Forces. Scooties gonna be a Police Man.

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