I joined the Air Force in 1987 and shipped off for active duty in March of 1988.
After I was gone for about six months, I received a frantic phone call from my mother back home asking if I was OK. I don’t quite remember how the call arrived, as there were no cell phones, or other of today’s communication methods.
The first question out of her mouth was, “Are you OK?” The young man’s answer to this question is, “of course…why wouldn’t I be?”
What had happened to stir her up was a couple of Air Force recruiters showed up at the house, in an Air Force vehicle, on a routine recruiting call. They must have had my name in a file somewhere as a potential “customer,” but were unaware that I had enlisted and was already on active duty.
So there was my mom, watching an Air Force vehicle coming down the street. We lived at the end of a dead-end block. This meant that cars rarely ever came to the end. When a car did drive all the way to our end of the street, everybody would look out to see who it might be.
So, picture the scene: official United States Air Force car coming down the street. Two Air Force members in dress blues get out and start walking towards the house. The neighbors, knowing darn well I was off in the service, are all starting to come out to see what the heck is happening.
My mom was on the porch in panic mode before those men made half way up the side-walk. It didn’t take her long to put the pieces together — and anybody who knew my mom knew she was not a women who played. I still feel sorry for those recruiters….a little bit. I’ll bet she had some fine words for them, but not before they scared the daylights out of her by just simply showing up.