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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:50 pm
  

BlunderVirgin

Joined: Nov 19, 2017
Posts: 1
Dear Arlo

I'm sure you've heard a million stories from people who endured similar circumstances at their local draft board but every year, about this time of year, I recall what happened to me and my twin brother.

One day, a bunch of us found ourselves at a buddie's house, drinking been and watching the lottery results. We had barely got settled in when his birthday came up, attached to the number 8. We were all still laughing when my birthday came up, number 16. Things stopped being funny at that moment. Sure enough, a couple of years later after college deferments played out, the "greetings" came in the mail for both my brother and I. Shortly after that, we found ourselves on a bus headed to Dallas to endure what you have perfectly described. We had not slept the night before, deciding instead to enjoy our last night as civilians with some friends, a few cases of beer and natural alternatives. Neither of us felt terribly well upon arrival but we were lined up and put through all kinds of things. One of the first stations was a weigh in. Well, as I said, I didn't feel well and when they measured my 5'11" frame I wasn't exactly standing up straight and they measured me at 5 feet even, and since no one asked me to drop the bags that held my clothes and worldly belongings, I didn't and they weighed me at 255 lbs, 5 pounds over the limit for a 5 foot tall person to be healthy enough to be drafted. My brother had occasional bouts with asthma and told them so. We took a few more tests, mainly to see if we could see, hear and were not color blind. While everyone was waiting to go to the next round a sgt came out and called several names, ours included, and told us to go to a big room and be quiet. We went to the room and waited a long time before he came back and explained that for various reasons the people in this room could not serve our country. He singled me out and explained that I was 5 lbs too heavy to be drafted and wanted to know if I intended to lose the weight. I said "sure" then he told my brother he needed medical evidence he had asthma and he would see us again in six months. We went home and I immediately went to work on my weight, drinking an extra few beers each night and adding 2 or 3 more pizza's a week because, you know, I was sure they were going to re-weigh me and they might ask me to drop my bags of clothes and stuff.

In the mean time, our father, who, although serving in the navy in WWII, did not believe we should be involved in the current war, talked to his chiropractor and our family doctor. He called up and said we both had appointments that we needed to show up for. Seems the chiropractor reminded my father that he had treated me for a neck injury when I was in high school, from a football injury. So, he makes a bunch of x-rays and writes up a long diagnosis including scoliosis and that I should never lift anything over 40 lbs and I could not stand for long periods. Our family doctor gladly wrote my brother a diagnosis of asthma that had existed since childhood. Well, sure enough six months later we found ourselves back on a bus to Dallas with a bunch of new people on their way to be drafted. We got there and I presented my x-rays and diagnosis, as did my brother. They told me they couldn't be sure those x-rays were of my back and neck, and they would have to do their own. They took my brother down the hall to see someone else. Seems that while they were evaluating his doctor's statement they wanted him to complete the tests he did not take when we were there before. He figured out that they were trying to figure out what kind of job he would have in the army, and he didn't want to be in the army. He told the sgt that he came there to join the air force. The sgt. got excited and took him down the hall where they started giving him aptitude tests and he looked at that sgt and said he wanted to be a pilot. They took him to talk to a captain, who started asking him all kinds of questions. After about 15 minutes the capt. stopped him and said " I'm sorry son but you are not enough of an ass hole to be a pilot". He then told my brother that if he would sign a waiver releasing the gov't from any liability for illness or death that resulted because he had asthma, they could get him a spot in the air force. My brother said he wasn't going to sign any waiver and they stamped 4F multiple times on every piece of paper they had for him and sent him to the same big room we were in before and then told him he could leave.

While that was going on, I was taken to the top floor , made to strip naked and lay on a table to wait for someone to come and x-ray me. This was a rare day in Texas; it was snowing and they had the windows open and snowflakes would blow in and land on me. I was there for about 20 minutes before the x-rays took place. The x-ray technician kept telling me I had to be still and I kept telling him he needed to close the window. We finally got done. They told me to get dressed and took me to the big room and a short while later, a sgt came in and stamped 4 F on every piece of paper I had and told me I could leave. I got downstairs, outside the building, saw my brother and realized we were both safe. There we were, in the snow with at least 4 hours before the bus would be back to take us home and did not get to eat the sandwich and fruit that was provided at our last trip. We were deciding what to do with our time when we noticed a Cadillac pull up and parked in from of a sign that said "don't even think about parking here" and a guy in a suit got out and ran inside. A couple of minutes later a Dallas motorcycle cop pulled up walked over to the caddie, put his foot up on the back, pulled out his pad and started to write a ticked. But, before he got anything written we heard a splat kind of sound and noticed the remnants of a orange squashed perfectly on top of his helmet and juice running down the sides. The office made a funny squeaky sound as he ran into the building and a few minutes later we heard less than civil language being shouted from the third floor and windows were being closed. About that time the guy in the suit came out got in the caddie and drove off. The cop came out, saw the caddie gone, made the same squeaky sound, got on his motorcycle and drove off. We spent the next few hours inside a local drinking establishment.

As I said, I know you've heard a million of these stories, but I could not let another year go by without telling mine and stating how grateful I am for your music, and the fact that no-one has to involuntarily endure this again.

Happy Thanksgiving

Carl


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:40 am
  

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Joined: Sep 13, 2000
Posts: 8523
Location: Pixley-- Actually An Hr South of Richmond, VA
Neat story. :)


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:26 pm
  

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Senior ArloNetizen

Joined: Nov 17, 2012
Posts: 449
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Location: Paupered Ireland
Funny how our brains wire some things together. We just watched "The Post" (Streep & Hanks) and your post popped in and then the relevant scene from Alice's Restaurant but it all got a bit messy when for some reason or another a blended Donald Trump and Richard Nixon invaded my thoughts along with snowballs! Can't think why this strange collusion took place?

Thanks for sharing your story - a wee bit of magic :mrgreen:


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