Are US Recruiters Scraping The Barrel? And Are The Blind Now Leading The Blind?
Surely one of the saddest sights any civilized 'sighted' citizens of anywhere in the world could ever witness, would be the blind leading the blind into battle.
But no, not so, it seems, in certain sadistic US military sobs' evil eyes.
And before you're tempted to accuse us of 'playing dirty' with today's particular choices of our traditional plays on words, please wait a while -- since everything should soon become so much clearer.
* An Army of one wrong recruit *
Autism - The signing of a disabled Portland man despite warnings reflects problems nationally for military enlistment
Sunday, May 07, 2006 - MICHELLE ROBERTS - The Oregonian
Jared Guinther is 18. Tall and lanky, he will graduate from Marshall High School in June. Girls think he's cute, until they try to talk to him and he stammers or just stands there -- silent.
Diagnosed with autism at age 3, Jared is polite but won't talk to people unless they address him first. It's hard for him to make friends. He lives in his own private world.
Jared didn't know there was a war raging in Iraq until his parents told him last fall -- shortly after a military recruiter stopped him outside a Southeast Portland strip mall and complimented him on his black Converse All Stars.
"When Jared first started talking about joining the Army, I thought, 'Well, that isn't going to happen,' " said Paul Guinther, Jared's father. "I told my wife not to worry about it. They're not going to take anybody in the service who's autistic."
But they did. Last month, Jared came home with papers showing that he not only had enlisted, but also had signed up for the Army's most dangerous job: cavalry scout.
He is scheduled to leave for basic training Aug. 16.
But, but, but .......... spluttered This Old Brit in disbelief -- but he read on regardless.
Last fall, Jared began talking about joining the military after a recruiter stopped him on his way home from school and offered a $4,000 signing bonus, $67,000 for college and more buddies than he could count.
Matthew told his mother that military recruiting at the school and surrounding neighborhoods was so intense that one recruiter had pulled him out of football practice.
Recruiters in Portland and nationwide spend several hours a day cold-calling high school students, whose phone numbers are provided by schools under the No Child Left Behind Law. They also prospect at malls, high school cafeterias, colleges and wherever else young people gather.
Brenda phoned her two brothers, both veterans. She said they laughed and told her not to worry. The military would never take Jared.
The Guinthers, meanwhile, tried to refocus their son.
"I told him, 'Jared, you get out of high school. I know you don't want to be a janitor all your life. You work this job, you go to community college, you find out what you want. You can live here as long as you want,' " Paul said.
They thought it had worked until five weeks ago. Brenda said she called Jared on his cell phone to check what time he'd be home.
"I said 'Jared, what are you doing?' 'I'm taking the test,' he said -- the entrance test. I go, 'Wait a minute.' I said, 'Who's giving you the test?' He said, 'Corporal.'
Are your eyes opening any wider yet as to what we were wanting to get across in our opening paragraph? Because, Richard and This Old Brit bloody well bet they are. But what comes next should open them wider still.
Brenda said she spoke to Cpl. Ronan Ansley and explained that Jared had a disability, autism, that could not be outgrown. She said Ansley told her he had been in special classes, too -- for dyslexia.
"I said, 'Wait a minute, there's a big difference between autism and your problem,' " Brenda said.
Military rules prohibit enlisting anyone with a mental disorder that interferes with school or employment, unless a recruit can show he or she hasn't required special academic or job accommodations for 12 months.
Jared has been in special education classes since preschool. Through a special program for disabled workers, he has a part-time job scrubbing toilets and dumping trash.
Jared scored 43 out of 99 on the Army's basic entrance exam -- 31 is the lowest grade the Army allows for enlistment, military officials said.
After learning that Jared had cleared this first hurdle toward enlistment, Brenda said, she called and asked for Ansley's supervisor and got Sgt. Alejandro Velasco.
She said she begged Velasco to review Jared's medical and school records. Brenda said Velasco declined, asserting that he didn't need any paperwork. Under military rules, recruiters are required to gather all available information about a recruit and fill out a medical screening form.
"He was real cocky and he says, 'Well, Jared's an 18-year-old man. He doesn't need his mommy to make his decisions for him.' "
Oh really, Alejandro? You arsehole. Is that so, Sgt Velasco? You shithouse.
So what did you pair of pathetic pillocks surmise some of your superiors may say? Eh?
With the Guinthers' permission, The Oregonian faxed Jared's medical records to the U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion commander, Lt. Col. David Carlton in Portland, who on Wednesday ordered the investigation.
The Guinthers said that on Tuesday evening, Cpl. Ansley showed up at their door. They said Ansley stated that he would probably lose his job and face dishonorable discharge unless they could stop the newspaper's story.
Ansley, reached at his recruiting office Thursday, declined to comment for this story.
S. Douglas Smith, spokesman for the U.S. Army Recruiting Command, in Fort Knox, Ky., said he could not comment on specifics of the investigation in Portland.
How the hell can men such as the ones 'The Oregonian' has sought to so deservedly show up, be considered competent to carry out correctly, their sacred duties?
Who the hell -- with even half a heart and/or brain -- could seriously consider a lad like Jared to be competent to carry out the duties seemingly set to soon to be requested of him? Duties upon which would depend Jared's, along with countless comrades' very lives.
What manner of mean spirited men would knowingly and willing connive to combine the life dependency of Jared, so inextricably, with the similarly serious life & death dependency of God knows how many other serving soldiers?
Have things really come to this, in the once so well respected US?
Is the supposed 'super-power' struggling so much that it has to stoop so low?
With all due respect and absolutely no offence intended, neither to Jared nor to any of his nearest & dearest, we absolutely have to say that if this isn't seen as scraping the barrel -- we'd damned well like to learn what is.
Go on over to 'The Oregonian' to see for yourself why every single sane US citizen should start screaming about this sickening story -- from the ruddy rooftops.