OK – I know what you’re thinking. There’s not much that an Army Drill Sergeant and a Mail Clerk have in common. Or so normal people would think. However…..
The Bermuda Triangle of the Army World
My daughter had cried and cried. Her husband sent her yet another letter from Army boot camp asking why she hadn’t written, and whether she still loved him. She was frantically writing a reply and wondering where her FEDEX package filled with the pictures of all the kids and the artwork had gone. (It had cost lots of $$$$ that she really didn’t have to spare, just to get it there the next day so he’d have something to open). And she mailed a letter the day after that, and the day after that, and the day after that. They’d somehow ended up in the bootcamp black hole that sucked up love letters and pictures of the kids, and made recruits wonder if their families still loved them.
My daughter cried and cried, the tears staining the paper and making drip marks on the ink that contained her sadness and frustration. She’d even convinced herself it was a conspiracy, just to keep her husband from getting her letters. For some unknown reason, they were really trying to punish him.
Well, she asked me to help her call the number at the Army Base – the number that you were supposed to call if you had any questions. A burly-voiced man answered and I told him who I was. He said he’d just spoken with the recruit’s mother, and she’d asked the same questions. Where was the mail??
He assured me that he’d distributed all the mail that had come in (like a good mail clerk would, I thought), and he remembered giving mail to our soldier boy. Remembered that he’d gotten mail from me, and our boy’s mother, and his dad. But……what about the FEDEX package? He said, “Hold on. I’ll go get him, and ask him what he’s gotten.”
Wow, I thought. A mail clerk who could just go get a recruit and ask him about the mail. Pretty efficient.
And then we were disconnected. Oh well, we’ll just call right back!
And we did! My daughter talked to him, and had him ask her husband about her mail. No, he didn’t get it. Then she made the Mail Clerk promise to tell him that she really did love him, and had sent him gobs and gobs of letters. He said he would tell our boy how madly in love with him she was.
Well, a few days later, my daughter got a letter from her husband. He’d finaly gotten some of her mail (although still not the expensive FEDEX package). But her husband said he’d then gotten “smoked.” The efficient Mail Clerk we’d been talking to was not a mail clerk at all, but her husband’s Drill Sergeant (the one and only), and he hadn’t been particularly pleased that three females had made three different phone calls to see why their sweet soldier boy hadn’t gotten his mail. Well, you know what that means.
Yep, our boy was required to do 500 pushups that day!! But the funny thing was – he was happy. Happy that his wife had cared enough to cry, and call his drill sergeant asking about her mail. And making him promise to tell her husband how much she loved him. He smiled through each one of those 500 push ups. It was worth it.
At the end of the day, after all 500 pushups were done, and arms were sore, and it was time for bed, the drill sergeant called our boy into his office and told him that he’d never, ever seen anyone do 500 pushups with a dumb smile plastered across his face the whole time. That positive attitude was worth a bonus – he was promoted to barrack supervisor.
And the real surprise was that instead of getting him into trouble, his wife – my daughter- had done something that really, really helped him.
I congratulated her for her good job, but just told her not to do it again! (His biceps might not be able to take much more!)
And I’m sure the saga will continue…
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