I received the following email recently:
If I could, I'd enlist today and help my country track down those responsible for killing thousands of innocent people in New York City and Washington, DC. But, I'm over 50 now and the Armed Forces say I'm too old to track down terrorists. You can't be older than 35 to join the military.
They've got the whole thing backwards. Instead of sending 18-year-olds off to fight, they ought to take us old guys. You shouldn't be able to join until you're at least 35.
For starters: Researchers say 18-year-olds think about sex every 10 seconds. Old guys only think about sex a couple of times a day, leaving us more that 28,000 additional seconds per day to concentrate on the enemy.
Young guys haven't lived long enough to be cranky, and a cranky soldier is a dangerous soldier. If we can't kill the enemy we'll complain them into submission. "My back hurts!" "I'm hungry!" "Where's the remote control?"
An 18-year-old hasn't had a legal beer yet and you shouldn't go to war until you're at least old enough to legally drink. An average old guy, on the other hand, has consumed 126,000 gallons of beer by the time he's 35 and a jaunt through the desert heat with a backpack and M-60 would do wonders for the old beer belly.
An 18-year-old doesn't like to get up before 10:00 a.m. Old guys get up early every morning to pee.
If old guys are captured we couldn't spill the beans because we'd probably forget where we put them. In fact, name, rank, and serial number would be a real brainteaser.
Boot camp would actually be easier for old guys. We're used to getting screamed and yelled at and we actually like soft food. We've also developed a deep appreciation for guns and rifles. We like them almost better than naps.
They could lighten up on the obstacle course, however. I've been in combat and didn't see a single 20-foot wall with rope hanging over the side, nor did I ever do any pushups after completing basic training. I can hear the Drill Sergeant now, "Get down and give me ... er ... one?"
And the running part is kind of a waste of energy. I've never seen anyone outrun a bullet.
An 18-year-old has the whole world ahead of him. He's still learning to shave, to actually carry on a Conversation, and to wear pants without the top of his butt crack showing and his boxer shorts sticking out. He's still hasn't figured out that a pierced tongue catches food particles, and that a 400-watt speaker in the back seat of a Honda Accord can rupture an eardrum.
All great reasons to keep our sons at home to learn a little more about life before sending them off to possible death.
Let us old guys track down those dirty rotten cowards who attacked our hearts on September 11. The last thing the enemy would want to see right now is a couple of million old farts with attitudes.
And the next day I read this article about older soldiers and their combat fitness.
To hell with fitness; at least we'd have attitude.