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Angry With the Army Recruiting Command

July 27, 1985

I am writing because I am very angry with the U.S. Army Recruiting Command!

The first week of May 1985, I received a letter from the Department of the Army, Army Recruiting Command, inviting me to sign up in the Army Reserves. Included with this letter was a card, offering a digital Army wristwatch, free, if I answered questions about myself: age, education and Social Security number. This I did--truthfully giving my full birth date and educational data.

About two weeks later, I received another set of brochures expounding on Army Reserves and suggesting that I go to the Van Nuys Federal Building recruiting office. However, they did not send the free watch they promised.

A week later I wrote them at Fort Sheridan, Ill., that I had not received the watch and that I would appreciate a prompt response. Sure enough, about a week later, I received the watch with an apology for not having included it with the follow-up letter. Two weeks later, I received a second watch (first-class postage 39 cents). I'm now waiting for a third watch (perhaps?).

Our Army is anxious for recruits--in addition, as a qualified high school graduate, I could be eligible for up to an $8,000-cash bonus if I'd serve 4 years. Here's the hitch--I wrote them that my birthday was June 15, 1909, making me 76 years old!

I am angry because though I didn't lie about my age and that I graduated high school in 1926, I see here another example of the stupid waste of our hard-earned tax dollars. How many more seniors are being recruited at this useless expense?

To me, my 76 years are a date on a calendar--I am involved in many youthful activities. I am in a Senior Comedy Improvisation group called the Silver Streak Players. I do volunteer work for the Los Angeles Police Department as a "crime prevention specialist" on Neighborhood Watch programs. I work for the San Fernando Federation of Senior Clubs on their Senior Hot Line, an information referral service. I also attend a psychology class and a Japanese brush-painting class. I have over 10,850 miles on my Exercycle (in 5 years). I don't sit around, believe me.

My brain is still in good working condition, but for the Army to want to recruit a 76-year-old lady is ridiculous, no matter how well I could qualify.

NORA G. HECKER

Sherman Oaks

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