The Loved One got a rather interesting piece of mail yesterday. In addition to his fabulous job as an exploration geologist in the wilds of Alaska, he is also a Ph.D. candidate here at the local university. This is actually his second crack at his Ph.D. He was ABD (all but dissertation) at the University of Arizona some 20-odd years ago, but walked away from it for the opportunity to work in the Last Frontier. It turned out to be a pretty good deal for him then. He's been very happy in his work there.
In the late 1990s, he moved to Memphis to get married (to someone else, not me). He resurrected his dissertation and started a new Ph.D. program in Economic Geology. He's once again ABD, and has submitted a first draft of his dissertation. With a little luck and hard work he might complete it before retirement. I've come to the conclusion that it doesn't really matter to him whether or not he completes the degree. If it's okay with him, it's certainly okay with me.
Apparently, with the anticipated completion of his degree and presumably his graduation, he's attracting some interest from potential employers. This would ordinarily be a good thing, except this particular prospect doesn't seem to do much research on its leads. The Loved One is 12 years older than I am, which makes him...of a certain age. Let's just say a draft card would look pretty funny in his wallet next to his AARP card.
What I found particularly intriguing about the Army's pitch to my "graduate" is the enticing copy on the outside of the brochure: "FREE GIFT OFFER INSIDE." Wow. Imagine what kind of fabulous offer the government of the greatest nation in the world would be offering to induce young men and women to consider a military career and risk life and limb in foreign lands! Unable to stand the suspense, I opened the brochure to find that simply for filling out a postage-paid response card (complete with a line for the applicant's Social Security Number and an extra card to give a friend), we could receive, absolutely free of charge a "personalized U.S. Army dog tag."
Amazing. What an offer! I'm really tempted to fill out the card with the name and address of Our Dear Leader, or perhaps his daughters, or perhaps the name and address of any of several of the people at whose doorstep the travesty that has become the war in Iraq could be laid. I'm sure the consequences for such a prank would be dire, but it would be at least as funny as a branch of the armed forces trying to recruit a 50+ year old geologist.
Click here for a list of those who not only got the free personalized dog tag, but also a complimentary body bag to go with it.