CHESTERBROOK, PA—Regaling a group of prospective soldiers with tales from his youth, military recruiter Luke Coleman fondly recalled Wednesday when he was just a naïve kid being coaxed into making a binding eight-year commitment to the Army in order to fulfill a recruitment quota. “Man, I remember back when I was your age, just hanging out at the mall when a recruiter came up to offer me the chance to be one of the kids he needed to sign up in order to meet his quarterly target,” said the 35-year-old staff sergeant, who appeared to grow nostalgic while discussing the day he was slowly worn down and browbeaten into enlisting by a recruiter who asked if he was a real man. “It’s crazy because I look back and I don’t even recognize that kid. I was just some scrawny teenager in a hand-me-down Starter jacket until Sgt. Hadley pulled me aside and said I could get super jacked during basic training—and that if I enlisted right away, I could get a $20,000 signing bonus. Honestly, I wish I could be back in your shoes with several tours of duty still ahead of me.” At press time, Coleman, who collected enlistment paperwork from his 12th recruit of the month, then reminisced about the days when he didn’t wake up screaming in the middle of the night.
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