4am came awfully early. I wasn’t hard for me to get out of bed; I guess I was excited, maybe anxious is a better word. Breakfast sucked. I was runny eggs; I was actually worried they were going to run right through me.
The security line at the MEPS building was interesting. The guards were big jerks. They probably couldn’t get into the military so they take it out on the new recruits. It was comical that they made such a big deal over the files on nail clippers. How can a file that small be considered a weapon? I could probably do more damage with a metal pen then a file.
At 5:20am we started the spiel at MEPS. There were about 20 of us processing at 75 shipping out. I started out at the ARNG liaison office to turn in my packet, pickup my name tag, and find out my AVSVAB score… it was an 82, good enough to be a cook!
The medical checks were next. It consisted of a couple of stations: Hearing: You sit in a booth with 5 other people listening to beeps over a headphone and press a button when you hear one. It got harder as people finished and started moving around inside the booth. Vision: Kind of like what you do at the DMV, but I don’t think they did a depth perception test. Then we had a briefing on how to fill out our paperwork. I was amazed at how some people could mess everything up, must have been Marine recruits. Next was the blood work, just like at the doctor’s office.
After that was the private consultation with the doctor. He looked over the records and checked out vitals. It wouldn’t have been complete without the standard turn your head and cough. Next up, was the urine sample. This was a pain since I hadn’t drank enough and it was freezing cold. There were two guys who couldn’t go worth a damn and 4 of us who had to work very hard to make it, but did.
Then came the famous duck walk and height weight check. Everyone in my group was within weight. The movement exercises were funny to do and not hard or embarrassing. After we got dressed again we met one on one with another doctor. This is where I found out that I passed everything but was still disqualified based on some extra red blood cells. Even with the waiver. How does that make since? At this point it was 10am, and I was told I couldn’t leave until 2:30pm, the time the shuttle would pick us up. I called my recruiter to see if I could drop off my packet when I got back to Madison but couldn’t reach him.
After chillin’ for 45 minutes with a delayed entry from La Crosse and guy who was shipping to Bennett I decided to hit up the mall for something good to eat. I was able to kill 2 hours at the mall but got bored pretty fast. When I got back I got paged to the ARMG liaison office, I guess MSG Dawson was trying to get me in so he had to fax some stuff to his office.
About 1pm the shippers got called out for the bus to the airport. Alec looked nervous but was one of the first in line to the briefing. I hope he has a good experience. The MEP employees were a lot nicer when the big group left, guess they didn’t feel as overwhelmed. Time still moved very slow… that 4am wake up was killing almost all of us.
At 2:45pm the shuttle finally arrived to take us back to our regular lives. This time there was only three of us on board. The guy from La Crosse, me, and a cute girl from Tomah. I felt sorry for her because she was supposed to ship out but was screwed by the height/weight requirement. She was one pound over weight, and the tape test didn’t like her wide hips. She was not out of shape.
After a short conversation the rest of the ride was quiet since the other 2 riders were sleeping. I was looking forward to getting back to work; hopefully I don’t forget the milk I am supposed to pick up…