The last thing I want to do is make military service OR saving the world from rogue third-world counties ALL ABOUT ME. But let’s take a moment and make it all about me.
I just watched the new Top Gun movie, and after nearly two hours of powering down a fifty-gallon drum of buttered popcorn, and feeling adrenaline coursing through my veins, I have officially decided to join the Navy.
There is only one problem. According to the Navy’s website, the oldest you can join the Navy is 39, or 42 as an officer candidate. This blatant age discrimination stands in the way of my piloting a F-18 fighter jet. Yes, the exact plane that Tom Cruise uses to save the world from an ambiguous, yet unnamed, rogue nation trying to develop a nuclear weapon.
My niece, who for purposes of the column I will refer to as “Elise,” because her name is Elise Erickson, is currently a US Marine officer. Her service brings tremendous pride to our family, and by all accounts, she exemplifies the best that the US Marines has to offer. However, I fear that not even Elise can pull the “right strings” to convince the bureaucrats in Washington to waive the mere 19-year gap between their arbitrarily established “so called” maximum age of 42, and my very youthful, and may I say SPRY, age of 61.
My only chance to serve my country is if I use the technique employed by so many teenagers at the beginning of World War II. That’s right. I’m going to lie about my age. In 1942, any number of 17-year-olds claimed to be 18 to join the military. AND they got away with it.
I’m going to do the same thing, only in reverse. I’m going to wipe a full tube of Grecian Formula through what’s left of my hair, and then I’m going to rehearse saying into the mirror, “Hello, I’m Jack Edwards, and I’m 42.”
It is only then that I will finally be able to achieve my destiny:
Flying a Navy jet to save our country from the dangers of ambiguous, yet unnamed, rogue nations.
And in my spare time, of course, I’ll buzz the tower.