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I avoided military recruiters like the plague in high school, and I thought that since I’m in college now, I wouldn’t have to deal with anyone trying to trick me into dying in the desert for a barrel of oil, but luckily for me there’s even more of them on campus.

The recruiters take advantage of the price of tuition to insert themselves as an alternative. They operate much like a used car salesman from St. Joseph when they offer you the “best deal” on a car. With both, the decision could lead to an untimely death. The recruiter will talk to their boss to negotiate, too, except unlike the used car salesman, the recruiter will send you halfway across the world to some Godforsaken desert for reasons that nobody really understands anymore.

Some days they’re outside of the Union playing bags with some sucker they’ve reeled in like a fish, and other days they are at their stand inside hoping to entice someone to approach their information table and leave three hours later. I always have to do the same thing; I put my headphones on and pretend I don’t hear them. 

They talk to me, of course, but I just quicken my pace. It’s not as bad as when they text me. They slide into your DMs like an ex-boyfriend, getting a new number because the old one is blocked. I’m really glad that they gave a 30-year-old trying way too hard to relate to me my phone number so they can tell me about the secret way to pay for my tuition that definitely won’t involve being shipped overseas.

I respect those who honorably serve our country, but I can’t help but feel differently about some random schmuck that they send to schools to borderline-harass people into joining something that they probably had no interest in.

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