This? Right Here? SCARES Me

So there I was on Twitter again, and I saw this come up in my twitterstream:

Autistic Marine Booted From the Corps

Go read it. I’ll wait.

Done? Good.

Did you not freak out a little? I did. Do you know how easy it is for children like Spiff to be easily led into doing something and not even realize what exactly he is getting into?

Then I read this and my blood ran cold:

“During this meeting, Teson assisted Fry [to] fill out initial screening paperwork,” Fry’s attorneys wrote in an unsuccessful motion to dismiss the case. “Fry informed Teson that he was autistic and had asthma. He also told Teson of his criminal record and that Mary Beth [Fry] had a limited conservatorship over him.”

Fry’s lawyers allege that the recruiter told him what to say to make it through the screening. (my italics)

“While assisting Fry in filling out the paperwork, Teson instructed Fry that ‘if we don’t put in yes,’ then they won’t know.”

Testifying during Fry’s Article 32 hearing, Teson said he didn’t think the conservatorship affected Fry’s ability to enlist, and he didn’t ask anyone in his chain of command about it.

I have seen this happen with Neurotypical, Non-Aspergian and Non-Autistic people. My niece, who enlisted in the Army, when she informed her recruiter she had a bum shoulder, was told not to mention it. Other medical issues she brought up to him were also swept under the rug. She went in anyway, and soon after dislocated her shoulder. By then, the recruiter was already paid his “Finder’s Fee” and went onto the next sucker recruit. She was discharged from the military, and even recently has been told by a recruiter that she can reenlist! Even though the military medical staff that looked at her said she was too far gone. That the damage was too extensive.

Some recruiters will say anything to get a young adult to enlist. Simply because their paychecks depend upon it. Their job is to sell a life in the military. By any means necessary.

(This is not to say all recruiters are like this. Many are above board. But I have seen some that act like this, and it paints an ugly picture of recruiters in general.)

The young man in the story clearly had some other issues. But the recruiter picked him up from a group home for mentally ill adults. How could that not have raised a red flag? A slight concern, maybe?

My son right now lives with his family and his father and I make decisions about him with his input. But what happens that day, when a recruiter at his High School for Career Day sidles up to him and says:

Hey Spiff, You want to make video games for a living? I can help you get a career in Video Game Development. Let me show you.“.

And because then he will be 18 and a Senior in high school, he can legally make his own decisions. Without us. What happens when he signs on that dotted line because he is being promised his dream on a silver platter? What happens when he discovers he’s been sold a bill of goods? What happens if (or when?) he cracks under the pressure? Then what?

I don’t even want to think about it.

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