Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Recruiting Visit

A short story by Monica Roberts

Dedicated to all the GLBT peeps either deployed in Iraq or serving in the military.

Paula Morgan was in the bathroom applying her favorite shade of lipstick when the doorbell rang. She put on a final coat and checked her appearance in the mirror before heading over to answer the front door.
“Good evening ma’am. Sorry to disturb you. Is Tracy home?”
“Yes, but we’re leaving in 30 minutes. Who are you?”
“I’m Sergeant McGill from the Armed Forces Career Center. I would like to talk to him about possible career options in the military.”
“I know he was thinking about that during his freshman year. Come on in.”
“Thank you ma’am. Since y’all have somewhere to go I’ll be brief.”
“Would you like something to drink?”
“Water would be just fine for me, Ms. Morgan.”

Paula returned with two glasses of water as Sergeant McGill took a look around the modestly decorated living room of the Morgan home. In one corner were several large trophies in addition to the academic awards that Tracy had earned. He also took a look at the family photos perched upon a bookshelf. In addition to pictures of Tracy at various ages he noticed several pictures of an attractive young woman who resembled a younger version of the curvaceous lady sitting next to him. There was a large one of the same young woman wearing a cap and gown. But as he recalled his earlier conversations with Tracy he never remembered him mentioning that he had a sister.

“You must be very proud of Tracy.”
“Yes, I am. My baby’s graduating with honors.”
“Yes ma’am. We noticed that he had excellent scores on his SAT and ACT tests. He also scored very high on the Military Aptitude Test.”
“Tracy’s always been a smart child. Couldn’t understand why he wanted to join the military.”
“It’ll give him an opportunity to travel the world and develop his leadership skills “
“That is true. Tracy’s grandfather was in the Marines.”
“Montford Point Marine. He fought at Iwo Jima.”

Paula checked her watch. They'd been sitting there talking for fifteen minutes and Tracy still hadn’t appeared yet. “Baby, we need to be leaving soon. What’s taking you so long?”
“Just packing the rest of my stuff, Mom.”
Paula returned her attention to the handsome recruiter sitting on her couch as he asked,” So you two are leaving on a trip?”
“Actually, it’s for a competition here in town.”
“A competition?”
At that moment Tracy yelled from the bedroom, “Mom, I can’t find my black pumps.”
“Oh, I’m sorry baby, I borrowed them for my date last night. Check my closet”
“And hurry up. You know you need to be checked in for the pageant by 7.”
“Pageant?” stammered Sergeant McGill. He took another look at the graduation photo and realized the young woman he was looking at was Tracy.
“Yes, Tracy’s so talented. Does a killer Patti LaBelle impersonation and is building quite a reputation in the femme queen ranks in the ball community. Those are his trophies in the corner.

Sergeant McGill tried to digest the news as she continued. “I always knew there was something different about him when he was growing up. Not long after he took that military test I caught him dressed in my clothes. When I asked him why, he confessed to me that he was unhappy as a boy and wanted to be a girl."
Paula took another sip of her water as she continued. "All that matters to me is my child's happiness. If that means he becomes my daughter, so be it. The only reason that Tracy was considering joining the military was that he thought it would make a man out of him.”
“Ms. Morgan, no one needs to know that Tracy's transgendered. Just looking at that graduation photo I couldn't tell. It would still be a wonderful...”
“Spare me the sales pitch, Sergeant. I’m not allowing my only child to join the military for that superficial reason so he can be shot at in Iraq. If this so-called War on Terror isn’t important enough for rich folks kids to fight in it, then I’m not sending my child over there, either.”

There was silence for a few moments before Paula checked her watch and said in an urgent tone, “Tracy, let’s go.”
“I still can’t find my black Nine West pumps.”
“Then get my J. Renee’s. But make sure those thieving queens don’t get their paws on them while you’re onstage.”
“Yes ma’am.”
Sergeant McGill turned to Paula and said,” Ms. Morgan, thank you for your hospitality, but I need to go.”
“Yes, you do. Goodbye, sergeant.”

Sergeant McGill rose to leave. Just before he opened the front door Tracy emerged into the living room carrying a hanging bag. Tracy’s face was perfectly made up and she was wearing a short Baby Phat top with jeans that hugged her unmistakably feminine curves. Tracy's shoulder length black hair was bone straight and nails were freshly done in a French manicure.
The sergeant pivoted to leave, closed the front door of the Morgan home and walked to his car.
“Damn, looks like I won’t be making my quota this month, either." he muttered to himself as he got behind the wheel of the car and slammed the door shut.


mtribe said...

I absolutly love that. I wish
that had happened when my old
partner's son joined the army . He is in Afghanistan now.

Monica Roberts said...


I wrote it to point out a reason why you have so many transwomen (and transmen) that are either current or ex-military.

I either am personally acquainted with or have heard of transvets who are submariners, carrier pilots, Navy Seals, Marines, Air Force vets et cetera.

Those transvets have served in every major war the United States has been involved in since World War II.

God bless those peeps (trans and non-trans) who are currently deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Tegeus said...

'If this so-called War on Terror isn’t important enough for rich folks kids to fight in it, then I’m not sending my child over there, either.”'

it is a myth that rich kids don't serve in the military.

did you know that there is only one racial group that is over-represented in the death toll of american soldiers? it is whites.

did you also know that at least 9 members of congress have children whose children are serving in iraq?

(did you see the michael moore film in which moore implies that rich kids and privileged kids don't serve in iraq? moore is absolutely incorrect in his implications.)

'“Damn, looks like I won’t be making my quota this month, either."'

military recruitment is fine.

"God bless those peeps (trans and non-trans) who are currently deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan"

I agree with that sentiment 100%.

did you know that most people in the military are conservative and supported and voted for president bush, and continue to?

democrats who don't support our president's war on islamic terror can't also support our troops; that's a contradiction.

that's like saying you support the dallas cowboys football team, but you hope they don't win any of their football games.

I suppose democrats could say they support the military "as individuals."

then that would not be a contradiction. it would be like saying "I hope everyone on the dallas cowboys remains healthy, but I also wish they lose all their games."

so democrats, to be honest, should say, "I hope and pray for the safety of all american soldiers. but I hope their mission fails."

respectfully submitted.

Monica Roberts said...

'I can support the troops without supporting the president.

Sen Trent Lott (R-MS)

So my question to you is where are the neocons kids? Where are the Young Republicans who questioned people's patriotism if they don't support the war? Why aren't they fighting in Iraq? Where are YOUR kids?

In the entire 109th Congress the only member's children who are on the front lines are Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Sen Jim Webb (D-VA). Where's Jenna and Barbara?

By the way, I hate the Dallas Cowboys.

Tegeus said...

"I can support the troops without supporting the president.

Sen Trent Lott (R-MS)"

If Lott said that (and I assume you to be a reliable source), and if the president he's referring to was a good commander-in-chief, then yes, I certainly think Lott is wrong on that account, and I disagree with that statement.

so you see, conservatives can disagree with other conservatives.

the thing, though, is that our current commander-in-chief is a good one in that he has the trust and respect of the majority of our soldiers.

you've seen the poll numbers, right? you know how conservative, republican, and christian our military tends to be, yeah?

"where are the neocons kids?"

Representative Mark Kennedy (R-Minnesota), had a nephew serving in Afghanistan. Attorney General John Ashcroft's son Andrew also has served in the Navy in the Persian Gulf.

congressmen with children in the military:

U.S. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, R-Colo
Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.C
Rep. Ed Schrock, R-Va.,
Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C.,
Rep. John Kline, R-Minn.,
Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif.,
Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo.

"I hate the Dallas Cowboys"
do you like the colts? if so, congratulations.