06/03/05 Tank Surfing - Latest Army Recruitment Craze
Piscataway, NJ (APE) - Children at Douglas MacArthur Middle School were treated to the latest PR Campaign/Craze that is sweeping the nation. The local National Guard division rolled out a battle-ready M1-A1 Abrams tank onto the playground for the kids' inspection. Douglas MacArthur has been identified as a school of excellence for its one hundred percent perfect compliance record with the "No Child Left Behind" initiative. They were also cited for one hundred percent compliance with parents electing to "opt-in" with registration of their children into the national military recruitment database.
Pictured foreground left to right are brothers Tyler, Michael, and Gannon Fodder, along with Lisa Winchester, all of Piscataway, NJ. They were the lucky winners of a school raffle for the privilege of "tank surfing".
Winners of a school wide raffle were treated to one shot at "tank surfing". Tank surfing is the latest initiative from the armed services designed to reach and enthuse more children at a younger age. The object of tank surfing is to leap into the air on command at the precise time that a practice round is fired and "surf" the resultant pressure wave. Small children with a low body weight are ideally suited for this sport.
There has been uproar from parents in some areas of the nation in regards to attempts by military recruiters to access eligible high school students. Army recruiter spokesman Sgt. Hugh Maggott stated, "Parents have really been a detriment in trying to meet our recruitment goals. Research demonstrated that our efforts would be far better spent in attempting to influence potential soldiers at a much younger age, before their parents were able to exert undue influence."
When asked about the safety of tank surfing, Sgt. Maggott replied, "The whole concept was kind of stumbled upon by accident. At a military show in the Midwest a little boy wandered away from his mother and into the midst of a demonstration. He was blown about five feet through the air and the crowd went dead silent. Then, the little guy picks himself up off the ground, and shoves his fist in the air and yells at the top of his lungs, `That was awesome!' Afterwards, we realized that this was just the man we would be looking for in a few years. Other than a few abrasions, a couple of bruises, and a temporary hearing loss, he was just fine."
"That's how it got started," Sgt. Maggott continued. " We're very careful in these demonstrations now that the kids all wear earplugs and maintain a safe distance. Occasionally we get some singed hair, but that's not too big a deal, because they really don't have a lot of hair at that age. There is rarely some nausea and vomiting from the spectators, but hey, kids throw up at that age, too."
Sgt. Maggott concluded, "We are at war, and it is a war for hearts and minds. The Armed services simply must have access to America's best and brightest if we are to survive. This is what we fight for, to hear the laughter and squeals of these little children, and to bring our brand of democracy to the rest of the world."