Operation Recruiter Appreciation 2008 – Long Island

ORA 2008 started on Long Island with a visit to the chocolate factory my nephew and his wife run in Valley Stream for some chocolate coated pretzels smothered in red, white and blue non-pariels! Honest it wasn’t my idea! The lady of the shop suggested it when I talked about what I had originally intended (you know women are more creative than men anyways, right?). It was a terrific choice!

The pretzels flowed down a conveyer belt smothered in red, white and blue and were plucked off and packed into clear bags tied off with red, white and blue ribbon! It looked so good that I had to grab my camera and capture a few photos for posterity!

Then I began my circuit visiting recruiter stations in Lynbrook, Freeport, Hempstead and Garden City. As soon as I got to the Army station in Lynbrook I knew I had made a tactical error! I should have called during the week to make sure someone was going to be there! They were closed down and the Marine Corps station nearby was closed as well! Arrgh! Undeterred I drove over to Freeport and met the same situation! None of the four services at that station had anyone there!

Getting desperate I drove over to the next big recruiting station in Hempstead where I finally got lucky and was greeted at the door by Chief Sikora who was all by himself. He explained that many of the recruiters had fresh recruits that they took to some events today. It turns out he manages the Navy recruiters on Long Island so he will be a good contact for next year’s ORA. We had a long talk as I told him about GOE and he told tales of his job managing recruiters in the San Francisco area with the moonbats running demonstrations and interfering with their access to students. It gave me a greater appreciation of what the recruiters have to go through.

Taking my leave of Hempstead I drove to Garden City to the Marine Corps Reserve Center where I hoped to meet some recruiters only to find that there was a private party at their Tun’s Tavern and I felt that I didn’t need to intrude so I left three bags of pretzels and some business cards with the Marines at the gate to pass out as they would. I took a quick photo and then headed home to check on some other pressing GOE business.

I followed up by telephone with David who was planning to get to the Times Square station today. I caught him in a car heading there with pizza and soda.

Then I spoke to Tom, our man in Patchogue, who, with men from his American Legion Post were delivering boxes of goodies to the recruiting station there as well as doing a mailing to Iraq. Unfortunately, Tom stepped off the curb while carrying boxes and managed to break his ankle. He was in the emergency room getting it set when I called. He was in good spirits and the boxes got delivered, but Tom probably won’t be riding his scoot for a while until everything heals. Bummer in the Summer!

ORA was productive again this year, making us new contacts even if it did have one casualty, I learned a lesson which I will remember for next year, do your homework beforehand!

The recruiters we visited were happy for our presence and we look forward to seeing them again next year. Later this week I will see about getting to the three sites that were closed today.

The few photos I took are here.

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