Near Miss Missus

By Ted McCormack



In the late 1960s, at the height of the Vietnam War and the draft, the Coast Guard Reserves was a very popular place to be.

Because of the clamor to enlist, only candidates in perfect physical health were accepted into the reserves. Even if you met all the physical qualifications, the wait for a quota was rumored to be two years or more. Since I was newly married, soon to graduate from college, and rejected by most OCS programs because of bad eyesight or forgotten math skills, it was not hard for me to see the benefits of four years of active service in the Coast Guard versus a certain tour in Vietnam with the U. S. Army.

In desperation, I called the local Coast Guard recruiter to enlist. Imagine my surprise when the recruiter wanted to know if I was interested in the Reserves; someone had backed out of a quota at the last minute.

Excited, I jumped at the chance.

"How old are you, son?" The recruiter demanded.

Uncertain, I responded, "22, Sir."

"Thatís a little old", the Chief Quartermaster at the other end of the phone chucked, "but I think I can get you a waiver."

The recruiter then asked, "Are you married?"

"Yes", I proudly declared, "just over a month."

"Well, youíre just out of luck, son," he said, "we arenít taking married men in the Reserves at this time."

Calmly, I turned to my new bride sitting nearby and asked if she would consider a quick divorce.

Fortunately, she refused, and went on to be my mainstay in the Coast Guard for 25 years.

I would have missed my missus by dismissing my missus.


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