Given the recent news from Iran, it may soon be time for a new generation of US soldiers to strap on their camouflage helmets and charge into the fray, just like in Call of Duty. However, the government is having some difficulty convincing the public, particularly young people, that another war is necessary. Since no military official wants to be called a boomer in their Twitter DMs, we spoke to local recruiter and forty-three-year-old Dave O’Reilly at his recruitment stand next to Popeye’s in Providence Place Mall to see how the US armed forces are meeting today’s youth on today’s terms.
“I’mma keep it real with you chief,” O’Reilly begins, “I’m really focused on understanding the lingo of today. The higher-ups are saying we should try to get into Fortnite in order to relate to these kids. Apparently being ‘relatable’ is really important to them. I played one game with voice chat on; it was one of the most alienating things I’ve ever done. Getting rocks thrown at me by Syrian civilians was nothing compared to being called a ‘no-skin’ by prepubescent kids and watching someone dressed as a pink bear rapidly toggle crouch as I bled out on the floor. I went to ranger school. Why are these kids so much better than me at this fucking game?”
Dave continues, “I want to be their role model. In my opinion, fighting for our freedom is something that every young person should aspire to, and you know what? War is a lot like Fortnite in a way. Sure, there’s no rocket riding, but young people today are already learning to keep their team afloat in dire situations. At least, that’s what I try to tell them before they flood my inbox with memes. What am I doing wrong? It used to be we could just promise them a Dodge Charger in return for decades of night terrors. Now they want ligma? What’s ligma?”
Mr. O’Reilly asks us to look over his most recent draft for a recruitment script. It reads: “Hey gamers! Ready to rush some campers in Paradise Palms? Our enemies are no bots, and we need legendary pros like you to pop their shields! As a bonus, the VA provides heals for knocked teammates! The bubble is closing, so sign up today! The terrorists hate our way of life.”
We tell him not to change a thing.
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