Prior to last week the most depressing human situation I ever saw up-close-and-personal involved someone deep into meth addiction, and is probably dead by now. Sadly, I've had it topped.
I had gotten a lead from ADHQ who lived in the area. This young woman was married, with a child, and no GED.
Quality... I know...
The address was one of the less nice areas in my territory, but just how less nice I didn't realize until I pulled up. Two guys were sitting in the back up a pick-up truck looking... lost... with a burned out glass tube and a belt between them. Yeah... this was awesome.
I find the apartment and knock. Next to the door when I'm let in is a metal baseball bat which I'd heard put down after I identified myself. The apartment itself, while a bit run down, was well-maintained. Unfortunatly the family living in it could not say the same. The woman I was meeting with had recently turned 17, but you'd have a hard time telling so from the caked on make-up and the not-recently-brushed teeth. Her nearly two year old daughter appeared to be in decent condition and was shy, but friendly. Her husband was a different story. He appeared to be close to my age, if not slightly older.
Because she had been nice enough to invite me into her home, and demonstrated a sincere interest in the Army, I did my job. Gave my presentation, administered the EST (she failed, but not by much), and figured I'd seek a commitment. Regardless of her response I knew it was going to be a long shot since she'd still have to pass the GED (far from a given with her EST and education background). She said she was interested.... but...
Always the but.
But, she'd found out she was pregnant.
I thanked her for her time, congratulated her, and left, grateful my car was there intact.
I found myself sitting at a light not far from the apartment complex just stunned.
I'm an UNGODLY lucky person. I know this. I thank whatever grace there is in the world for the fortunes with which I've been blessed. I might get onto my little blog and wail and moan about how hard my life is because I'm a suck-ass recruiter. But in reality, at the end of the day, I'm an incredibly lucky man.
Thinking back on the day in that apartment I can't help but wonder what happened. Where did life go off the rails for that young woman. I'm sure she loves her daughter with all her heart, but there is a very hard road ahead for the both of them. 17 with two children might have been the norm back when a plethora of children was needed to survive the terrifyingly high mortality rate of the pre-modern world. But in the United States, in the year 2007, this is not a good thing.
The greatest bit of good fortune I've ever had was being born into a good family. Everything else I've ever enjoyed is directly or indirectly due to the fortune of the circumstances of my birth. Parents who cared about my well-being and success. Parents who cared that I went to school and wanted me to do things like homework (over my vocal and frequent protests). I grew up in that situation and my peers were others like me. I, honestly, thought it was the norm for everyone up until I reached Basic Training. But now that I'm going into the homes of people who don't care, or even worse, have given up, it's more apparent than ever that I'm a simply blessed and lucky man.