Spring Rush will be here in just a few weeks, and I’d like to talk about a very special kind of rushee: the veteran. When it comes to rushing veterans there are pros and cons. I don’t actually suggest bidding every veteran that shows up. After six years of service I can tell you that there are plenty of fuck ups and geeds that can call themselves “veterans.” It’s still important to approach each veteran as an individual, even if many of them are distinguished individuals. Evaluate them just like you would anyone else. The only exceptions to that rule I would suggest are to take their age and any tattoos they may have with a grain of salt. Their age obviously deserves to be overlooked (usually, don’t rush a 30-year-old). After all, your typical vet forewent what would have been his first few years of college to instead take craps in a hole in the ground and spend his evenings dodging RPGs. Besides, think about the convenience of having a pledge that can buy alcohol, you never have to leave the house! Tattoos deserve special exemption because for some reason everyone I served with that was worth a fuck in a fire fight had at least one, and lot of times it’s just a unit thing (or an “I’m on leave and incredibly shitfaced” thing).
Probably the best thing about bidding a veteran is that he is not a pussy. Life in the military tends to suck, especially when you’re a private, and especially in the infantry. Given the choice of repeating pledgeship or spending another 12 months as a private I’d take pledgeship every time. At least when I was pledging the only person trying to kill me was the angry fat fifth year senior. There is also the aforementioned positive of the veteran pledge more than likely being 21, so again, you can have a pledge make all your beer runs. Another pro will be his perception of women. Spending an ungodly amount of time with only dudes and the unfortunate lowered expectations that come with being used to the trailer trash that sleaze around in the backwater towns most bases are located near can affect a man. Even the most mediocre sorostitutes will be outright smoke shows to many veterans. They can be outstanding wingmen.
While having a 21+ year old pledge is fun, don’t make a big deal about his age with other people. If anyone asks, he is “21″. Your social chair does not want to get the mid-homecoming week call from XXX sorority social chair “You sent a 26-year-old to creep on our babies? Are you fucking kidding me?” You can either try to get the older girls to set him up with one of their seniors, or just keep it under wraps. Personally I think any sorority girl should feel lucky to fellate a defender of freedom, but some girls just can’t get over an eight year age gap. It also might be a little awkward for his big brother, who could actually be several years younger. Lastly, many veterans have PTSD so you might have to be a little careful with some hazing activities to prevent your veteran pledge from going all John Rambo in the hazement.
How would you like a fraternity brother who has actually fought terrorists? He might be going back to Afghanistan at some point, how about pictures of the fraternity flag flying in Afghanistan declaring this land free of both terrorism and GDIs? Last, but certainly not least, many of these guys have had time as an NCO, and have administered their fair share of “corrective training.” If you cannot imagine the usefulness of such experience then you probably aren’t in a real fraternity.
A military veteran has the ability to make a fine addition to any fraternity, and they deserve a chance to rush/pledge. They sacrificed their time (specifically the time of their lives) to help defend the United States of America. These veterans are brave, selfless, and already know what it means to be both a brother and a leader. More often than not, adding a veteran to your fraternity will end up improving the quality of your house. Plus, like I said, they know how to haze balls.