Guinther, however, is autistic. He's been diagnosed since he was 3, has been in special-ed since starting preschool.
His parents didn't worry when their disabled son said he wanted to join the military; they knew there was no way the Army would take Jared.
You see where this one is going. The Oregonian has quite the story on desperate recruiters and their underhanded ways:
Last month, Jared came home with papers showing that he not only had enlisted, but also had signed up for the Army's most dangerous job: cavalry scout. He is scheduled to leave for basic training Aug. 16.
Officials are now investigating whether recruiters at the U.S. Army Recruiting Station in Southeast Portland improperly concealed Jared's disability, which should have made him ineligible for service.
Jared's story illustrates a growing national problem as the military faces increasing pressure to hit recruiting targets during an unpopular war.
Tracking by the Pentagon shows that complaints about recruiting improprieties are on pace to approach record highs set in 2003 and 2004. The active Army and the Reserve missed recruiting targets last year, and reports of recruiting abuses continue from across the country.
Brenda said she spoke to Cpl. Ronan Ansley and explained that Jared had a disability, autism, that could not be outgrown. She said Ansley told her he had been in special classes, too -- for dyslexia.
"I said, 'Wait a minute, there's a big difference between autism and your problem,' " Brenda said. ...
Jared scored 43 out of 99 on the Army's basic entrance exam -- 31 is the lowest grade the Army allows for enlistment, military officials said.
After learning that Jared had cleared this first hurdle toward enlistment, Brenda said, she called and asked for Ansley's supervisor and got Sgt. Alejandro Velasco.
She said she begged Velasco to review Jared's medical and school records. Brenda said Velasco declined, asserting that he didn't need any paperwork. Under military rules, recruiters are required to gather all available information about a recruit and fill out a medical screening form.
"He was real cocky and he says, 'Well, Jared's an 18-year-old man. He doesn't need his mommy to make his decisions for him.' "
On Tuesday, a reporter visited the U.S. Army Recruiting Station at the Eastport Plaza Shopping Center, where Velasco said he had not been told about Jared's autism.
"Cpl. Ansley is Guinther's recruiter," he said. "I was unaware of any type of autism or anything like that."
Velasco initially denied knowing Jared but later said he'd spent a lot of time mentoring him because Jared was going to become a cavalry scout. The job entails "engaging the enemy with anti-armor weapons and scout vehicles," according to an Army recruiting Web site.
After he had spoken for a few moments, Velasco suddenly grabbed the reporter's tape recorder and tried to tear out the tape, stopping only after the reporter threatened to call the police.
With the Guinthers' permission, The Oregonian faxed Jared's medical records to the U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion commander, Lt. Col. David Carlton in Portland, who on Wednesday ordered the investigation.
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