At 16, my brother, Eric, quit school and got his GED and joined the Marines.
He was what I called a "dirtball" in school. Growing up in elementary he was more of a trendy kid and then when he went into junior high and high school he changed. He let his hair grow long and scraggly. Frizzy. He wore cheap leather jacket and hung out with his party friends.
When my brother was in bootcamp I started to write him letters. After all he is my brother. I put some cool ink stamps of Gumby and Pokey on the outside of the envelope. Dominic gave me those stamps. I thought they were so cool.
Eric wrote me back quickly and told me not to do that anymore. That when they hand out the mail they were looking for things like this and they punished them for it. He had to do 50 push ups to get his letter.
I wrote him another letter and did the same thing. Oops. Forgot.
Then my sister caught wind of this and cackling (her laugh is contagous and like a witch) she wrote a letter and put a single oreo cookie in it.
It was smashed to pieces and he had to lay the letter on the ground with all the crumbs on top and lick the crumbs off each time he went down on his push up. Until every last speck was gone.
Ha ha! In your face brother!
Would you believe he came out of bootcamp lean and muscular? Would you believe he was straightening out as a man? Joining the Marines was the best thing he ever did.