Scott Hollifield: May the Space Force be with you

I’ve seen enough movies about shape-shifting, brain-sucking, chest-bursting space aliens to know that our national security, as well as our brains and chests, are in danger even as we speak, although we are not technically speaking right now. You are reading, and I, having finished this a few days ago, am probably sleeping.

But I am not sleeping easily, because I know of the imminent danger out there among the stars and planets and twinkling satellites.

Thankfully, the Space Force is on the way. On Monday, June 18, President Donald J. Trump directed the Pentagon and the Department of Defense to establish the Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces.

“The essence of the American character is to explore new horizons and to tame new frontiers," Trump said at signing event that was supposed to be about monitoring orbiting space junk and sharing information so spacecraft can steer clear of collisions. “But our destiny beyond the Earth is not only a matter of national identity, but a matter of national security so important for our military. ... When it comes to defending America, it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance in space.”

It seems the president and I have watched the same movies.

Swelling with patriotic pride, I immediately began to compose the service song of the U.S. Space Force, loosely based on the “Marine’s Hymn.” Here’s what I have so far:

“From the dusty lunar landscape/To the barren Martian land/We’ll destroy all evil aliens/Laser weapons in our hands/First to fight for rightful dominance/Our God-given right of course/We are proud to claim the title/Of United States Space Force.”

While I think it would be cheaper and more effective just to send a few battle-tested old veterans I know up in a rocket ship to whip whoever needed whipping in the galaxy, the president wants a Space Force so it looks like we are getting a Space Force.

Every Space Force needs recruits and, in this media-soaked, reality-TV age in which we live, every Space Force needs a celebrity recruiter. I humbly volunteer.

Did I serve in the military? No. Just like John Wayne, Bill Clinton, Dick Cheney, Newt Gingrich, Bruce Springsteen, Rudy Giuliani, Ted Nugent, Rush Limbaugh, Karl Rove, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly and Donald Trump, I did not.

But I came of age later when there was no draft and no war, so I never had to be rich enough to get a physician to insist I had a terribly debilitating bone spur that disqualified me from service or appear before the draft board high as a kite on meth in soiled underpants as Ted Nugent did (or didn’t, depending on which of his interviews one believes).

So I am well qualified to be Space Force’s original celebrity recruiter, except that I am not a celebrity, just some guy who shows up in the newspaper every once in a while like a unpopular Peanuts character.

Despite that, here is my first Space Force recruiting message:

“Hello young person looking for direction in his or her life. Have you heard of Space Force? I hadn’t either until June 18 but now it is one of the best opportunities to eventually travel into space and blow the hell out of stuff. Sure, we have NASA and the Air Force and a slew of capable, smart people working on space and defense right now, but what we really need is another bureaucratic entity full of mountains and mountains of red tape with a secretary of space and an under secretary of space and plenty of lobbyists for the defense industry spreading all kinds of cash around. You can be part of this if you enlist in the Space Force, America’s best defense against shape-shifting, brain-sucking, chest-bursting space aliens. Coming soon to a recruiting office near you.”

Scott Hollifield is editor/GM of The McDowell News in Marion, NC and a humor columnist. Contact him at rhollifield@mcdowellnews.com.

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