Dear Valley Forge Military Academy



Dear Valley Forge Military Academy,

I have a two-part question:

  1. How old does my son need to be in order to enroll him as a cadet? (He turned 4 this year).
  2. And do you have any spaces still open this fall?

Here are the reasons why Valley Forge Military Academy seems to be an ideal fit for my son:

  1. He is already skilled in counterinsurgency tactics, ninja techniques, self-taught jujitsu, hand-to-hand and head-to-head combat. He believes he is "Optimus Prime," leader of the (Transformers) universe, but he is as cunning and versatile an adversary as the Viet Cong.
  2. He already knows how to march . . . to his room.
  3. He is in need of discipline and we think he will respond well when his superiors are armed.
  4. If YOU can't straighten him out, nobody can.
  5. "Scared Straight" rejected him because their program does not allow children under the age of 5 to be taunted by inmates behind prison walls.
  6. He is chopping years off my life, raising my blood pressure and, worst of all, turning my dark hair white. Not even gray! WHITE
  7. I want my son to attend Valley Forge Military Academy because I want him to be close to home in case he has a nightmare. He can simply dash the 2 miles from VFMA to my bed with his blue blankie in hand, thumb in his mouth.
  8. Your school promises, "Structure, discipline and learning for life." I can assure you that we are not upholding these core values in our home. Right now, he's watching how to make Angry Birds cupcakes on YouTube.
  9. Your website says, "Applications are welcomed from young  men . . . who have demonstrated good citizenship." What exactly do you mean by "good citizenship"?
  10. You also say, " Applicants should be physically fit and free from any factors that could limit their full participation in cadet life." Oh, my boy is fit, no worries.  He can hop on one foot and move about like a nimble Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle hero in a half-shell.  I suppose unyielding defiance may be a factor that could limit his full participation in cadet life, but we shall see.
  11. I am a former employee of Valley Forget Military Academy. I had the good fortune of temping at VFMA for exactly seven days circa 1997 when all of the major television networks and cable channels tossed my resume into the garbage without so much as a pause. Perhaps Colonel P. will recall the way I filed his documents with military precision and the way I stood at attention in his office.

Valley Forge Military Academy, I salute you and thank you for your time and consideration regarding the possible enrollment of my son.

Sincerely,

Stacy H. Biscardi

PS. I'll never forget the 13-year-old cadet who tearfully approached me on day seven of my temp job and told me he hated VFMA, that it was like a "God-damn prison." I contemplated stowing him away in the trunk of my car and carrying him to freedom.

Chances are, if my son enrolls in VFMA it will take me no longer than seven days to come rescue him, too. We may make a clean getaway in my car, or he may devise a blankie chain out of his dorm room window. Just giving you a heads-up.

Either way, seven days, Valley Forge Military Academy.  That's all I want.

Seven days, make my boy a good citizen! A cadet. An officer and/or a gentleman. The youngest guy ever accepted to VFMA.

He will no doubt wear it like a badge of honor.

And therein lies the problem.

Stacy Heenan Biscardi is a freelance writer and attorney from Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. She has written for The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Philadelphia Daily News, Chic Mom Magazine, and several other publications. She is a former writer/producer for NBC and CBS. Stacy lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband and two young sons. This post was adapted from her blog, Wifty & Shifty

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