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U.S. Marines, Navy Recruit 7-Year-Old

June 12, 2003

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. (AP) _ First the Marines came calling. Now the Navy wants Joey Crossman.

But is Joey ready? After all, he’s only 7.

The name of the elementary school student mistakenly landed on military recruitment lists, most likely through a magazine subscription, and the military has been wooing him ever since.

In April, the Marines sent Joey a recruitment letter. Then came the Navy’s invitation last week.

``We’re just waiting for the Army and the Air Force,″ said Joey’s mother, Kathy Crossman. ``He’s probably the most wanted 7-year-old in the country.″

The Navy challenged Joey to ``accelerate″ his life.

``For every time someone said you couldn’t do it. Or you don’t have what it takes ... Prove them wrong,″ the letter said.

``I can assure you the United States Navy is not in the business of recruiting 7-year-olds,″ said Lt. Bill Davis, a spokesman for Navy Recruiting Command in Millington, Tenn. ``Our minimal age is 17 with parental consent.

``But if he’s got interest in the Navy and he wants to find out more, we’ll help him. It has to start somewhere,″ Davis added.

If the Navy wants Joey, it may have to make some changes to accommodate his standard of living.

Joey toured the USS Yorktown during a family trip to South Carolina in April and wasn’t impressed with the hard, impersonal bunks.

``The bathrooms they had weren’t working,″ Joey said. ``I just don’t want to live on a ship.″

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