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Friday's mail brought something highly unexpected. A big official envelope from the Selective Service. Fat because it had multiple pages and a return envelope.

Seems Selective Service had decided that my (now) 19.5yo son had NEVER REGISTERED for the draft, doom-de-doom-doom. Threatening wording, official-ese, let's see how scary we can be!  Only problem was, we were VERY careful to make sure he DID do all the "turning-18" paperwork. To wit:

replace SS card. xxx-xx-xxxx -- done ; Selective Svc, on-line -- here;
Get new DMV ID.  -- done; Register to vote.  -- done
(his SS card had been stolen with my purse a couple years ago; he doesn't drive, so we do the DMV photo ID; yada yada yada)

note "Selective Svc, on-line -- here". That means he registered on-line, and the card had come in the mail. So where does this letter get off with

Our records identify you as a man who may be required to register with Selective Service, but has not done so.
Wha?!?! How did the gov't KNOW TO WRITE? What happened to the 18-month old registration he DID do? Hmm, where's the blamed card, anyway? Wonderful-glorious, we can't find it! The kid ONLY wears sweat-pants; these are not known for good pockets for wallets in which such official cards usually reside. So we tore apart his room, found his wallet, no selective service card. Well, where else could it be? Find and tear apart the "official papers" bag, where the passports and socials live... there's his social, but no selective! Argh. Tear hair. 3-way "It's not my fault, it must be your fault" yelling session.  Dad goes through the files, multiple times. No luck. Finally, finally, out to the financial files in the garage and find THAT "important doc.s" file, and there it is!

So, this morning (Mon.) I still wanted to know where the heck the letter had come from, since we now have DEFINITE proof that he is SO registered. So I called the 1-888 number in the letter. That phone number is "not yet in service/has been discontinued". Right. I got both responses, one each per separate attempt.  

So ... I did have another 800 number, on the letter that has the selective service card attached to it from 18-mo-ago. THAT number rings through immediately, and the second option on its phone tree is (paraphrasing) "if you recently got mail?, well, it's sorta that two of our computer systems were running an info match and some erroneous non-matches turned up. That's why there's a "yes, I am too registered" form in the letter you got... please fill it out and return it and we'll be able to get our computers co-ordinated." At least the phone that answered had a (somewhat) reasonable explanation, which was also couched in much more civil language than the scary-Friday-letter. So we'll sit down tonite and get things filled out and in the mail back tomorrow.

Moral: Your Tax Dollars at Work -- too bad Gov't Computers within the same agency can't always talk to each other -- and, thanks for the heart-attack Friday, here's hoping this explanation will smooth the way if anyone else out there is getting these letters!

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