He has dreams of making it into the military, but will Austen Parker have to wake up to the reality that he isn't going to be accepted?
The 18-year-old is being told something he did is standing in his way, something he did before he was even born. Someone else's horrible history is making Parker's military future nearly impossible.
"It's crazy," Parker said.
Ask him about the Air Force, and you'll get an answer faster than a fighter jet.
"I like flying," he said, smiling. I've been around airplanes my entire life."
He has put quite a bit of thought into joining the Air Force.
"You get great experience, great life check, and it builds character and makes you a man and that's what every woman wants, right?" he asked, laughing.
All joking aside, his last month has been anything but funny. He's spent all of September telling the Air Force something I'm sure they've heard before:
"It wasn't me," he said. "I've been trying to get it hammered out, putting so much legwork into it and getting nowhere. It's really frustrating."
What exactly happened? When he went to the Air Force recruiting office to enlist, he was expecting boot camp. Instead, he got the boot right out the door for having decades of fishy finances and a horrible credit history.
"There's stuff attached to my Social Security (number) that dates back to the 1970s, and I was born in 1993," he said. "What we've concluded, which is the only real possibility, is back in the day, somebody made up a Social Security number, started using it and it became mine."
Everyone is asking him to prove that. He has provided the Air Force, credit card companies and credit reporting agencies with all of his personal information and those past problems keep popping up. For this teenager, attempting to serve his country has been far more difficult than he imagined.
"It's a loop that takes me back to the beginning and I get nowhere," he said. "I don't know what to do here."
But there is good news: a military official said Parker will likely get a waiver and get into the Air Force. Also, one of the three major credit reporting agencies has agreed to help him get this removed from his record.
If this happens to you, credit reporting agency Equifax suggested you go to annualcreditreport.com and obtain a free credit report. Equifax said you should send a letter and proof of identification to each of the three major credit reporting agencies.