At the end of chapter 9, Eddie asks his godmother Nina to take him to the naval recruitment office. "I had to get out of town and signing up was the only way." He decides not to see his mother before he goes, partly because he doesn't want her to see his bruises, but he does ring her to explain what he is doing. She sends him $15 and a letter telling him how much she loves him.
In the recruitment office, he meets a friend, a stoner called Larry, and they drink free sodas together. At 2 pm, they board a bus bound for the Lemoore Naval Air Station.
I hoped what Jose told me about the service was true: all the chocolate milk you could drink. I hoped the navy could teach me to swim like a dolphin and fight like a crocodile.
On the way to the base, the truck breaks down. Eddie hangs around outside with the other recruits until they start annoying him with outlandish stories of their sexual exploits.
He starts to head towards a car about half a mile down the road. In the field next to it, he recognizes one of the workers as the person who sold Jose onions just before Jose was stabbed. Eddie realizes the pain he has caused and breaks down and cries. "My eyes filled and then closed on the last of childhood tears."