This is a follow up to the first Veterans day blog, if you haven’t read it well you might want to. I will continue on with my journey of a young female in the U.S. Army. But first let me just say if I could do it all over again? I would have really buckled down in my school work , got a tutor so I could have got better grades then tried to enroll into a military college not a civilian one but a military school like The Citadel. But I didn’t know a thing about military colleges at the age of 18 or anything else for that matter.
So the group of us females arrive by bus at Fort Jackson South Carolina. I don’t remember much except that when I saw who my drill instructors I was pretty frightened. One kind of looked like a Nazi and looked quite mean! This guy I’ll call him Sargeant York ( like the movie ha ha) had about 2-3 rows of ribbons on his Khaki uniform, an infantry badge, and a light blue braided rope looped under his armpit & attached on his shoulder. I especially like the light blue braided rope unsure why. Sargeant York also had a Ranger patch and at the time I didn’t know what that meant but I pretty much guessed that it was an elite bunch of men like the Green Berets ( I knew a little about Green Berets from the classic movie starring John Wayne).
Okay, here is what I remember from my time in basic training. It was extremely difficult for me. I cried a lot because I was extremely homesick! Something I didn’t count on. I cried so much the other girls in the dorm had to tell me to shut up with the racket. I’m so glad that I didn’t get a blanket party over all the crying I did ( I’ll explain what that is later).
Wake time 3:30….AM! we had to keep our dorm neat & tidy, get our uniforms on, make our bunks MILITARY STYLE if your unsure go Google it, but the sheets had to have those hospital corners & it had to be TIGHT! The military has ZERO tolerance for sloth! I was never a neat person. I’m still not. I have no idea how I made it, guess God was with me. We ran EARLY in the morning before the sun was up for what seemed like endless miles in boots! I think now the military recruits wear sneakers. Lots of push ups which were painful because as a female I lack upper body strength like the men. If you’ve ever seen the movie starring Richard Gere “An Officer & A Gentleman” (great movie) there is a scene were the one female is really in a lot of pain & struggling just to push out ONE PUSH UP! That is real folks it’s awful. But notice how Richard Gere & his buddy Sid Worley pump out the push ups & they seem to be have little to no problem.
I remember a lot of emotional abuse, yelling, the drill instructors always tell recruits something like “you are the sorriest bunch, that I’ve ever seen” . More running, I really don’t remember much except for weapons training which scared me since I never handled a weapon in my life up until that point. I handled an machine gun I can’t remember the model but it was heavy & you really had to know what you were doing because that behemoth of a machine will take on a life of it’s own if you weren’t careful. They were not easy to handle, I have to give major props to our boys that handled one of these babies in wartime. Not easy. There were a few issues I did have. The handling of a LIVE GRENADE we did wear flack vests and we were given good instruction however listening in class & actually performing the task? Two different things. First I was so afraid that I might drop the grenade. If I did well that’s all she wrote. I might lose an arm or worse. Luckily
nothing like that happened I followed the drill instructors lesson to the T. Another issue K.P. Otherwise known as Kitchen Patrol I think. Well whatever it stood for during the time I did basic recruits were required to pull this which mean’t you had to get up even earlier & get down to the kitchen to wash, wash, and wash PILES OF THE MOST DISGUSTING POTS & PANS which seemed as high as a mountain. I don’t lie. If this was to build character in me than I must have enough for 10 lifetimes. To this day everyone I hate washing dishes, I will have to displine myself better but all I can say is thank the lord for dishwashers! Another was pulling guard duty inside the dorm known as “Fire Watch” I hated that, and some of the other girls took advantage of lights out to sneaks guys in. Of course I couldn’t say anything want to know why? I would get the snot beat out of me in the dorm as I slept otherwise known as the infamous blanket party and friends it’s real go & check out the movie Full Metal Jacket were they gave one to an over weight guy in the movie played by Vincent D’onforio (might be spelled wrong) and you’ll understand. It’s scary. I’m by the book. But not this time I wasn’t going to be.
Alright my friends my hands ache. To be continued next blog Veterans day #3 I’m writing a series.