Bucket List item # 3 – surviving Basic Training

In honor of our Veterans, I thought I would take a look back at my experience in the Military.  I joined the United States Army Reserve in 1987 as a Private First Class and headed off to Fort Jackson, South Carolina on one very hot August day to begin Basic Training.

Ft. Jackson SC
Basic Training Photo

Now for any of you that have served you know what I’m talking about when I say it is quite a culture shock and very challenging!  Military life is unlike any other and there is only one way to do everything and I mean everything and that is the Military way.  Basic Training is up at 4:15 a.m. run a couple of miles, knock out an hour or so of physical training (PT) and then head to breakfast.  Then the day really begins.

You are trained in the Military way to clean, dress, speak, march, drill, salute, fire a weapon, exercise, teamwork…and a huge amount of time will be spent practicing standing around in formation.

Oh and don’t forget the enormous amount of hat brim to forehead in your face screaming, a Drill Sargent specialty.  Ah I remember it as if it were yesterday.

I have to admit I was not a fan of all of the cleaning, marching, screaming and endless standing around, but I did enjoy firing the many weapons.  I threw a couple of hand grenades, exhilarating and terrifying at the same time!  Fired a grenade launcher and hit a tank, excellent!  And climbed into a standing fox hole and got my hands on the M-50 machine gun.  What a thrill!  Of course there is a down side to combat training and with the Military what seems to be a blast one minute is surely agony the next especially when you are walked into a concrete building filled with CS gas and made to take off your gas mask.  This bit of training I know I could have done without!

Overall I did enjoy the challenge and rigors of basic training and after a while even began to enjoy the screaming and at times thought it was pretty comical.  Oh there were some that cried and some that left, but for those of us that graduated it is an experience that is never forgotten.  So for this Veterans day, I would like to say OOHRAH! to all of my fellow Veterans those here with us and for those that have given the ultimate sacrifice and those currently serving.  And to remind everyone that Freedom is not Free and acknowledge the sacrifice each of our service members have given past and present.

Thanks Again for your Service!

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