So I arrived at FLW in the 35th EN BN for basic this past summer. I wasn’t someone who immediately raised their right hand the second they got the opportunity, but rather someone who just wanted help with college (After my experiences at basic, that mentality definitely changed to understand it’s much, much more than something you do for college and I grew a passion for it. But that’s not the story).
That being said, I was a 22 year old among a bunch of 17 year olds who’ve never had a job in their life. Ignorance on how to do…anything was not at all uncommon. There were very few privates within my platoon that were squared away. Among these few that were squared away, one had a particular trait that still remains the funniest thing I saw over basic.
This was Pvt. B. He was one of the very few 17 year olds who did have an idea of what and what not to do. Though his stuff was tossed during inspections (who’s wasn’t?) he seemed squared away. I went ahead with this assumption until one night I was pulling fire guard. I was walking up and down the bay around 0200 and making sure no one was screwing around. I come down the line towards where Pvt B’s bunk was located. It was a relatively quiet night, until I heard a knocking on what sounded like a wall locker door. Finding this odd, I decide to investigate. That’s when I saw it.
Turns out, Pvt B was a sleepwalker. But not your average sleepwalker. Like straight Exorcist shit sleepwalker. I found him headbutting his locker when I came to the source of the noise. “B, what’s going on?” I asked. No response. “B, is everything ok?”.
He then abruptly stops headbutting his locker, stands straight up, and turns his head at an angle towards me with his eyes wide open with his neck at 90 angle parallel to the bay floor, and he’s staring right at me. I think “Alright man I’ll just leave you to your own devices and you can figure your life out”, and walk away. I time 5 minutes, and come back to check on him; he hadn’t moved a muscle.
I can’t say I had any idea what I should do in this scenario, then DS T walked into the bay. He asked about our weapons count, personnel, stock standard stuff. “DS, I have a problem. And I really don’t know how to deal with it”. DS T was someone who was much younger than the other DS’s we had (around my age) and was more apt to help out the trainees than any of the other DS’s. Rather than telling me “f*cking deal with it Pvt” or “Pvt, I don’t f*cking care” like the other ones would, he was prepared to give this huge motivational sh-peal about dealing with problems. He was an avid do-er that could fix up pretty much anything.
“Alright Pvt”, he says. “When the world throws sh*t your way, you need to…” I reply with “DS, that’s not the kind of problem I have. Look at bunk 8”. DS T, looking confused, walks over to the locker and gets a look at Pvt B. He immediately turns towards me. “Pvt, I got nothin’ that’s f*ckin’ weird”.
Then he leaves.