Basic Training Story #4737
Basic was 30 years ago for me, but some of the stuff I will never forget. I was young and naive. When I joined, a bunch of us college friends all joined at the same time, so some friends were the cycle ahead of me. They got to watch my shark attack, picked me out of the group and donkey laughed at me until their DI figured they had enough fun for their military life and corrected their situation.
I said I was naive, right? I was looking for a rich Uncle to help pay for my college, but I was kinda eat up with it too — you know — gung ho. And while in the front leaning rest after being smoked by a group that had a healthy respect for the military and their job, the DI asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. Naive, remember? I said, “I want to be the best officer I can, Drill Sergeant!” Of course, this was at the top of my lungs. Naive. And in shark-infested water, I had just chummed what seemed like 3 companies of Sharks.
I got the, “Are you crazy, Son? So, enlistened ain’t good enough for you, Son?” One DI took “pity” on my dumb ass and finally allowed me in the barracks where I was promptly put back in the FLR position. I would have sworn that DI hated me throughout basic after he kept me in different variations for the next what seemed like 3 hours.
So, here’s the part I will never forget: my family came for graduation and my Mom went ballistic when she saw that I lost about 30 pounds. I only weighed 165 when I went in and right at 6′ tall. At 135, I was one bad-ass, eight-pack carrying killer. But my mom thought her baby looked like death warmed over. She threw a fit on the DI. I was cringing the whole time, standing at attention watching my crying mom rip my DI a new asshole. My mom finished or my dad drug her away, I don’t remember, but then it was my turn. The DI called me into his office…. And said, “Private, will your Mom be OK? She’s really upset. Let me know if you need anything or if there is something I can do.”. He was really concerned. Damn. He is human. Much respect to SDI S. I went back to visit him after I was commissioned, but he had already rotated out.