I spent nine years in the Marine Corps. There are many stories I could tell about my enlistment, but I suspect something would get lost in the translation, as they like to say.
I reported to MCRD San Diego in late 1968. I have been told there are two things worse than boot camp, but for the next eight weeks, I just had a hard time figuring out what they might be.
I had good drill instructors and they did a lot to help to prepare me for the ordeals to come. I thought I was done with the hard stuff when I left MCRD, but I had a rude awakening when I reported to Infantry Training Regiment (ITR) at Camp Pendleton.
They have magical mountains there and I became very familiar with them. The troop handlers claimed that our destinations in the morning would be all up hill. Then, in the evening, it would be all up hill on the way back. Never could figure out how they did that.
At any rate, everyday was too little sleep and too much marching. When I went into boot camp, I weighed 140 pounds and was six-one. When I finished ITR, I weighed 160 pounds. Most of the weight gain was in my legs. It was from carrying backpacks all over those mountains.
At any rate, when that was over, they sent us to something called casual company. I have no idea where it got that name. There was nothing casual about it. They kept me there until I received my orders to school. Well, at least they gave us some freedom at night and I did recover some of my sleep.
From time to time, they needed people for various details, one of which was guard duty. If I remember right, there were about eleven posts. Two guards walked the fence around the armory, one on the inside of the fence, one on the outside. I’m sure there was a reason for that, but they didn’t tell us.
Once every half hour, we called out to the next closest post, something about the post being secure. This was relayed from post to post until it reached the sergeant of the guard.
Everything went well through the night until early morning. The post that was supposed to report to me, didn’t. At fifteen minutes late, we decided to report his absence, when he called out to us. Once we made the relay, I asked him why he was so late.
“Fell asleep,” said he.
“You’re not supposed to lie down,” said I.
“I didn’t,” said he.
“How did you fall asleep?” asked I.
“I just kept walking,” said he.
“While you were asleep?”
“Yep,” said he. “Walked right into a building. It made a lot of noise and a gunnery sergeant came out and asked what all the noise was about. I told him I tripped.”
To this day, I find it somewhat unusual. I have heard of sleepwalking, but I don’t think that’s normally how it’s done.
If you like stories on the unbelievable side, you might like to visit my authors page. The above story is true. My books aren’t. More than that, some are very unbelievable. They are written for enjoyment and occasionally provoke a thought or two. Some of them even have things floating around in them.
If you would rather, you can simply do a search on my name, Ben Rhodes within Amazon.com. Be careful to ignore all the books by the other authors. I promise. They aren’t as good.
My most purchased book is “The Prepper.” I don’t know why. When I started writing the book, it was more-or-less as a lark. It’s not about prepping. As the title implies, it is about a person, a prepper.
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