Friday, October 06, 2006

Things my son told me about boot camp

A contraband bag of M&Ms can go for $20.

Someone desperate will pay $30 for a can of snuff.

Someone who's really interested in making money can manage to get to the main PX and buy $100 worth of candy, and by or shortly after lights out sell it all for $300.

The contraband 2-liter bottle of Dr. Pepper the DI found can, when slammed into the floor, manage to liberally splash about half the barracks and mess up the wax job on the floor. Which they'd had to do. Which, sometime after the DI finished yelling, caused several people to have an in-depth discussion with the idiot who snuck it in.

An MRE heater, with just a little water added, can be closed up and placed in the bottom of your sleeping bag to keep your feet warm.(I don't know where he picked that one up, but he was the only one in the platoon who knew it. So he collected heaters others didn't use on chilly nights in the field; and a couple of guys, after finding out why he'd wanted them, paid $5 to get theirs back)

Dumbasses who take contraband in their rucks on a field maneuver will have their ruck searched while they're out of camp, and will wind up doing things like moving all the sandbags from around his squad's tent about 300 yards to the river. And back. With dire threats of what will happen if they spill any sand from any of the bags that get ripped.

The platoon lost "two guys because they got hurt who'll have to finish later, and one guy because he's a dumbass".

The new Top Sergeant was so short he looks like a midget on his Harley; and NOBODY is dumb enough to mess with him, because- among other things- he's about 2/3 as wide at the shoulders as he is tall.

Helmet or not, getting hit in the head with a Pugil stick hurts.

Yes, the gas chamber really was that bad.

The issue berets are cheap.

These barracks are a lot nicer than the one he stayed in at Encampment in CAP a few years ago. Which was left over from WWII.

There were no skunks around these barracks, but they still have racoons in the trash.

When they were issued their cleaning stuff for the rifles he asked the DI if there was anything better available. "What do you mean 'better'?" "One-piece rod, some better CLP?" "No, you have to use this shit." Pause. "I keep my good stuff at home".

Somehow, after several weeks, he was the ONLY one in the platoon who knew what CLP stands for.

You weren't supposed to take the trigger mechanism out of the lower receiver for cleaning; instead you're supposed to use cotton swabs and such to clean it out. Figuring out how to take it out, clean it well, AND put it back together properly turned out to be worth $10. From each guy he put it back together for.

They had one guy in the platoon who got a perfect score on the ASVAB tests.

One guy lost 45 pounds.

One guy- God knows how- managed to develop a fat belly.

One guy, during a live-fire exercise, started to point his rifle in a bad direction. He recovered from having approximately 500 pounds of DIs landing on him. And then demonstrating their vocabulary to- at?- him.

They only got to fire an M2 Browning Heavy Machinegun in a simulator; he was disappointed.

The instructor gets excited when you throw a grenade, and it hits one of the tires a ways out and bounces back.

A guy on crutches can use one to kill the rattlesnake he finds in a latrine at one of the ranges.

And the platoon had five guys bitten by Brown Recluse spiders. Including the guy who got bit on the ass, waited five days to go to sick call, and came back after 'they cut a chunk out of my ass and packed bandage stuff in it'. He was, ah, rather uncomfortable for a while...

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