More reflections – Ten minutes in hell!


As I stepped off that bus, my first thought was God what have I gotten myself into? What have I done? Did the recruiter lie?  Did I make the right decision? Can I do this?

A voice rose up inside me that said no matter what it took I “would” do this. I knew my service number. I memorized it like the recruiter told me to do. I was in good shape. Hell, I could do 200 sit-ups in no time. I knew the running wasn’t going to be a problem. I played softball and basketball all the time. I never stopped running. Sometimes I think I ran from my mother’s womb! Well, maybe it just seemed that way because I did so much running and seemed to have infinite energy.

But, what about the rest of it all? I already knew that it was a mental game or exercise, too. I can do this! Damn, I am so ready! I’ll show that D.I. what I can do!

I saw the D.I. standing outside the bus. She looked friendly enough. She was actually a bit of a scarecrow in her immaculate uniform. But she had flaming red hair and was taller than me. That didn’t bode well. I felt my bravado slip a little. Then that immaculately dressed statue opened her mouth for the very first time. I knew I had died and gone to hell!

She lined us all up and started walking up and down the line asking questions with rapid fire precision. What’s your name? What’s your service number? Thank God, that recruiter warned me to memorize my service number before I got to Parris Island. I was ready for her.

I watched her walking up and down the line of us new recruits. As she did so she made us stand taller, put our shirt tails in, look straight ahead, don’t talk, don’t blink, don’t breathe!

No wait, breathe. Quickly before the demon monster from hell turns around and catches me too, Breathe! This woman made Sgt. Carter on Gomer Pyle look like a soft touch. Every word out of her mouth was precise, loud, intimidating, rapid fire! I felt my resolve and confidence begin to sink into the sand on which we were all standing.

Can there be another soul on earth as mean and evil as this “bitch from hell?” I did mental battle with myself. I shored up my resolve. I knew my service number! She wouldn’t catch me off guard. I was ready for anything she dished out!

In the middle of my mental conversation I realized something had changed. What? Had I missed something? I made myself look straight ahead and found myself looking straight into the iciest blue eyes I had ever seen. They were glacial. They were penetrating! They had my measure. It was all I could do not to piss my pants right there in the sands of Parris Island standing outside the doors of the bus that had delivered me to this hell hole!

I wanted to flinch. Her stare was scorching, searching, penetrating. I felt like she could look inside me to my very soul. I refused to look away. Then I saw that deep in those glacial eyes was a smirk that said she knew exactly every thought that went through my head. She saw every strength, every weakness, every doubt, every fear I had ever felt. I felt like she drew from me every thought I had ever had in my entire life. at that moment!

Then she spoke. She said those words that throughout the remainder of my time at Parris Island would haunt even my sleep for eight long, tortuous weeks of hell!  “Well! Aren’t you a little ‘jewell’?” Without thinking, hell I couldn’t think any more at that point, I proudly blurted out my name and serial number! As I stared right back into her steel blue eyes I felt a moment of triumph. I had her!

The moment was fleeting. I never saw it coming. “Did I say you could speak private?” At that moment my last shred of cockiness and resolve melted on the spot. Her voice was so booming, so commanding, so very much in charge, so glacial, all I wanted to do at that moment in time was dissolve into a puddle and be absorbed into the sand under my feet. At that moment, I would have done anything to get away from this demon from hell that was staring into my eyes, into my soul, into the very core of my being!

But somewhere deep inside me where she couldn’t penetrate, a tiny litle voice told me to stay right where I was. Stare straight through her. Don’t move! Don’t flinch! Breathe slowly. Most importantly of all, don’t say a damn word back to her. You can do this! I can do this!

This was my first five or ten minutes at Parris Island as I began my training at boot camp!

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~ by devildog6771 on October 21, 2006.

8 Responses to “More reflections – Ten minutes in hell!”

  1. So very true, lol!

  2. she called you ‘private’? that’s odd since you hadn’t earned a rank yet.

  3. Lol. 777denny, you surely can. Thank you for the kind remarks. I visited your site . It is very nice.

  4. Can I breath yet? It was a very well told story.

  5. Somehow we make it despite ourselves, lol!

  6. I laughed so hard – made me think of myself at that age! Wish I still had the stamina, but I wouldn’t want to go through the learning all over again!!! LOL

  7. Lol, I nearly wet my pants, ha! ha!

  8. Grit ~ you’ve got grit, Marine!
    Thanks for hanging thru those first 10 minutes!

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