I was drafted in 1953, the year the Chinese
sent thousands of soldiers to rescue North Korea.
I never anticipated how tough training would be.
As an Eagle Scout and member of the Order of The Arrow,
I thought I could cope with anything the army dished out.
Waiting for inspection, exhausted every day, I fell asleep
standing up. A guy from rural Maine kept failing inspection
and was usually punished by having to run around our quadrangle
with his footlocker carried over his head. He also couldn’t deal with
being locked in a gas-filled building to master our use of a gas mask.
Tragically, when we were trained to crawl on our bellies over a field
while a 50-caliber machine guns fired live bullets over our heads,
the guy from Maine stood up and his torso was ripped to pieces.