A School Of A Different Color....Its About My Expereinces At Army Basic Training...And The Lessons I Learned There

1537 words - 6 pages

A School of a Different ColorIt was a cold January morning, as the jet liner I was riding landed in Louisville, Kentucky. Immediately upon exiting the plane, I saw a nice young soldier holding a sign that said "Private Robert J Jones," so normally I went up to him and politely said, "I am Private Robert Jones." He simply smiled and replied, "Alright, follow me, Private," but the way he said "Private" was not the same way the recruiter had said it back home in my small town; he said it as if it was the lowest of low, like it was an insult to be called a private. I followed him outside, and he told me to get on a long white school bus, which had printed on the side, "Property of the US Army," I boarded the bus and another young soldier was driving, who was maybe 20 years old. He told us that if we smoked to go ahead and smoke now, because it would be the last cigarettes we would see for the next 17 weeks, and unfortunately, I did smoke, so I smoked the last cigarette I would see for 17 weeks. After about forty-five minutes on the bus, we arrived at Fort Knox, Kentucky. There appeared to be no roads or sidewalks, just snow, and everything was covered in the white substance I would later grow to hate.We pulled up to what the army called "In-Processing Station #4," and we stayed up all night signing papers to officially become property of the United States Government. The rest of the week we did basic "in-processing activities" such as: giving blood, DNA, and urine samples, receiving immunizations, haircuts, uniforms, ID cards, and going to the PX (this stands for Post Exchange, the place where you can get running shoes and boot polish). This was known as 0 week, because it doesn't really count as part of the sixteen-week obligation I signed up for at the recruiting station back home, a small fact the recruiter neglected to inform me about.Well, by the end of zero week, I was already missing my parents, sisters, and most of all, my girlfriend of two years. The men who had been guiding us through the in processing were actually not that bad, where are these hard-ass drill sergeants my father had warned me about? This was going to be a walk in the park compared to how my dad described it being back in '69, when he first enlisted, then came our first morning of "actual" basic training.It was 3:30 a.m. in the barracks where we were sleeping, about 60 soldiers, bunk beds lined side by side, when all of a sudden the lights came on and a loud, booming voice screamed, "GET THE F!CK OUT OF MY BARRACKS!!" The next thing I know the young man lying on the bunk next to mine was lying in the floor; some rude man had grabbed his mattress and jerked it out from under him! "What the hell was going on?!?" I thought quietly to myself. I jumped out of bed and instantly was told to get down and do pushups for not wearing the proper uniform. "No one told me what the proper uniform is!" I told the man, and boy, he didn't like that remark at all. Now there were three, big,...

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