It seemed to be the longest bus ride on which I had ever been. Every
passenger had the same terrified look on their face. Each one of us seemed
to be thinking the same thing. Asking ourselves, "Do we really want to go
where this bus was taking us?" We all knew the destination , and thought we
were ready to go there. Many of us had visited this place, or places like
it in our imaginations when we had played as kids. Was it a dream come
true, or nightmare?
The welcoming committee was outside in the rain, waiting on
us. When the bus stopped and the door opened, we were willingly received as
guests. Then, yelling started. The loud, intimidating voices ordered us the
hell off the bus, and to stand on the yellow footprints that was painted on
the ground. We were at our home away from home: the Marine Recruit Depot,
Parris Island, South Carolina.
The welcoming committee were lean and mean Marine Corps Drill
Instructors, and they did not waste any time breaking us in, they started
with no introduction. The yelling was intense, they never spoke
to us in a normal toned voice, and if you even acted as though you were
thinking wrong, they tortured you by making you do bodyweight exercises that
you never knew existed in civilized society.
For the first few days we were herded around like cattle. The Drill
Instructors controlled our every movement. Nothing was done without
permission, not even using the restroom. They told us when to go to bed
and when to get up. The time to get up was approximately "zero
dark thirty" which is military jargon for "too damn early." We marched or
ran everywhere went; and did constant push-ups, while they yelled.
After a few weeks went by, the yelling became normal to us. The
marching, exercise, and military customs and...