Saturday, July 3, 2010

“False Bravado” USMC Boot Camp -- Part 1


The bus trip from Los Angeles to the San Diego Marine Corps Recruit Depot wasn’t a long one. At two in the morning it would take no more than a couple of hours. More than enough time for me to wonder long and hard, why I was there. There wasn’t any guarantee that I’d be drafted, at least not anytime soon. I had to remind myself that I signed up because I wanted to do my share.

The boisterous shouting and excessive laughter of the last hour was just about gone. I suppose those still being heard, thought the rest of us would interpret their continuing noise as bravery in the light of impending disaster. All I heard was the false bravado of those much too afraid to be alone with their thoughts.

The bus sped through the night; breezing through the southern California countryside with little traffic and no reason to slow down. For the last 20 minutes or so, there had barely been a noise.  The closer we got to San Diego, the quieter it became, soon there was nothing being said at all.  The air became heavy with the thoughts of those around me.

As we entered the city limits of San Diego, every head in the bus started pivoting from side to side. Everyone was trying to get their first glimpse of the Marine Base. It didn’t take long before the bus arrived at our destination. We went through the base gate and drove down a narrow road passing between old Spanish style buildings. We eventually pulled into a clearing. Not far from where we parked, I could see a large rectangular mass of what looked like yellow footprints painted on the black top.

Before I could give it another thought, the door slammed open and hell climbed into the bus…

To go directly to the next part of this story click here.

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37 comments:

Copyboy said...

Man you and your awesome beginnings. Hooked already. Bring on Sgt. Hell!!!!

Pat Tillett said...

Jesse - Thanks! I'm glad you liked it.
Sgt. Hell will be back tomorrow...

Don and Sher Cooper said...

I went to Parris Island July 1968 and dealt with Hells brother, waiting for more
Don

buffalodick said...

Never did that...can't wait to read more...

They Call Me Lady said...

Ahhhh, back to my favorite stories, you really, really are a talented story teller Pat ! Looking forward to more.

Pat Tillett said...

Don - Same time frame! It's not like that today...

BD - I wish I hadn't either! Well, it did make for some good stories!

Vickie - Thanks! You are one of the few who was around the first time I posted this. So far about the same response...lol...

SquirrelQueen said...

It sounds like the beginning of some really interesting stories. I like the way you introduce a story Pat.

My BIL is a retired Navy Seal and still lives in the San Diego area.

Marlene said...

You're going to leave me hanging??!!!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Pat, You are a good storyteller.... I can't wait to hear more about Sgt. HELL---when he gets on the bus and starts hollering!!!!!!
Betsy

Pat Tillett said...

SQ - It' pretty interesting now, not so much when it was happening!
Your BIL knows exactly where I'm talking about then...

Betsy - Lot's more about Sgt. Hell to come!

Marlene - Only until tomorrow morning! It's much too long to not break it up...

John McElveen said...

hell climbed into the bus…

OMG--Beautiful!!!!!! What a great analogy/description--can't wait to get to know Hell!

Great stuff!

John

Pam said...

He's quite the character, isn't he, Pat. And so the rest of the story continues... can't wait!
Your an awesome storyteller, young feller!

Pat Tillett said...

John - Thanks! He'll (hell) will be front row center tomorrow morning.

Pam - Yeah, he was a real character alright. Our paths will cross several times in the next week or two. Thanks for the nice words Pam...

Mr. Stupid said...

Wow. This is a great start. Can't wait for Part-2.

Lynne H. said...

Well as an Ex-Army girl, I soooo remember that first day in bot camp. Sweet Moses!!!!!

This is gonna be a good one Pat.. more..more....

Pat Tillett said...

Mr. Stupid - Thanks! I posted part 2 today, but took it off. I'm gonna wait until Tues or Wed when more folks are around. This story is too good to have nobody read it. I don't mean well written, I mean the stuff that happens to me

Lynne - I had to go through it twice...Soon enough, I'll have more posted. Thanks...

Warren Zoell said...

That's a great opening. I can't wait for part three. .)

Pat Tillett said...

Warren, I will post part two and the rest after the holiday weekend is over. Thanks for reading

Warren Zoell said...

Have a great July 4 weekend Pat.

Talli Roland said...

Wow. How can you leave us there, Pat? Love the build-up.

Margaret Benbow said...

Well, whatever Hell Sarge did to you, we know that you lived to tell the tale. Looking forward to the next installment!

Living In Williamsburg Virginia said...

Perfect post for the 4th.

Darryl and Ruth : )

Stela James said...

You have always nice things to post.

home business

Jerry said...

You're starting to bring back some scary boot camp memories. I thought I had it buried.

Chuck said...

The friend of mine who sent me all those jokes I posted last week also did his boot camp in Hell Diego.

Pat Tillett said...

Talli - Thanks and sorry! Just much too long to expect people to read, so I cut it up at what might eventually be chapter breaks...

Margaret - I did live! Sergeant Hell comes back a little later. thanks...

Darryl - thanks...

Stela - GO AWAY SPAMMER!

Jerry - Oops! Sorry about that...

Chuck - I feel his pain...lol

Jump_Raven said...

Sounds good so far Pat, but I would add a link to the bottom of each part pointing to the next one. It makes it easier to read.

Pat Tillett said...

Michael - thanks! That is such a good idea...I'll get on it...

Anonymous said...

I remember a ride like this one, only I was going to the navy boot camp in san diego.

The Wife of a Dairyman ~ Nancy said...

Love your stories:) I felt like I was on the bus with you.....well, almost.

Pat Tillett said...

Nancy - Thanks! I spent much more time writing this post than all the other ones. I should edit them all.

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

You have a way with words, Pat.
Love it..scary boot camp memories..
B :)

Pat Tillett said...

Hi Betty - Thanks so much! I'm glad they are only memories now...

Biana said...

Wow, Pat. You're an awesome writer!!

Pat Tillett said...

Biana - Thanks so much for the nice words. I truly wish I was, because I have a lot of storie...

Lucy said...

One of the most disconcerting things about this is that in setting out to 'serve a nation' people are immediately put in fear. Seems back to front.

Lucy

Pat Tillett said...

Lucy - So nice to see you here. I really appreciate your reading and commenting! You are right, they wanted us scared and stressed and did everything they could to keep us that way...