Saturday, July 3, 2010

“False Bravado” USMC Boot Camp -- Part 1


The bus trip from the Los Angeles Military Induction Center, 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, for my country.

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 60 guys, quietly stewing in their own juices.

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:

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

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

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

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

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

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  6. 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...

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  7. 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.

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

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  9. 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

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  10. 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...

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  11. hell climbed into the bus…

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

    Great stuff!

    John

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  12. 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!

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  13. 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...

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

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  15. 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....

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  16. 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...

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

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

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  19. Have a great July 4 weekend Pat.

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

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

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  22. Perfect post for the 4th.

    Darryl and Ruth : )

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

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

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  25. 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

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  26. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  35. 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

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  36. 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...

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