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…
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