Friday, July 9, 2010

“Broken Leg” USMC Boot Camp -- Part 5


We settled into a routine for the next several weeks and found ourselves about half way through boot camp. I was doing well and was having no real problems or issues with the drill instructors, when disaster struck. It didn’t strike everyone, it just struck me.

One day we were running (as we always did) and I didn’t see the bench that the people in front of me saw. They jumped over it, and I ran right into it and went head over heels. I’m lucky I didn’t break my neck, but I did hurt my leg.

As boot camp went on, some guys discovered that they could get out of parts of it by faking illnesses. Of course there was a price to pay if the medical unit didn’t totally agree with what the recruit said he was feeling. I wasn’t about to do any such thing and just sucked it up. It hurt a lot, but I got up and kept up with the run.

After lights out that night, I lay in my bunk with my leg throbbing. I finally got to sleep and when I woke up in the morning, it was still hurting. It was one of the hardest things I ever did, but I somehow made it through the next two days. On the third morning my leg was hot and so swollen that I couldn’t get my boot on. I also felt like I was burning up. I figured it was time to get some medical attention, because I couldn’t walk. Instead of telling me I had guts to try and tough out my injury the drill instructors told me what a dumb ass I was for not telling them about it sooner. You just can’t win with these guys.

They eventually got tired of yelling at me and called for an ambulance. I was taken to the Naval hospital…


To go directly to the next post in this series, click here.
To go back to the previous post in this series, click here.

19 comments:

Copyboy said...

Ahhh hah!!! You just confirmed my theory about you. The next part will be the navy using your injury as an excuse to turn you in to some bionic superman.

Don and Sher Cooper said...

Man I can relate, while in Parris Island I hurt my back falling and spent time in Beufort Naval Hospital.

when I got out I was now a "pick up" and assigned to another platoon, it sucked. They hate pick ups, we must have had almost 1/3 of us. But I made it through.

Pat Tillett said...

copyboy - That and a TV show, but neither gig lasted very long...

Don - I feel your pain! In 2 or 3 posts I report to my "new" platoon. There was a surprise waiting for me there...

Warren Zoell said...

Let me guess. You cracked your Tibia.

Marlene said...

OUCH!!!! At this point, I wouldn't know whether to call you brave or stupid...but since I like you, I'll just call you BRAVE. :)

Hawk said...

Hopping on by. Wow! I love the photo. I reminds me of when I lived in Key West, FL. Ah, memories and sunsets!

Elyssa

http://literarydaydreams.blogspot.com/
Personal Book Blog

http://ikissbooks.blogspot.com/
Group Book Blog

buffalodick said...

Glad you got help!

Pat Tillett said...

Warren - It was indeed the tibia. And it hurt like the dickens...

Marlene - I think I was some of both, plus I was as dis-functional as can be... Thanks!

Hawk - Thanks!
It appears that somebody is still messing with me...

BD - Me too! thanks...

They Call Me Lady said...

Your new header photo is beyond beautiful.

Pat Tillett said...

Vickie - Thanks so much!

Cheeseboy said...

This sounds worse than childbirth. You are the master of the cliff hanger.

Sarah said...

I just read the five posts of this series ..WOAHHH Seriously, I couldn't stop reading these! It's really interesting and the way you tell it, it makes me feel like I'm there (I would've cried in the first ten seconds there ;) The story of the guy with the sneaker made me speechless! He really got his head bashed in? That's insane!! At least you're here, so I'm not going to worry about you, but still, I wonder what happened to that leg...

Shera (Book Whispers) said...

Oh, no! I hope every thing is ok with your leg.

You can never win, it goes against the laws of nature!.

Hmmm, some how I found my way here through the Book Blogger Hop. Nice blog!

Pat Tillett said...

Cheeseboy - I don't want to be, but it's WAY too long for just a couple of posts... thanks!

Sarah - His head didn't get smashed in a literal sense, but they did beat the heck out of him and smashed his head against the flat part of the heater. I'm sure that even after the beating they charged him with assault on a drill instructor. Poor guy probably spent some time in jail...
Thanks for reading Sarah!

Pat Tillett said...

Shera - My leg is fine, it was many years ago. Somebody must have entered my name in your "hop." thanks for coming by.

Mr. Stupid said...

That was a brave thing to do, Pat. I am just glad you got medical attention and they just didn't ignore the swollen foot.

Pat Tillett said...

Mr. Stupid - Brave or dumb, I'm not sure. If I could have waited longer, I would have. Having to start over again is terrible. As you will see in "back to bootcamp" and "Valez."

James said...

This reminds me of two things. The first was one of my high school friends sprained his ankle pretty bad during marine boot camp. When I was in navy boot camp a couple years later I was amazed when I thought about it.

The second thing is a story that a marine Viet Nam told me while I was in the navy. He said that he and some of his friends were trying to figure out way to get sent home from Viet Nam. After several beers,etc one of the guys came up with the idea that he would sit in a chair with his leg stretched out onto another and one of the guys would hit his leg with a sledge hammer. Then they would say that he hurt his leg playing football. They actually did it but the guy almost lost his leg, was crippled for life and got sent to the brig after a long stay in the hospital.
I said "what an idiot" and the guy who told the story said "maybe, maybe not because of all the guys involved he and I are the only ones that made it back alive.

Pat Tillett said...

James - wow! that's an amazing story. I heard about a guy that while walking, pulled the pin on a grenade and dropped it, he was several steps away by the time it blew. they said he was crippled by it. I'm pretty sure that wasn't what he had in mind. Hey, I appreciate you reading some of this old stuff. The boot camp stories get real interesing starting with the next few entries after this...