Saturday, July 10, 2010

Boot Camp Epilogue

Irresistible Force Versus Immovable Object

If you read the prior 15 boot camp entries you should be very familiar with Drill Instructor Valdez.

In case you were wondering, I used his real name. I'm hoping that one day I'll receive either a comment on my blog, or an email from him. While it is certainly true that he may not remember me at all, I'm betting that he does. If you don't agree with me on that point, I didn't do a very good job covering the battle of wills that went on between the two of us. Even though he clearly had the advantage because he could abuse me physically without fear of retaliation, I feel that I more than held my own because of my steadfast refusal to give in to him.

When boot camp was finally over, I felt that I had the upper hand because he never really figured out what I was about and why he couldn't "convince" me to bend to his will. He badly wanted me to be a screw up, but I wasn't. He openly tried to get me to hit him on many occasions, but I wouldn't. The fact that he actually had a part in my being promoted in boot camp, further demonstrated that he didn't have a clue about me.

My next 2 entries relating to "Infantry Training" will serve as the bridge between my time in Marine Corps Boot Camp and my time in Vietnam. At this point I'm thinking that there will be approximately 20 entries related to Vietnam.

Although I will be softening up the language a bit and omitting most of the gore I saw in the Vietnam entries, I can't bring myself to change much else. It was a brutal place. I make no excuses or apologies for my actions and behavior during that period of my life. I was who I was.  I'm happy to say I'm not that person now...

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  1. Pat, in a way I am kind of glad that your posts didn't show up on my follow page. It gave me a chance to sit here right now and read them straight through. What an amazing tale of military training during the Vietnam war period. I had heard some stories from some guys I became friends with in the mid to late 70's who relayed some of their experiences at boot camp and the war in different branches. Your posts have brought back those memories. Glad you made it through boot and beyond. Can't wait to read your Vietnam story.

  2. The end of this section reads like a sigh. That was brutal and intense. I know it probably doesn't compare to Vietnam but it was a heck of a story.

  3. Chuck and TS - thanks for hanging in there and reading it all. It could only happen in a different place and time. Thanks for reading and commenting! I truly appreciatge it.

  4. I think I read a lot of your Vietnam posts in the past, I am looking forward to re-visiting them.
    I often wish I had enlisted...but then I think that I am glad I didn't. Whatever, I don't think I would be able to go through what you have gone through.

  5. Joe - Yep, you've been around for while. Most folks haven't seen any of them. I probably should have reposted them individually, but I wanted to get it over with.
    It was enlist or get drafted, so I got it over with.

  6. Great writing, Pat. I think you should publish. If nothing else then to blow Valdez' cool... LOL
    What kind os a system let's idiots like that in charge?

    I'll continue with the Vietnam series...

  7. RA - Thanks so much! A system like the marine corps....not so much now, but back in the day.

  8. Clicked on your blog from a link on Tim's site - amazing writing and story. Thanks for posting it all out.

  9. Brad - Thanks for reading and commenting. I appreciate it a lot!
    Come back anytime!


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