Part 3

Yep, I am still in Basic Training at Fort Lost in the Woods.   I was serious about learning everything I could.  Someone had a training book someone gave them and they threw it away.  I took it out of the trash and read it until the pages were worn and dirty.  I did everything I could and really tried to do it right. 

Somewhere about the fifth week of Basic I was looking at the guard roster and there I was listed as a Driver of the Guard.  At the appointed time, the driver's were taken over to the Main Motor Pool and told to draw a van.  I went out to the van area and started the inspection just as we were told and after finding red line faults on the first five vehicles, the clerk in the Motor Pool gave me the keys to a van told to just take it and go back to my company.  It was a brand new GMC Van and I loved it.  After the rest of the guys stood Guard Mount we were all told to go back to our barracks, except for the drivers.  I was told that I would sleep on a cot in the orderly room and t would be my job to get the guys for guard duty and take them out to their posts.

As I entered the back part of the orderly room, I saw for the first time that each Drill Sergeant had his trainees listed on the board and points scored on each event they had been trained on.  I looked up my name and saw that I had scored all the points available at that time and had about half of the total points done.  Only then did I realize that the Drill Sergeant had a clip board and scored us every time we performed an event.

Yesterday I mentioned the trainee squad leader we were assigned.  There was one guy, named smith that was just 5'4" tall got picked on a lot by the acting NCO.  I was told that it was my job to help the little guy throw the dummy grenades and so he could pass the PT test.  Every time we stopped he and I would take the ammo can of grenades over to the side and throw them. He carried that can everywhere we went. I would get just out of his range and return them to him.  Sometimes I would hit his feet and he would get mad and throw them harder back at me.  It was plain that he was getting better and just might pass the PT test. 
One after  long day, the acting NCO pushed Smith up against the wall and then threw him down the outside stairs of our barracks.  I had had it with that behavior and told several of the guys about it.  I had never heard the term "Blanket Party" but I was all for it.  About midnight four of the biggest guys crept up on the bunk of the acting NCO and with a blanket held him down.  Several of us hit him and he was told that in no uncertain terms that he would never hit Smith again.  Just as those words were said, Smith came over with a bar of GI Soap in a sock and swung it as hard as he could.  It scored a direct hit on the family jewels and it did not matter how hard we held, the acting NCO sat right up. The gig guy up my the head of the bed threw a left and knocked him back flat.  At that point we decided he had the message and left the area.  It probably took a few minutes for him to get his act together and he went next door to the orderly room.  Oh shit, oh dear, no one had considered that it might be a courts martial offense to try to teach that bozo right from wrong.  The next day, I was called to the orderly room and SGT Tignor closed the door and asked me what had happened.  He didn't read me my rights or have a witness so I told him what had happened.  He told me that he was disappointed that we just didn't come to him to get it stopped but I think he was proud that his little band of misfits had solved the problem.   Later on that day the acting Sergeant come out to the platoon without his stripes and black eye. 

About that time, our Company decided we needed to have drums to help us march everywhere we went.  I had been in the band and volunteered to be a drummer.  I was given the Tom-Tom and one of the Guardsmen was given the snare drum.  I am not sure who played the bass drum but from then on everywhere we went you could hear us long before you saw us. As soon as I was selected for that duty, I was listed as an assistant Squad leader and my name got taken off the KP roster. 

One Friday, one of the guys that played football for the Brigade said that he was to play football the next day and he was on KP.  I told him that I would come over about 10AM and see if they would let me replace him to play football.  A the appointed time, I went to the mess hall and told the Mess Sergeant what I wanted to do.  He could not believe that anyone would volunteer for KP and he told PVT Parnell to get his ass over to his barracks and get cleaned up.  The kid that was the Dining Room Orderly was re-assigned to the pots and pans outside and I was given the duty of cleaning up the dinning room between meals.  The good news was I knew how to run a buffer and clean was my middle name.  I could run that buffer and put a shine on a sidewalk with a Hershey bar.  That was the only time I ever had KP in the service.

Tomorrow the rifle range starts.  I got my first taste of firing the M-14 and was I ever in love with that.

Almost found in the 60's.

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