Sunday, 14 September 2014

This Coming Week

This coming week on Thursday, I will have walked out of Air Force boot camp thirty-seven years ago, as a "graduate".

It's not really something I think much about except around the 2nd of August of each...remembering the bus trip to Nashville, final papers signed, my first airline trip, and arriving at Lackland sometime around 10PM.

No one had ever said anything to me about the heat in south Texas, and I suspect if they had.....I would have delayed my enlistment until November.  August and September are miserable months to do basic training.

Air Force boot camp is a cake-walk....compared to the Marines or Army.  That was another part of the deal that I didn't realize until the very end.  Any idiot who simply does what they tell you to do......can easily make it.  There were no tough physical challenges.

The recruiter told me to bring roughly $50, and that would be enough to carry you through the first two weeks, and you'd get $100 at that point.  I think I had roughly $150 in my pocket, and doubt if I spent more than $30 of that for the whole six weeks.

Going back to Lackland?  To be honest, I never had any desire to do so.  I've met others who went back to see the old barracks, or the moldy-smelling BX, or the greasy-burger bowling alley (I went there twice in six weeks and consumed some of the most grease-intensified burgers that you could imagine).

On the morning of the last was a moment that just gets etched into your mind.  You went down to the chow-hall for the last time for breakfast.  You ate as much as you wanted, with as much time as you desired, with no instructor around to jump on you.  Afterwards, I walked back and sat there in some was over.  An hour later....I got on a bus with forty other guys and went to Sheppard AFB, Texas.

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