Welcome Aboard


The Corporal who competed issuing me the required gear instructed me that I should jus’ wear my helmet instead of carrying it on my back. He explained that it was less weight in an already heavy sea-bag.

Without giving it much thought I walked across base to the row of quonset huts where I knew my newly assigned unit was housed. I knew I had been had by the Corporal as drew stares, snickers and smart-a$$ed statements nearly every step of the way.

Once at my assigned building, I stepped inside to find neither an NCO or Officer. So I set my sea-bag down and entered the barracks area.

The first statement I hear was: Hey, look at the F-N-G and he’s ready for war.  The comment drew a laugh from the dozen guys in the room.

Without warning I was pushed from behind. The shove was forceful enough to send me chest first into the biggest guy there.

He shoved me away and I struck a post that rose from the floor to the roof. I hit it hard enough to fall to my hands and knees.

That’s when the big guy grabbed me by the back of my trousers and started using me a dust mop. Then he changed directions and started pulling me towards the head.

I had sudden flashbacks of high school and swirlies.

Within seconds I reacted by wedging my feet against the jambs of the head and pushing back against the brute. As he pushed I realized I could “walk up” the door jamb and flip myself over top of him, which I did.

As I landed on the floor behind him I threw 4 hard jabs into his kidneys. But they had no affect.

By this time I felt like my heart was in my throat and choking me. But I quickly realized it was my helmet, which had come off my head and the chin-strap was now pressing against my wind-pipe.

I continued to move as I fought to unbuckle the strap and free myself from my helmet.

Meanwhile the big guy continued to move after me. That’s when I looked down and pointed at his feet, telling him his boot was untied.

When he looked, I let him have it. I smashed my helmet into his face, then I beat him with it few more times.

He refused go down. Instead he stood there looking at me and I concluded that I was about to get murdered.

Then his knees buckled and he fell forward, his body making a slapping sound as he flopped on the hard cement. But as fast as he fell, he sprang back up to his feet. Next he shook his head vigorously, much like a Saint Bernard would shake off bath water.

He stood looking at me, then smiled, saying, “That was outstanding. Welcome aboard!”

As he offered me his hand to shake, I thought, “Nuh-uh, fool me once…”

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