- Blog Your Dash – My School Years
- What happened the year you were born? – Blog Your Dash Part II
- BLOG YOUR DASH – PART III THE ARMY YEARS
- WHAT HAPPENED THE YEAR YOU GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL? – BLOG YOUR DASH PART IV
As with many young men that have gone into the U.S. Army, this was only the second time in my life that I was leaving home on my own to leave the island (Puerto Rico). The first time I was fourteen years old when I flew to New York City to visit my grandparents. This time, however, the trip was much longer even though I was only going to South Carolina. Since the Army was paying for the tickets, they went with the cheapest fare which meant three layovers. A group of us new recruits left San Juan at noon and arrived at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, at three o’clock in the morning! We were exhausted, hungry and very cold – up until that day, the coldest temperature I had ever seen was 70° F (21° C).
The first two or three days were spent in the processing center, I remember thinking “hey, this is alright!”, boy was I naïve! After being processed in, we were bussed to our training barracks – and life as I know it changed forever! “YOU HAVE FIFTEEN SECONDS TO GET OFF THIS BUS – MOVE IT!” The yelling did not stop for the next 9 weeks – it went on right up to graduation!
Of all the things that I did in Basic Training, the one that, to this day, I absolutely hate was having to do KP (Kitchen Police). Kitchen Police is a glorified name for ‘kitchen aide’; the kitchen aide is the one who cleans the pots and pans, washes the dishes, peels the potatoes, cleans the floor and does all the menial kitchen work. The menial work includes cleaning (Yeech!) all the grease traps. As if this were not enough, when you do KP, you start at 4:30 AM and end at 11:30 PM – a very long day! Of course, since I hated KP so, I was stuck doing it twice during Basic!