More than half a lifetime ago…

More than half a lifetime ago…

Twenty-two years ago today, the skinny, scrawny, baby-faced, bobble-headed, scared-shitless, chip-on-my-shoulder, had-something-to-prove, 18-year-old version of me shipped off to Fort McClellan, Alabama, for United States Army basic training. I vividly remember almost every minute of that day (which will serve me well when I finally get around to writing that book I keep telling myself I’m going to write). The older, wiser, slightly more rational, slightly less angry, 40-year-old version of me is impressed that I had the balls to go through with it.

Of course, I also realize that, in addition to balls, my willingness and ability to voluntarily subject myself to such a completely batshit endeavor can also be largely attributed to the folly of youth. Still, I’m glad I did it … and I’m equally glad it’s over.

(BTW: The ID card above shows me at age 20. I’d have dug up a basic-training-era photo for you, but all of that stuff is in storage due to our impending relocation. Just one more thing you can look forward to once we get unpacked.)

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12 Comments

  1. miffed67
    Posted July 21, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    Yep…been there, done that. Glad I lived it, but don’t miss it now. It was fun while it lasted, tho….Ft. Dix, NJ, Germany, Saudi Arabia/Kuwait/Iraq, Ft. Bliss (armpit!), Ft. Hood (home for me, I’m from Killeen) and that’s my odyssey! You must have been an Ordnance guy (Ft. McClellan?) Sorry, occupational hazard of a lifetime spent around the Army! Army brat, soldier, and now the wife of a retired soldier. LOL!

    Ok, I’ll shut up now!

    • Posted July 22, 2010 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      Actually, I was an MP. Seeing as how you were an Army brat, I’m sure you encountered them on more than one occasion. ;)

  2. Posted July 22, 2010 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    I know that military service often makes people who are “wild” into rational disciplined men and women. But for the life of me, I just don’t see why. The entire method of training and life seem intuitively to be designed to create mindless angry people. And while no doubt there is a percentage of military people in that category, it doesn’t represent the majority.

    I just can’t get why. Maybe its the relief of getting out that makes you embrace the rational peaceful life.

    Sorry – deep thought for the day.
    sara´s most recent blog post: Life isn’t black and whiteMy Profile

  3. Jackie
    Posted July 22, 2010 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Sara – I think you learn to appriciate the small stuff after being in a situation like that. I had a girl cousin that went to iraq she was non military but worked on the base as a contract laborer and it turned her life around! She told me that she was a spoiled brat used to getting her own way and when she got in trouble by the cops knew our uncle that is a lawyer would get her out. She said when you go to Iraq you can’t just go out and get anything and everything you want so you learn to appriciate things.

    DS – OMG you were a baby! looking forward to the other pics. :-)

  4. Posted July 22, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    My Dad did the same thing… thus I spent 18 years of my life moving around the world every 18 months. Hmm… good times.
    Jessica @ One Shiny Star´s most recent blog post: This is my already mentioned- but still existing and more permanent than before newsMy Profile

  5. Posted July 22, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Jon, I will say “Thank you for your service,” while at the same time sharp teeth tear at my heart for a local lad, the son of a good friend, who was killed in a bomb explosion in Afghanistan earlier this week. My dad served in WWII, my brother retired from the Army after twenty-plus years, and now my previously -held beliefs that our government knows what it is doing are in doubt. It’s different when the coffin being unloaded at Dover AFB contains the lad who used to shovel deep snow off my roof.
    Gullible´s most recent blog post: Miscellany for a Wednesday EveningMy Profile

  6. Posted July 22, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Addendum: rather than “previously-held belief” make that “previously-held hope.”
    Gullible´s most recent blog post: Miscellany for a Wednesday EveningMy Profile

  7. Posted July 22, 2010 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    OMG – you were a BABY! You actually look younger in that picture than my almost 16 year old looks now.

    BTW – thank you for your service.
    Gigi´s most recent blog post: Its Been over A Year ReallyMy Profile

  8. Simone
    Posted July 26, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Jon – I was at Fort McClellan at the same time. Shoot me an email!

    • Simone
      Posted July 26, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      Meant to also add – MP.

  9. Mark G.
    Posted August 8, 2010 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    I remember that dude! Listening to that Vegas Rock station at 4:00am in the middle of the nowhere California.

  10. Miffed67
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    I’m taking the 5th on that run-ins with the MP’s Uh….Yeah. No comment!! ;)

    I’m sorry for your loss. That’s so tough, must just be awful. I’ll keep you in my thoughts.

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