Basic training, Fort Leonard Wood – 1975…

The humidity was doing a good job of outpacing the temperature. Until around 10 AM when the thermometer pushed over 100. That’s when 176 frightened kids and a few old hippies staggered out of the crowded cattle trucks.
“Alright maggots, RUN,” voices screamed in unison from under wide brimmed Smokey Bear hats. So we ran, duffle bags slung over shoulders, for hours before finally coming to attention under the blistering Missouri sun. All the while the bears circled, sniffing the air and grunting.
“Don’t show them any fear,” one of the old hippies told me. “They prey on the weak.”

12 thoughts on “Basic training, Fort Leonard Wood – 1975…

  1. Sounds so tough to me. 😦
    I admire and appreciate anyone who has served in the military.
    Thank you, Jerry.
    (My oldest brother served in the Army…he was drafted to Viet Nam when he was 18 years old.)
    Good advice from a hippie. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. He would say his relationship with Jesus is what got him through and home and able to go on with life. He actually became a minister.
        He’s been an amazing son, brother, husband, father and friend to all of his family! He still is! We talked just last week. 🙂
        He hasn’t talked much about his time there, but when he has/does we always listen intently and give big hugs to him.

        Thank you for asking, Jerry!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. My basic training sergeants must have been from a different planet. I remember sitting around listening to him talk about Korea. There was never any of that yelling and denigrating stuff – just a lot of good honest advice and lots of muscle building. And I don’t think Aussie soldiers were less because of the difference.

    Liked by 1 person

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