A friend who I haven’t seen in quite awhile called me yesterday. We had attended high school together, and after graduating joined the Air Force and went through boot camp together. While reminiscing about boot camp, it brought several humorous stories to memory. Here is one I like to call, “Just Sayin’ What Everyone Else Was Thinkin’.”
While in boot camp we had to take self defense training. Part of that training was the use of a bayonet. We were issued old M-14 rifles that looked as though they hadn’t been fired in years, and didn’t have a clip of ammo in them to find out if they would. Of course with the combat training needed to be in the Air Force, someone would have probably shot themselves in the foot anyway. Each was equipped with a bayonet, and we ran around charging these hanging canvas bags, stabbing them while giving out boisterous yells. After several minutes of terrorizing these burlap bags, the sergeant gathered us around.
“Men,” he bellowed, “if you come apon the situation where your bayonet becomes lodge between the ribs of the enemy and cannot be dislodged, simply put one foot on the enemy’s chest, then fire one round while jerking back on the rifle at the same time.”
Several of the recruits gave each other quick glances, showing the revulsion of such an act. Of course no one spoke a word. In boot camp you didn’t speak unless spoken to. The sergeant must have picked up on the looks. “Is there a problem with that, you bunch of pussies?” he screamed.
After a couple seconds a tall string-bean of a fellow from South Carolina reluctantly spoke up in his slow southern drawl. “Beggin’ your pardon sir. I don’t know about the rest of the fellers here bein’ pussies and all, but if I have any bullets left in my rifle, I don’t plan on usin’ my bayonet.”
Now mind you, like talking without permission, laughing brought immediate punishment. But it only took one snicker somewhere back in the ranks, and the laughter could not be held back. And much to our relief, though the sergeant tried desperately to hold back and give us a good reaming, it was no use. He finally threw his arms up and turned his back to us as if disgusted, but we could see his shoulders shaking.