“All right s—-birds, whose got my files?” At the San Diego USO a person sitting behind a desk had collected all of our personal and medical data and given it to some unwitting boy. It later turned out that he was from Canada. “Me, sir,” the Canadian said. “What the hell! Do I look like your father?” I was aware this had gone too far. I wanted off the bus. “You will address me as Drill Instructor recruit,” the scary man continued. “Give me that s—-,” he held out his hands for the files. “Yes, Drill Instructor.” The Canadian handed over the goods. After taking one look at the stack of folders the Drill Instructor, or D.I. for short, threw them down the length of the bus. “Pick ‘em up recruit,” he said, “and they better be organized by the time we get to the depot.” The D.I. moved to the front of the bus and sat down. “Move out,” he yelled. The bus driver appropriately responded. Wait, I thought, can’t we talk this through? The bus, pulling away from the curb and towards our training, was not in a mind to wait. It was a dark ride through San Diego before we arrived at the Recruit Depot. Once there however, the Marines wasted no time in beginning our training. “Get off my f——— bus, recruits,” yelled a burly D.I. who resembled Thor, the Norse god of thunder. He was covered with tattoos: lots and lots of tattoos. As I shuffled past him and to my appointed place on the yellow footprints—painted on a sidewalk next to the bus drop off for new recruits, the yellow footprints are perfectly aligned ranks and files used in teaching Close Order Drill—I noticed one rather exquisite tattoo: a dancing mermaid sexing an M-16. This is unbelievable, I thought.