Peacemaking: Chapter 1-7

When Satan wasn’t harassing us, he had us practicing Close Order Drill; defined as “practice in formation marching and other movements, in the carrying of arms during formal marching, and in the formal handling of arms for ceremonies and guard.”   If you’re confused, then think of Ohio State’s marching band dotting the “I” before beating Michigan every year, just replace the tubas with M-16’s.  That is drill.  And in Marine Corps Recruit Training we drilled about fifty-percent of the time.  We drilled on the parade deck—an asphalt expanse in the middle of the Depot—in the barracks, and on the Depot’s streets.  Beelzebub didn’t discriminate, he loved drill, and he drilled us anytime, anywhere, for however long he wanted.  This usually resulted in endlessly practicing a drill move entitled, Column of Files.  The idea in Column of Files is to maneuver an entire platoon from four-squads into one-long line, or file.  It sounds simple, but in actuality, it’s difficult to accomplish, especially with a bunch of strung-out recruits.  When Beelzebub was in a mood to drill, nothing could stop him. “Permission to speak, Drill Instructor,” some poor recruit would ask. “Speak.” “Permission to use the head, Dill Instructor.”  The “head” is Marine-speak for “bathroom.” “Hell no, Recruit,” Beelzebub would say before continuing, “Left—left—left—right—left.”  This was followed by the sound of water breaking—the sound of a Recruit urinating his pants. I am happy to report that I never peed my pants.  What was I doing while we practiced Close Order Drill?  Well, I’m glad you asked. I daydreamed. What did I day dream about?  Well, again, thank you for asking. I dreamed I was a great scholar and writer.  I dreamed I had a library filled with books and leather.  I dreamed I smoked a pipe, drank Scotch, studied, lectured, and wrote (not necessarily in that order).  I dreamed I excelled.  My mind wandered for hours.  They can train me, I thought, but they can’t change me, not who I am, not really.

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