Basic Training Story
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Basic Training Story 4648

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March 7, 2017
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In the late '70s I was a DS for One Station Unit Training (OSUT) where the basic trainees transitioned into Advanced Individual Training and stayed in the same unit with the same cadre. This allowed for a long engagement with the trainees and personalities developed. One such trainee was considered by both his peers and the cadre as a cut above the norm. He was smart, learned very quickly, pushed himself hard and achieved success.This soldier trainee had a penchant for telling jokes. Whenever there was a down moment he would conjure up another funny story about nothing in particular, or about the environment he was currently dealing with. I happened to hear one of these jokes...The Drill Sergeants were arguing about if sex was more work than fun, or more fun than work. They called a young soldier over and asked him his opinion....the young man immediately responded that it was more fun than work. The Drill Sergeants asked him why he was so sure of his answer and he replied "Because if there was any work to it you'd have me doing it all the time."Everyone had a good laugh.Now as it happened this soldier was in this OSUT unit some 15 weeks with just a week or two remaining. While training on and around wheeled vehicles and generator trailers he hurt his ankle. We insisted that he needed to be seen by the medics, but he was adamant that he was fine. It became apparent though on the march back to the company area that he was hurt, and if he continued to march on that ankle he would undoubtedly do permanent harm.We policed him up in a truck and headed off to the troop medical clinic, over his very vociferous objections.After the docs started looking at him it became obvious why he didn't want to go see the medics. His injury was on one foot, but his other foot was missing the back half of his foot. No heel! He had completed Basic Training missing half his foot.He never fell out, never failed to keep up, never complained and never let anyone know. Had he not hurt himself that day he would have graduated and gone on to his first assignment, But he came back from the medics with a profile and ultimately we had to medically discharge him.Before he left he showed us how he would roll up two Army wool socks and put them in his boot for support. It was a shame we had to lose this young man, he had a lot of potential, a lot of grunt, a lot of personal courage.One thing we all learned is that anyone can complete initial entry training if they have the heart for it. We became less tolerant of training who said "I Cant" and sometime would relate this story.If you are out there, and you read this, I hope you are well....Read more Basic Training Stories here.

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