Basic Training Story
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Basic Training Story 4659

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March 10, 2017
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Some of you might have heard of me, if you did your basic where I did after my particular incident. I was on the advanced driver’s course on February 14, 2002, just two weeks from graduating. It was freezing balls cold, which I’d been more used to from my home state of Michigan than from Kentucky. As a result, I was (from the loader’s position) popping my head in any out of the turret.I’d get too cold from the breeze and drop inside for a bit, then pop out again. Well, when I was going to pop out again the driver slammed on the brakes. The loader’s hatch was, evidently, not properly secured (partly my fault at least, dumb trainee as I was).My fingers got mashed up, I went to the Ireland Community Hospital (and kept in an area normally reserved for permanent party), and put in a cast. I was in that cast for a month and a half before it was removed. This meant going back to reception, to what they called PTRP (or “Physical Training Recuperation Platoon”) in Bravo company (the building you all probably started in, but located on the third floor if I remember correctly). When I came back into a new company, and then went back to the Advanced Driver’s Course, they made a point of telling that story (not entirely accurately), and I’ve wondered how long they actually told it.But anyway…When I got to PTRP, it didn’t take long for me to discover what a black hole it was. Sure, there was the TV on the first floor glued to Fox News (I recall someone quite proudly saying he’d “bounce it off her bottom lip”, referring to Greta Van Susteren). Sure, we didn’t really do anything (exactly why it was a black hole), except the rare PT we had (held at a permanent party gym, completely with swimming pool and racquet ball courts). I pushed myself through the pain as best as I could to make my fingers work again (or well enough, they’re still not as they used to be), which took only an additional month. Some of the poor bastards had been stuck there for six months or longer.The Army wanted to make sure no one was faking, I guess. I suppose some fakers might have been there, but most were desperate either to get back into a training unit of be discharged, anything to leave the unending tedium of PTRP. The powers that be even gave quasi jobs to those that bad been stuck there exceptionally long, working in records or whatever else.Military personnel have a messed up sense of humor sometimes, don’t we? Well, as you might imagine, a place like PTRP can stir up such things. At the lower end, we took inspiration from Stripes (which, as you probably know, was filmed in part there). As the film turned the Doo Wah Diddy Diddy song into a cadence, we made our own version to the same tune. I wish I hadn’t lost my copy of it. All I remember at this point is “crutching to chow just a every single day” and “shit bags lead the way” to that infamous tune.Some guys liked to take the rubber caps off crutches and (because of their shape) stick them in their PT shorts and use them as erections (before “attacking” their prey). One guy was an exceptionally good artist, and would draw hot naked women with huge tits. Hey, you take your spank material as you can. The most interesting thing that happened while I was there, however, was what was called “man sex”.You’d be forgiven if you thought “man sex” referred to homosexual acts. It did not. Rather, it was heavily masculinized auto-erotica. “We don’t use gay ass dildos (No!), we use pistons! And motor oil! You’ve got to ‘take it like a man’, its man sex!” It became quite the running gag. I can’t say this for certain, but I did hear about the culmination from someone who escaped PTRP after I did. As the story goes, one of the sergeants (we really didn’t have as many DS’s around, mostly regular cadre) came upon quite the sight one night. Apparently, a line of privates were standing amongst their bunks, naked and holding their junk, sounding off “Man sex! Man sex!”I wonder what the hell happened to those guys.

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