3 Facts for the Day

27 05 2013

1. I think when I decided to join the military, there were a lot of people not sure if I was cut out for it. My Dad thought it was a terrible idea. He had been in the Army, and had less than perfect memories of his time in service. He was protective of me, and I think had some fear for my safety. It wasn’t war time when I enlisted, but as a veteran, he knew that could come anytime. My preacher at the time thought it was a terrible idea and had no problem telling me so! I respected his opinion, but my decision was made. My only supporter, really, was my Mom. She had been a Hospital Corpsman in the Navy, and as with nursing, among other things, it just seemed natural to follow in her footsteps.
2. The most surprising thing happened. I seemed to fit into the military world very well. Have you ever seen Forrest Gump? Here’s a quote from the movie:

Forrest Gump- Now for some reason I fit in the army like one of them round pegs. It’s not really hard. You just make your bed real neat and remember to stand up straight and always answer every question with “yes drill sergeant.”

Yes, it was a bit more complex than that, but I indeed fit like one of those round pegs. I was good at taking instruction, following it, and following it well. I remember once on a deployment cleaning the dirt out of the metal ridges you see on the lip of a step. I cleaned each stair from the bottom of the ship to the top, with a toothbrush. When they inspected my completed job, I was rewarded for how well I had done by being allowed to do it on the other end of the ship.
3. I will never forget boot camp. I have special memories of “ice cream socials”. This is when our RDCs (you can call it a drill instructor) would PT or drop us (make us perform extremely strenuous exercise) while sitting in front of us consuming delicious ice cream that we could not enjoy. Who could forget when they would have us “make it rain.” This consisted of making us PT inside with the air off. Our sweat and body heat from the activity would form condensation on the ceiling. When enough condensation collected that it would fall back down upon us, we could stop. We would have successfully “made it rain.” I could probably tell stories for hours. This short post will not do my time justice. I made good friends. I learned valuable lessons. I made good memories. There are some things I saw, casualties of war you could say, that I would rather forget. But overall, my experience in the service is a priceless piece of time I will always cherish. I think it made me a better person, and I know it made me a better nurse.
Happy Memorial Day!

That is all 🙂

As a side note: My RDC in boot camp, when finished with instruction he was giving us, would always say, “that is all.” So now you know where my ending line originated.

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