With the Preacher’s permission, and per his request, I am posting one of his short stories here. (No, I haven’t allowed him to read my blog. He only knows that I have one.) I think it will give insight into where I get my sense of humor, love of writing and it will let you in on why I also refer to the Preacher as the Drill Sergeant sometimes. I also happened to enjoy this story very much.
Once when I was about three he came home from reserve duty and asked if I had cleaned my room while he was away. I responded with an enthusiastic “Sir, yes sir!” He still gets a big grin on his face when he tells that story. So in honor of my own personal Drill Sergeant, and Preacher, here it is.
You Are In the Army Now
by the Preacher
I arrived at Fort Jackson near Columbia, South Carolina on a cool March day, as a lean mean fighting machine from Alabama. Raised up hauling hay and cutting pulpwood, I was ready for anything except Drill Sergeant Murry. (Name changed to protect my life.) He had served three tours in Vietnam and was going through a really bad divorce.
When I got off the bus at the processing center I was greeted by the ugliest, meanest and loudest man who I had ever met. Things went down hill from there. When we were placed in formation and told to march leading off with our left foot, I discovered that I could not march in time with everyone else. Years later, I decided it was because of the intense fear that I was feeling.
We were given a speech by Drill Sergeant Murry. His use of words, many of which I had never heard, was mind-boggling. He told us what he would do with the baseball bat that he carried if we stepped out of line. In my wildest imagination, I could not imagine what he suggested to do with that bat. After his speech, he finally left the barracks only to return a few hours later to find me in the middle of a craps game. When I looked up and saw that war-torn weathered face glaring down at me, I wilted. My breath left me and I thought that my time had come to meet my maker. As ironic as it was, Drill Sergeant Murry took a liking to me and seemed to pay me special attention, both good and bad.
When asked if I would join the Army again, I find myself using some of Drill Sergeant Murry’s words when I declare an emphatic “No. Not if Drill Sergeant Murry is still alive.”