Saturday, July 18, 2020

The Drill Instructor

From PJH's Stoop:

“Mens! I will tell you here and now that some of you standing here right now, will die! Yes, you will die! No sense in sugarcoating shit. Because, guess what? It will still be shit. No, I am not God, so I cannot tell you when or how, some of you will die, but I know this to be true. In my twenty or so years of teaching and training patsy-asses like all of you losers are right now, to become Marines, I have learned from experience that Marines die. Some of you might die in combat, with a bullet clean through your head. A clean kill contains elements of honor when you are in battle. Others might tumble on your sorry asses, and be run over by a truck and have all your guts pushed outta of ya! Others will succumb to some rare-ass disease, but what you have to understand is that you will die in service to your beloved Marine Corps and to your country. To die as a warrior, as a United States Marine, is an honor. It is not as if you are dying, no, no no, Mens, it is as if you are promoted to a higher mission!"

While he bellowed at the top of his voice, the drill instructor slowly walked back and forth in front of his new recruits. It was the first few hours of the critical first meeting, the first day of basic training. His highly-polished shoes glistened in the sun, his uniform, despite the heat, remained crisp and fresh. If you looked closely, you could see hints of beads of sweat working their way down the sides of his temples.
Despite the popular opinion of the multitudes, drill instructors are human. They do sweat. However, the drops of sweat contain salt, honor, and courage.
The drill instructor stopped pacing and with one arm, and his hand outstretched to Heaven, he dramatically pointed in the air to the American flag waving on the pole high above his head.
His previously bellowing voice softened and lowered. The drill instructor grew solemn.
It almost seemed impossible for him to do so, but he did lower his booming voice as he explained, “For that flag, to wave in the breeze, above our heads, and for it to fly as freely as it does, unencumbered, proud, strong, it took a damn lot of blood and guts. Mens, the expectations of those who shed their blood and their guts, is that there would be many to follow in their footsteps. You will not let them down, nor let your beloved United States Marine Corps down, your country down, or God down. I know in my heart that is true, so help me God.”
The drill instructor turned and faced the front and center of the formation of want-to-be-Marines, he stood tall and proud in front of the nervous recruits, he tucked his arms at his side and his face was stoic, yet proud. He lowered his head so that you could just see the top of his eyes ominously peering out from under the edge of his drill instructor’s hat.
Once again, he spoke in a somber tone, “Mens, be forewarned . . . I know in my heart that this is true and if I fail in my mission, if I fail that flag, fail my beloved Marine Corps and fail those who have shed their blood and their guts . . . then, I will gladly pay the price of having done so.”

Cheerio for now.


The Drill Instructor
Originally published as the Prologue to
When Words Fall Short. The Military Collection and The Basket on The Wall
Used here with exclusive permission by the author
Copyright © 2017 by Paul John Hausleben
Published by God Bless the Keg Publishing LLC
Henrico, Virginia, U.S.A.
All rights reserved

ISBN: 978-0-9906979-7-8

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