Sunday, October 7, 2012

Advance Individual Training

Hey All,       By the time I was 18, I had already had more experiences than I wanted to remember.  The problem lies with me.......I can't forget them. They are a permanent part of me that pop up as if they have a mind of their own.......sometimes random and sometimes with something to trigger them.........and the emotions that go with them come too.
   I had spent from the end of August/September 1979 to the end of November 1979 in training for my military job. I was on edge after the events from the story" Basic Training".........that was some "training" I could have done without. 
    I was at Fort Lee,  Virginia.  We slept in a large room in bunk beds in these barracks as was common in many units.  I had developed a cold with a low grade in Basic Training I was not permitted to stay as a precaution against infecting everyone else.   I was pretty apprehensive, but I was ordered to to the upper respiratory ward of the hospital until  the fever passed...........just as in Basic Training.  I was given meds and I eventually slept.  The Nurse was a captain and she came to get my vital signs..........she called" Private Scarborough" as she entered the room.  I went from sleeping,  to standing on the bed in panic and fear with my fists cocked in her face.   She  started backing slowly away as she spoke softly " easy........calm down......  I'm not going to hurt you" as she backed out of the room.   I got my bearings and my fear under control and sat down on the bed.  The Captain and a husky male nurse came back shortly after that.  I apologized for what had happened.  Hospitals and beds had become two places where I had been vulnerable............and would be again.
     Our unit moved across post to old WWII style barracks to make room for a new unit coming in.  My habit of drinking too much started back then.  I was never a problem, but I withdrew and only interacted with others when required or spoken to. I was always restless..........looking over my shoulder........waiting.  After a night of one too many, I sprawled out on my bunk without getting undressed and slept.  What happened next is in the official report.  A couple of the guys tried to engage me in conversation but I was out.  They decided I needed a cold the took me out of bed and carried me into the showers, turned on the cold water and threw me in.  I became conscious and jumped up..............cold, wet and confused as to what was happening.  I hit my head on the tile shower block in my sudden rise and went down........... out again as the cold water poured over me.  My body went onto shock and my body trembled.  The guys got scared and pulled me out and went for the Charge of Quarters (CQ).  An ambulance was called and I was treated for shock, hypothermia and nasty knot on my head.   I regained consciousness still shivering but my vital signs were stabilizing.  I was still confused with the lights and the people standing around me.  Those boys were reprimanded and the CO addressed the company about what could have happened........we were all lucky it didn't turn out differently.
      I stood under the streetlight smoking my pipe before lights out.  It was a nice cool autumn night and you and you could smell the changing season in the air. I always enjoyed this time of year and the peaceful quiet calm of night.  I had spent many nights as a kid in the fields at home..........often when when most people had long been in their beds.  I felt safe there for some of the few places that I did.
      Two men came walking down the road carrying bags from the PX.  I recognized each of them as they drew near as being from our unit.  One had to be careful back then......there was a rivalry between some units and a few men from different units had  beaten.......just because.  It sounded to me like gang type of behavior,, but, I couldn't believe that this could exist between military units..........I was wrong.  At first as they walked up to me they started talking trash..............when I identified who I was and who they were, one of them spoke up and stated that it didn't matter........they were going to kick my ass.  I explained to the guys that I knew who they were and would be able to indentify them when I filed a report with the MP's.  They tried to get me into the woods adjoining the barracks and as I resisted one of them grabbed my pipe and broke it.  That did it...... I got away and went straight to the CQ.  I filed a report and before I was finished the two men came in and filed their own report saying I attacked them.  The CO  investigated the next day and he didn't buy their version.  The leader of the two was ordered to pay for my pipe on the next payday and they got extra duty for their trouble as well.  Payday came and when I hadn't been paid I talked to our Platoon Sgt before the last formation of the day.  He  was aware of the circumstances and before he dismissed us, he called that guy forward and ordered him pay me, in front of the platoon.  He came up and refused..............he was then ordered to do it now or report to the CO for failing to follow a direct order.  He decided the pipe was cheaper then an Article 15 under the UCMJ. and paid me........but he was mad and you could see it.  I had been silent all that time, but, not being one to miss an opportunity............I said" It was pleasure doing business with you"!  That guy came unglued ........he lunged at me as the Platoon SGT and a couple other soldiers grabbed him.  He was ordered to sit on the ground and stay there and I was ordered to get out of Dodge.  The Platoon SGT stood guard over him...............I think he was making sure  to make sure that I wasn't followed.
      I mind my own business and try to stay out of doesn't seem to matter.    I know I should not have taunted or provoked that guy, as I knew that he had leaned toward the violent side.  I knew I would never see this guy again as it was my last day at this assignment and I was just plain tired of taking it quietly.  These events aren't the only stories I have from Ft Lee.  Some suggest that I write a book.  What could anyone walk away after reading it say, except to say I'm one of the world's unluckiest people? Maybe I give off some sort of non verbal  sign.  Maybe it's the way I look or smell.  Maybe this is part of God's plan........then there's no hope.  At this point..................I'm looking for some way to make sense out of this crap.  Am I really just that unlucky or is there something just wrong with me and this is all I deserve.   How can so many things happen to one person and be random events? Is my death the only cure for what ails me?
             Until next time.........................God Bless.

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