I’m participating in the A to Z challenge in April, and I thought I’d have some fun with my time in the military. For a little background, I was in Los Angeles when the Berlin Wall fell, and that instantly killed the aerospace industry. Jobs were not good shape, and I was unemployed. So l looked at the Army, and also wandered into a Navy recruiter’s office.
In hindsight, I was not really a good choice for it. I’m not an athlete, and, in fact, my family has a history of flat feet, which I inherited. It makes doing anything resembling athletic kind of hard. My brother warned me that there would be a lot running and that would be a challenge for those of us with Adams Feet. He was in the Army himself and stationed at White Sands Missile Range. People thought he was always going to fall over when he ran. I was probably worse, and, as I quickly discovered, had no sense of rhythm. And this was actually a bigger deal to the Army!
But a job was a job, so I decided to check it out. I went through Military Entrance Processing Station (the military abbreviates everything in jargon soup, so this becomes MEPS, which is pronounced like it looks). I actually went through twice, because what they do is put you through all the examinations and tests in one day. It’s designed to be an exhausting experience, so by the time you get to the end, you’re ready to sign up. I rebelled against it and refused to sign up. I wanted time to think it over.
But then, I was also not an 18 year old, which probably helped push me to do that. I was 25, which is a huge age difference.
Then I made my mind up, went back through the MEPS again (I think I must have been crazy!), and made the decision to sign up for the Army Reserves. I was still a little wary of making such a huge jump without really knowing anything.
Went through Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training (which is training in my military job), and then back to the Reserves in Los Alamitos. I was so buoyed up by the experience that I went active duty and landed in Fort Lewis, Washington.
I stayed at Fort Lewis six years and the unthinkable happened: War started. Then I was off to Desert Shield, and Desert Storm. I returned, and eventually went to a joint service unit in Washington, DC.
When I decided to get out there, the Army was offering a big bonus for getting out three days early (don’t ask; it makes no sense, which is the military way). My choice was to go Ready Reserve or National Guard. This was where I goofed up and needed the extra day. I allowed them to pressure me into NOW and went National Guard. That was not a good place to in, and I got out two months after 911.
So, I still have post slots open. If you have a question about something military, ask away!
Next up will be “the first day of Basic training,” so tune in, same military channel, same military time tomorrow.