It was 1971 and we were being trained for war. There was no political correctness then or mixed training with females. Women had their own separate but equal training. We were not given a "time-out card" if we got tired. We were ridden hard; by that I mean we ran five miles before breakfast, we had about five minutes to down our breakfast and then we ran back to the assembly area and waited in formation for the rest of the guys. Then our day started with a lot of double time every where we went. We spent a lot of time on the firing range and learned hand-to-hand combat.
Our drill sergeants were the toughest men I have ever met, and they took us civilians and turned us into tough soldiers who knew how to fight and how to show compassion when needed with a dying civilian who got in the way of hostile fire. We learned the best first aid training. We learned to field strip our weapon in 30 seconds. We became American soldiers, and we carry that with us to this day. Thank God for tough training that separated the cry babies (we had some) from the men. I am alive today due to the excellent training I received in the Army's basic training.