Sick at ROTC summer camp

As an ROTC cadet, summer camp was our version of basic training. I went to summer camp in July 1968 at Fort Riley, Kan. It was really hot that summer. Our quarters were in the old World War II wooden barracks.

I noticed that the metal trays in our mess hall often were greasy when we started in the mess line. One morning I woke up feeling very queasy. I went to the mess hall but didn't feel like eating. After breakfast we were driven several miles to a training area. Fort Riley had what was called a wet bulb, now referred to as the heat index. I felt miserable while sitting in the stands in the sun that morning. We could see the wet bulb. After an hour, it showed all physical activity was to stop. We were sitting in bleachers, so that didn't apply to us. An hour later, it showed we were not supposed to be in the sun, but the instructors kept us on the bleachers anyway. Mid-morning we had a break and I barely made it to the latrine. I came out and threw up, so all the instructors came running over, put me in a jeep and took me to the hospital.

I had food poisoning, so the doctor told me to go back to the barracks and stay in bed.

A few days later a lieutenant colonel from my school came to visit all his cadets and asked how things were going. I told him okay, but I had a bit of a stomach problem. He asked me about it, and that night my fellow trainees told me they spent extra hours cleaning and cleaning the mess hall.

The colonel had reported this to the inspector general. I don't recall hearing about the inspector general before this, but I personally learned how much power the inspector general has.

Other than that, summer camp was just another military experience.

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