My Army basic training in July of 1980 was not a picnic or party. It was one of the toughest experiences I have ever been through, and I am a better man as a result of the time. Our motto was "lead, follow or get the hell out of the way." We were a team and functioned as a unit. Our 14.5-mile forced march was a highlight for me. The CS gas chamber, throwing the hand grenades and firing the shoulder-mounted LAW, M-16 rifle and claymore mines were all challenging.
I was ordered and honored to carry the colors at our graduation ceremony. We were all so proud to have made through. We were soldiers at last and ready for war.