I did my basic training in 1989 at the age of 27 at Fort Dix. My Drill Seargent was a grizzly and gruff man, yet able to handle a platoon of young women ranging in age, diversity and backgrounds. There are two specific and vastly different memories that I would like to share.
When we were required to do the obsticle course I basically shut down as soon as we climbed up the first 15 feet as we were then to walk the beams that were 18 to 24 inches apart. My body would not move as I am very afraid of heights. He got up there and did what was needed to get me moving yelling at me that I could do it, to move my feet! He moved with me all along that cat walk and got me up the next 10 feet climb and out on that rope to slide down to complete the course. It was a most horrifying experience with me screaming and hollering most of the way, but I felt so tremendously proud of myself for DOING IT. The irony, I wanted to do it again! He pushed me. He taught me I can do what I set my mind to. The most valuable lesson that remains with me today.
The second, which makes me giggle to this day Drill Seargent showing us how to roll our underwear. The site of this man sitting down and demonstrating this task, just hit a funny bone and made me giggle so hard that I couldn't stop. He immediately dropped me for pushups for that one! A fair man with heart. Like everyone before and after me, my Drill Seargent is a person I hold in the highest regard. My experiences shaped me in so many ways. Ultimately, while I went in at a later stage than most, I'm ever thankful for how the men and women who trained us impacted my life in such a positive way. More than anything, I learned mind over matter and that I have a deep reservoir to tap into!