Forward march!

At Lackland AFB, Texas, for basic training, we had been marching and learning drill for the first few weeks in December. Every morning we would fall in for roll call and march to the mess hall for breakfast at 6:30 a.m. Then we usually returned to the barracks to clean up and get things in order. Some of those early December mornings were pretty cold, so one day I decided to wear those GI longjohns and beat that chilly morning roll call. I figured when we returned to the barracks after breakfast I would change into undershorts for the warm part of day.
That morning, without any advance notice, our drill sergeant had us fall in right outside the mess hall, and marched us three hours out into the barren countryside. When the bright sunrise came up, the temperature started rising, and by noon I was marching and sweating with those itchy longjohns in sunny 80 degree weather. It was miserable sweating and itching all the way back to our barracks into mid-afternoon. I was the first one to strip off my clothes and jump into the shower as soon as we got to the barracks. I never wore those longjohns again while in Texas.

Dale K. Wells, Kalamazoo, Mich.

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