My basic training story

It was 1967 during basic training at Fort Lewis, Wash., when we were on a training exercise firing at the (acting) enemy. We were using the M-16 rifles with several magazines each. When the all-clear sounded and we ended the training segment, we were to take the magazines to a clearing station and take all blank ammunition out, placing them in separate containers. I had emptied several magazines during the exercise, and as I removed the last magazine to remove the ammo I found that the next shell that I would have fired from that magazine was a LIVE round. I always scored high on shooting during training and was actually aiming right on the so-called enemy. Had I fired the second round after clearing the next round from the chamber, I would most assuredly have killed another trainee. It took me awhile to get over this and I still think about it after all these years. Only GOD stopped this exercise at the exact moment.

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