Always/never volunteer

So I am at Ft. Polk as a "casual" waiting for Basic Training to start. It is June 1970, hot and very humid. I am put on a detail to cut weeds and bushes along a road. Since my father had taught me to work hard at whatever I did, I started really whacking those weeds. One of the other three recruits on the detail told me to slow down and take a break since I was making them look bad. (The corporal had left us on our own.) Just then the platoon sergeant drives by, sees me loafing and orders me to get into his 1/4 ton as he was going to take me to the captain. Was I scared? You bet. The sergeant drops me off, I reported to the captain (Oh, by the way, in his fully air-conditioned office) who orders me to clean his entire office and that he will back in a few hours to inspect it. I completed the cleaning in about an hour and just rested until the captain came back. He was impressed. (He recommended me for squad leader later on.) The sergeant picked me up later that day and I was as fresh as a daisy while everyone else was hot and sweaty. Lesson learned?

« Previous story
Next story »