Great Lakes United States Naval Training Center, August 1949

Ahhh, the first night in boot camp. We had been poked, prodded, injected and humiliated in every way possible, including getting our heads shaved right down to bare skin. We sat in our barracks having a great time kidding each other about how we looked like orphans or prisoners of war. The chief walked in and told us that when we got up in the morning, we were not to use the head (Navy lingo for toilet). Seems the medics wanted to get a good strong sample! So when we got up at reveille we got dressed in agony and assembled on the parade ground. Very hard to stand at attention when all I could think of was keeping my legs crossed. We then started in DOUBLE TIME to sick bay (Navy lingo for a clinic). Sample bottles were handed out to each of us with markers for us to indentify the bottles. We were then told to fill the bottles at least halfway - hah - as if that were a problem! Every one of us filled those bottles to overflowing!
We were then introduced to swabs and worked like dogs to get that sick bay deck spotless. We had earned the title of swabbie!

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