The ups and downs of basic training

Before I was drafted for basic training I had heard many horror stories about how tough basic was, how mean the drill instructor and other staff members were to the new recruits. I was pleasantly surprised how good they all were and how exciting the new life was. One person I still remember to this day, some 54 years later, is Lt. Riggs. He was a fun-loving guy and really loved his status as a lieutenant. He also loved finding fault with us basic trainees, no matter how slight. Anytime he could find fault with someone, he would give the order to drop down and give me 10 push-ups, or more depending on the infraction. One day this muscular recruit forgets to give Lt. Riggs a salute. This makes Lt. Riggs' day, as this gives him a chance to order push-ups. He orders the recruit to drop down and give him 10 push-ups. The recruit just laughs and says, "is that all." No, wise guy, says Lt. Riggs, make it 20. The recruit drops down in the push-up position and smiles at the Lt., and says, which arm. Now it dawns on Lt. Riggs that this recruit is mocking him. He tells the recruit to do the push-ups with his left arm. The recruit fires off 20 quick push-ups with only his left arm. The recruit then looks up at Lt. Riggs, smiles again, and asks if he should do 20 more with his right arm. Now Lt. Riggs just smiles, shrugs his shoulders, and walks off. The rest of us who were watching got a good laugh out of this, after Lt. Riggs was out of sight of course.

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