Sunday, August 08, 2010
How I Shafted Boot Camp
So, I was already growing my hair long right after graduating from ROTC (yes, back in the day, military training was compulsory, kids). Lo and behold! I received a letter stating that I had to undergo additional military training at Camp Eldridge in my hometown of Los Bastos. I don't know exactly how they picked us poor bastards, but the letter also stated that if I didn't show up at the camp, I'd be sent to jail.
So off I went to the camp, got my serial number, got my gear, and got my haircut. I was transformed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines into Pfc. Randy Villanueva. I learned a lot of useful things in boot camp. I learned, for instance, that I can shoot an M-16 rifle and hit the edge of a target once out of about a dozen rounds. In a real war I'd probably be washing socks. As long as it's far from the front line, that's okay with me.
Anyway, as part of our training, we hiked from the camp to Mount Makiling. That's about a jillion kilometers, or so it seemed to us grunts. We had to stay there for a bazillion years so we'll get used to operating in the jungle. It was horrible. There were nightly "raids" where we had to get out of our sorry bedrolls and find cover in the blink of an eye or the drill sergeant would haul our asses off to do terrible chores. I always, always, ALWAYS managed to land in a pool of mud so cold my 'nads would fuse together. We were literally eating fucking jungle snails as big as your fist. They always said it tasted like chicken but gahdammit, it tasted like something a dog ate and then shat out and then ate again and then shat out again. It was so cold up there that we had to drink cheap gin out of a canteen just so we'd have the illusion of warmth. Being drunk and on night watch tended to mess up camp security.
And so, when the drill sergeant announced that they're looking for volunteers to donate Type B blood, I quickly raised my hand. I was Type O+ but I figgered I needed to get out of the jungle.
They took us volunteers to the the UPLB Infirmary where they immediately found out my blood type. Since no one was too keen on hauling my ass back up the mountain, they let me go to sit out the rest of the mountain training.
I fucking rock. But I didn't look even half as macho as these boys.