He also wants aviation. SWO nuke second (I think). Not sure if he realizes that he's going to SD!
Hasn't had much experience shooting, in fact only during Plebe summer. I should take him to the range during his block off.
Our squad was the first one in the chamber during basic training. I got to watch the tear gas coming down from the ceiling as it settled into the room. It was surreal seeing it come down over our masks as a visible line of a cloud. A few of the kids were freaking out, I was laughing. Definitely an experience!!
From the minds of, "Tell us a story about being in the Marines, Dad."
Brings back memories from Parris Island, circa late summer 1991. NBC training out at the bivouac, during a time when we were filed into the Gas Chamber; a cinderblock rectangular building, just big enough for one whole platoon to stand inside the perimeter. In the middle, stood our Senior Drill Instructor, Staff Sergeant Bryant, with no Gas Mask as he hovered around a Bunsen burner on a table. He placed a little yellow cube on top and immediately it began to smoke. The order to "don your Gas Mask, and clear!" was barked, and Recruits happily, quickly obliged. "Remove ya Gas Mask" thirty seconds later he shouted, "hold it out in front." Moments seemed like hours. "Don and Clear!" Whew, I'm starting to tingle, and fell sensations of muscle cramping throughout body. "Take 'em off!" he exclaimed, "Sing my Marine Corps Hymn for me, ladies." The cat cries began, "From the halls of Montezoo-uh-ma to the sho..cough cough, yack, ugh..." That inhale at the end of Montezuma, that's the one that gets you. Deep in your lungs, filled with the yellow cloud of what now seems to be satan's breath, holding your body tight in its grip - the fear sinks in. My body rigid, with what feels to be the onset of early rigor-mortis, I clearly *must* be dying. To my chagrin, and absolute terror, I see our Senior Drill Instructor, sans Gas Mask, now barking orders at another recruit who is giggling uncontrollably; "he must be hallucinating" I thought. What madness have they done, is the D.I. insane?! What did he put on that burner?!! I should have told my recruiter about that little asthma attack as a child - one little white lie and I'm paying for it with my life! My mind raced, hundreds, thousands of memories and thoughts flooded my psyche as I just *knew* I was dying. My vision blurred already, a string of snot hanging concurrently from the pores of my eyes and nostrils, nearly touching the floor, I faintly heard the order, "Roight Face! Put ya right hand on the shoulder in front of you. Fo-wahd, March!"
As we cleared the hatchway leaving the Chamber of eminent death, I realized every other recruit was in a similar state of disfunction. Well, nearly every recruit. There was that one man though, still giggling as he watched the rest of the platoon suffer. SSGT Bryant eye-balled him as well, and with the Gas Chamber door still open, he marched him back inside for a round of Jumping Jacks, Mountain Climbers, Push-Ups, Sit-Ups and sweat session fun. Still nothing. As it turned out, being a deep-Cajun Louisianan, his love for all things spicy had saved him during our demise. SSGT Bryant informed us that he, unlike our fellow recruit, did not need a Gas Mask because he was too 'hard a Marine' for Gas to affect him. Our platoon mate however, was immune to the mustard yellow smoke due to his conditioning through spicy foods. My 18-year-old view of the world expanded that day - and what a wonderful way to learn about new cultures! In retrospect, the pain, suffering, and hardship weren't really *that* bad. In fact, it was just enough to make us feel exactly what bonded us all together, and made us the Marines we were. Often times I wish I were young again where I could go back to experience it all once more. Semper Fi, my friends.