Basic Training in Ft Jackson, SC (age 17)

Today is July 24, 2014. It is what we call, Pioneer Day. The reason for that is that on 24 July 1846,  Brigham Young and those with him entered the Salt Lake Valley. Today, all over the Intermountain Valley. There will be parades, rodeos, and Pioneer celebrations all over the West there. I have been there on several 24 July days, and I know whereof I speak.

I return now to the time when I entered the United States Army. As I have before mentioned, after I was sworn in, I was sent to Ft. Jackson South Carolina. We traoned hard in A company for eight weeks. Anyone who has been in the military knows whereof I speak. There were Marches, close order drill’s, bayonet training, hand grenade training, close combat training, some medical training for the purpose of treating a wounded comrade, parade ground training, and a lot of training in our firearms that we would be expected to use in combat.   Before basic training, I became well acquainted with much of the material we studied because of my North Carolina National Guard service. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it. The biggest trouble for most of us was the heat.

Ft. Jackson South Carolina is one big pile of sand. We were training in July, August, and September. Probably the three hottest months of the year as to whether temperature. That made training very uncomfortable. And back in those days,(1956) there was no such thing as air conditioning and the comfort of newer and better barracks. The barracks we lived in were WWII barracks. The big pile of sand made it difficult to march in, crawl in or to do whatever else was required. We were required to crawl, rifles in hand under Barbed wire while a machine gun fired rounds over our heads. That was a big Sandy mess and as I recall it was raining. The rain made it worse. We crawled until we reached a trench about 4 feet deep, which of course had water it.

At my age now of 75, that whole training process seems very difficult. But at that time, I was just under 18 years of age. It was not too difficult on me, either physically or mentally.

Please share your thoughts!

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