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By Pat Lisi

Every veteran remembers basic training.  if you don’t, something’s wrong.  For me, it was Marine Corps Boot Camp at its best.  Long, hard, tough, weary, fast-paced, and it seemed everything we did was some sort of a training exercise — yes, even going to the ‘head’, Marine slang for toilet.

Difficult as it was, though, I went through boot camp with a different attitude, apparently, than some of my fellow recruit jar-heads.  that is, I knew where I was headed after boot camp (Vietnam) and I not only expected the training to be tough but I relished it!  In other words, what would have happened to me in Nam if my Marine Corps training back home was soft and easy?  I shudder to think!  And so, despite the fact that boot camp was, indeed, extremely crazy, I got through it just fine.

In the photo posted here notice the uniforms, and the looks on the faces, of the recruit Marines I’m with.  I’m the one with the twigs in my helmet.  We had just completed a full exercise on the obstacle course at MCRD San Diego, and were just getting into formation for a 5-mile run.  Do I look like I’m having fun?  Do my buddies look like they aren’t?  The rifles you see are heavy training pieces that weigh almost twice that of the M-14’s we were issued.  Our Drill Instructors would have us switch to these training rifles just to add a little spice to our day of exercising.  I loved it!!  I wouldn’t (physically couldn’t) do the same today, but that’s a whole other story…


One Response to “Ahhh, Boot Camp!”

  • Pat Lisi:

    Nice article — I remember my basic training, too, as if it was yesterday when in fact it was a long, long time ago. Those were certainly yhe good old days.

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