Thursday, September 30, 2010

It was early morning, yes, today.
I was up before the dawn.
But I'm and early morning runner,
and I must be movin' on

OK, so that is not EXACTLY how the song goes, but hey, read my status.  I ended up only putting in 3.5 instead of 4.1, so I didn't cut it too short, but my insides wanted outside, so instead of one more block, I bailed.  Eh, it happens.  I'm headed to the Y tonight for an ActivTrax intro.  Supposedly it will help me focus my cross-training.  I'm sceptical, but we will give it a go.  Worse case is, it is free and it can't hurt.  Since the appointment for the base-line is at 5:30, it will give me time to get in a bit of cardio for a warm up before hitting the weights.

SO, now to the story of a little 4 mile run back in the dark ages when CatChowder1 and TexasRunningFool were still playing with Barbie dolls.  This is long, so this would be a good time to bail if you are so inclined.

Every member of the Armed Forces, and this is a universal truth, as it doesn't matter what country of origin your service took place, you make fun of the other branches.  This is almost always in good fun.  We will come to the aide of the others when needed, but as soon as the situation is handled, it is right back to who did the better part of the work.

So, there I was at the ripe old age of 18 (only just, I turned 1 week before graduation from Infantry school) heading off to Airborne School. It was all of just across post, as both the Infantry school and Airborne school are on Ft. Benning. There were 42 of us from Basic/AIT heading over to get our wings, and we were pretty tight, having just spent three months together, then chilling our heels for three weeks while we waited for our slots to open. We kept ourselves busy, and most of us, 37, got tats while waiting. Two of our number went and bought motorcycles. This was when the Army made it a no-no, unless you had taken their driver course for motorcycles. These two kept their bikes off-post.

So there we were at the Airborne school, an Army school that allows Air Force, Navy and Marines to come and learn how to be Cooler than Joe. It is a school, where they make you do push-ups if you get drumsticks for lunch. Well, I had an answer for that when I had three of them on my plate and a Black Hat (Airborne instructors wear these black baseball looking caps as a sign of their status as instructors, similar to Drills and their Smokey Bears) came over and started saying that Airborne soldiers should only eat “breasts and wings”. I informed him that as an Airborne soldier, I ate “legs” for lunch. This appeased him, and I got to finish my lunch and didn't have to do push-ups. The other thing that Airborne school is known for is running. We ran EVERYWHERE. The phrase, “Airborne Shuffle: It's not a dance.” is no lie. Man we ran a lot. Every morning we ran 4 miles at a 7 minute pace, and if you fell out twice, you were done. Well, one night, Hollywood (I don't remember his real name, but he was from Cali, so that was what we called him) laid his bike down. Since he wasn't supposed to have it in the first place, he couldn't go to “Sick Call” and have the medics look at it. How was he supposed to run 4 miles in comfy Army sweats? Well, we had a group of Marines in our Platoon, and one of them, a Lance Corporal heading to Force Recon and I re-arranged the platoon so that he and I were on either side of Hollywood. We also made sure that we had “our” men front and back of us to close ranks and keep the Black Hats out.

At the start of the run Hollywood was doing OK, but after about a mile, the sweat started in on the road-rash on his leg which was being rubbed by the sweats and he was in PAIN. I told him that he couldn't fall out until I fell out. His reply was, “You never fall out of runs.” “I know, and you aren't falling out of this one,” I told him. At about that time the Black Hats knew something was up and started yelling to let him fall out. I remember yelling no back, ensuring that I was in for an ass-chewing very soon. At about the 2 mile mark the Marine and I had an arm each and the guys had tightened up enough that no one could get in to pull our man out. We helped/carried him through that run. When we finished the run, we shuttled him out with the others as the Black Hats had collared both the Marine and I, and wanted to know WTF was our problem. I told him that the issue was that Hollywood was injured and we couldn't let him fall out. The Black Hat wanted to know what had happened and we explained about the bike, and much to our surprise, the Sargent walked us up to the barracks, and had Hollywood show him the road-rash. The next words out of his mouth amazed me. One of the other Black Hats had come up as they knew something was up that was out of the ordinary, and he told him to take Hollywood to the medics as he had just slipped going up the stairs and had given himself a pretty good injury. He then turned to the Marine and I and told us to NEVER do that again, but that that was definitely Airborne. I give Marines a bad time, but really, when you need one, they aren't too bad to have around. Besides, who else can be convinced that a K-Bar is an anti-tank weapon?

1 comment:

  1. Haha! That's funny about the drumsticks.
    Sounds like a memorable 4 miler. Who lays their bike down, though?