Friday, February 4, 2011

Military life

Did I mention that I was in the U.S. Air Force?  Don't be alarmed - we weren't at war.  I hardly ever mention it to someone who served in Vietnam or even in either of the Gulf wars.  My military experience consisted of having a great job (that didn't really translate into civilian life), seeing the world, and only really being annoyed at about three things.

The first thing involved having to make a bed perfectly in basic training.  Basic Training itself was comical. After the second day, you realize that they aren't going to hit or even touch you - so you get accustomed to the yelling and realize it's just loudness.  Supposedly they are trying to instill discipline.  One way they think they are attempting that is to have us make our beds perfectly every day for about 6 weeks.  I'm sorry - but that has nothing to do with instilling discipline.  Punishment and positive reinforcement will create discipline.  Besides the obvious - what made it truly annoying you ask?  I was never asked or expected to do it again after Basic Training.  We spent all that time getting those hospital corners to perfection and once we left Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas - it was over!  Seriously - do they really think that made me more disciplined?

The second thing involved the Star Spangled Banner at the movie theater.  It's a tradition at any U.S. military installation throughout the world- that has a movie theater - which most do.  It's a standard theater with popcorn and previews.  You get in your seat with the popcorn and get fully comfortable while watching the previews.  Right before the main attraction - you have to stand up for a recording of the Star Spangled Banner.  No lie - everytime I would forget and then get annoyed that I had to get up.  Was the purpose to remind us that we were Americans serving in the military?  Uh - we were sitting on a U.S. military installation with military ID's in our wallets.  I think we all had that figured out.

Shouldn't it be obvious that the third thing was the "no gays allowed" line?  This didn't bother me until about my last two years when I finally figured out that I was gay.  (I was always a slow learner.)  and NO - I did not get asked to leave because of that reason.  I left because I didn't want that to happen.

I figure that three annoying things during 8 years must mean that I had a pretty good time.  I did.

1 comment:

  1. Ahhh, movies on base. All the violence you could want, but there better not be a nipple present or you can take that smut elsewhere.

    I had a bunkmate that had some serious issues with basic hygiene. I figured making a bed was a good starting point for instilling discipline in him. Plus my wife is amazed at my ability to crank out a hospital corner, which I do twice a year. The rest of it doesn't seem to have stuck with me.