Chewing Cud – A Tale from the Chow Hall

By: Brad Bartow

Throughout the course of my Boot Camp experience, every day seemed to bleed into the next, as did the months. I wouldn’t be able to tell you the exact dates of anything from back then, but I could probably get close, based on how hot or cold I remember myself being. What I can tell you, however, is that I was hot and sticky, so it had to have been sometime during the Summer. The location was Fort Jackson, SC, and I must say, I’m not sure how this particular Army installation ended up being stuck with the nickname, “Relaxin’ Jackson”, because during my time there, I probably received the least amount of relaxation that I’d gotten throughout the next 5 years of my military career; and the following story will likely serve as a testament to this fort’s ironic nickname. For anyone who has ever been in the military, you know, for the most part, that mail call, lights-out, and chowtime, were the three most anticipated daily events during Basic Training. You also probably know that the Drill Sergeants stalked their new recruits like Sharks who were waiting for that perfect moment to catch just one fish, out of the whole school, slippin’ up; and then they’d devour them. Well, unfortunately, I became a fish that was separated from the school that day.

See more in this weeks Boone County Journal