To say that Army life contrasts with civilian life doesn’t capture the vast difference between them. Basic training was as shock to the system even for me. We were yelled at and threatened. My hair was shaved off along with my mustache and it was a new me that looked back at me through the mirror. We were prodded thru like cattle through different stations as we were issued standard Army gear, uniform, boots, steel pot, canteen, etc. We received equipment including a ruck sack that included even a blanket, a shovel, wet weather gear. At this point in the journey I tried to stay low and just try to not get yelled at. We were dropping to do push ups for any offense that the drill sergeant deemed. My home in Los Angeles might have been on the moon at this point because I felt so far away from my family and my former life.
We were issued a small new testament version of the bible. I read it mostly every night where I prayed that I “would be delivered from the valley of death”. A sense of camaraderie was starting to develop among my platoon and the other recruits in the barracks. Real basic training hadn’t even started at this point unbeknownst to me.
The standard issue of equipment was done at a large scale and now we were broken down to smaller units. We were stuffed in cattle cars with all our new gear and brought into another part of Fort Knox. Another town if you would. It was here that basic training started.