Monday, November 2, 2009

What's In A Name

It's been a long time since I posted a Military Monday.

If I remember correctly, we're still in Basic Training.

I told y'all about the tricks the Drill Sgt.'s play on us and now I'll tell you about the names they gave us.

Everyone in our platoon had a nickname. Most were given by the DS's but some we acquired on our own.

One girl was disgusting and she said if they treated us like men, we should look and behave like them, too. She stopped shaving (we all did, but she stopped much earlier then the rest of us!), she belched and let gas like nobody's business. Her nickname was Monster.

There were 2 women from Haiti and one had a last name that sounded like "machete". DS McCoy kept getting them mixed up so she just started calling them Mrs. Shitty #1 and Mrs. Shitty #2 (sounds like machete?).

One girl was an enormously talented painter and she ended up doing the mural in our barracks - very cool! But, she was also one of the biggest airheads I've ever met. Her head was always in the clouds and she never seemed to understand what she was told. The Drills named her Van Gogh - talented but slightly crazy.

Wanna know what they called me?

In Basic Training, the Drills named me "Flower Child". I was always asking why the Army couldn't do things more efficiently or earth friendly. Like the Chow Hall. Do you have any concept about how much food the Army throws out? Anything that's cooked, they don't save for the next meal or the next day. If there's anything left over, they throw it in the garbage. Every. Day. Every. Meal. I thought it would be better for them to arrange for some soup kitchen to come by and pick up the leftovers (of which there are many). The Drills laughed and said, "There's no logistical way that could happen."

I asked why not and they said that the soup kitchen would have to have the capacity to transport and stow all that food, they'd have to get fresh clearance every time they came on base and just let one homeless guy looking for a buck claim food poisoning and it'd be all for naught.

They also called me Flower Child because every chance I got, I'd break rank and go pick a flower. I was so sick of green (camo green clothes, green wool blanket to sleep with, green vehicles, green walls, fake green everywhere!) that anytime I saw a spot of color I was drawn to it like a moth to flame no matter the consequences. I'd stick it in my pocket or in the skinny headband that goes around the Kevlar helmet - anywhere I thought I could get away with it and enjoy it when I had a rare moment or two to myself.

Loving green when it's real, Ruth!

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