Hour of The Wolf

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Dusk settled in, Jonas was feeling ready to get off the bus, probably due to Max chit chatting about his blonde mullet getting cut off, and Jonas and the rest of the recruits on the bus arrived inside Fort Benning at the reception area for new recruits. Jonas looked for a sign or a marker and found a sign called “30th AG Reception Battalion” As soon as he recognized where he was a Tall figure with a Round Brown hat started yelling at us all, “Alright you tunnel rats, I am Drill Sergeant Parker, You will address me and anyone wearing this round brown hat as Drill Sergeant, You will address all Assistants wearing Staff Sergeant insigna’s as Staff Sergeant. This is not the Marines, you dont call us sir, you call one of us sir, im gonna make you feel like you are in the marines. Do you civies understand that?” The Slow reaction recruits feeblishly remark in unison, “Yes, Drill Sergeant.” DS Parker blew a head gasket at the lack of enthusiasm, he ordered, “That was pathetic, I heard none of you! I am gonna say this one more time, if i dont hear any enthusiasm out of you all i swear you will be singing the star spangled banner as if your life depended on it! Now Do you understand!?” All the Recruits yelled, “Yes Drill Sergeant.” DS Parker satisfied now ordered everyone, “Alright! Get the hell off the bus, Get the hell off! Move! Come on you rascals! Beat your feet! Move it!”

Everyone on the bus rushed off in a hurry and trying to get off the bus as quickly as possible like as if there was a fire. The Drill Sergeants tossed bags out of the bus and into a pile for recruits to pick up. Jonas scrambled to find his and get into a single file line. Jonas followed recruits into the hallway of the Reception area, and seen a large spartan statue which caught his eye. One Drill Sergeant with the name tag, Holton, was pretty much in Jonas’s face, this guy was tall. Jonas may have been 5 feet 6 inches. But this beastly figure of authority with broad shoulders and a mustache that was so sharp that it could cut butter remarked, “You think yer gonna be like him? Top Notch? Best of the best killing machine?” Jonas nervously claimed, “Yes.” Holton leaned over into Jonas’s Face with fire in his eyes, “Yes..... What?” Jonas responded with assurance, “Yes, Sir?” DS Holton clinched his fist feeling insulted by Jonas’s demeanor. “Its, Yes Drill Sergeant! Always Yes Drill Sergeant! You only say No Drill Sergeant when i tell you to say no. Do you understand me?” Jonas with fear in his eyes claimed, “Yes Drill Sergeant.” DS Holton remarks, “We’ll be watching you mister..... Mister? What in gods name is your name private?” Jonas answers, “Jonas Miller.” DS Holton put his fingers near his own eyes and then pointed at Jonas, “We’ll be watching Jonas, We’ll be watching you.”

Max tries to get his bag and run in when another Drill Sergeant named Basinger noticed Max’s Blonde Mullet and yelled in Max’s ear, “What is this? Is this the 80′s son? That goldie locks are gonna get locked off and you will like it!” Jonas noticed another Recruit grabbing his bag and trying to lay low. His name was Jimmy Johnson and he seemed like a shy one. So Jonas told him he can sit by him. Other recruits sat down in these black plastic uncomfortable chairs staring at a screen that is displaying information about the Army almost Like a power point presentation.

Jonas and the other recruits were given lunch bags of food, it had a lunch meat sandwich, chips, a cookie and an apple. Private Johnson who sat next to Jonas asked to trade food, “hey Jonas can I trade you my sandwich for your cookie?” Jonas agreed, “yes sure.” There were other recruits exchanging food with one another. Jonas was curious so he asked jimmy, “why don’t you want your sandwich if I may ask?” Jimmy remarked, “I don’t like lunch meat. It upsets my stomach.” Jimmy then asked “where you from I don’t recognize your accent. I heard you say chipped ham and yinz.” Jonas laughed and remarked, “I’m from the Pittsburgh area, a place called Laurel City. It’s where the famous American football player And comedian actor Brandon Corey is from.” Private Johnson just nodded his head and started eating his cookies.

The initial processing took all night. Jonas looked like an old worn out towel, he had no perception of time. No idea how long it would take for them to get any kind of rest or reprieve. Their eye sockets felt like a hundred pounds of sagging skin. Anything they had which included contraband had to be thrown into a tiny bin inside what was called an amnesty room. A place where you can descreetly dump anything that would get you into trouble otherwise without reprisal. Jonas and a few others went into the barber room and there were guys ready to murder your hairdo in 5 seconds or less. Max’s haircut proved be a challenge but the 58 year old barber looked at Max and said, “if you think this mullet is gonna slow me down son, you got another thing coming. I been doin this since long before you were born.” The buzz sound of the trimmer really frustrated Max as the barber’s massive hands held him steady. Private Johnson and Jonas found their barber experience kind of liberating. The weight of the hair and the heat impacting on it was a burden. Especially in this Brutal West Georgia heat.

As morning progressed the recruits had to be fitted for shoes. There was a little Annex down the street a ways where you could get what you needed. There were a few things recruits could get. Their allowance was short so bare essentials had to be picked first. Taxpayer funds can only go so far at that point. Max however decided to sneak some small items in his pocket. Jonas noticed told max, “they’re watching you, seeing if you try to sneak out. They are giving you one last chance to pay before they nab you.” Max lamented, “you know Jonas you’re such a buzz kill.” Jonas claimed, “I’m just looking out for you bud. I don’t want you to get in trouble.”

By noon, it was chow time and everyone was in line with a tray, getting a slice of rib, some Mac n cheese and some green beans. All recruits had to get drinks, a large glass of water and a large glass of Gatorade which was most of the time fruit punch flavored. Jonas sat at a table with Private Johnson, and a couple other guys whom Jonas talked to, one guy named Stephen Piper sat with Jonas, Max, and Jimmy, Stephens friend Janus joined them all taking bets to see who sleeps first when they get to their quarters. Jonas looked at Jimmy’s reaction to his food, he felt sick to his stomach and had to run to the bathroom. DS Holton saw him and appointed Jonas to be his battle buddy, “You, Private Miller, go after Private Johnson. See what’s the matter with him, from now on he is your battle buddy!” Jonas acknowledged, “yes Drill Sergeant!”

Jonas looked into the Bathroom or Latrine as its called, and saw Jimmy puking his guts out. Jonas asked, “you ok Jimmy? Do you need to go to sick call?” Jimmy assured, “nah, it’s probably something I ate I’ll be fine.” Jonas walks Jimmy out to the Drill Sergeant and offers, “Drill Sergeant.l, I got Private Johnson here and I offered to take him to sick call but he insists he’s fine and doesn’t want to go.” DS Holton remarked, “if He doesn’t want to go to sick call that’s his problem.”

After chow the recruits made their way to the dormatory area where recruits were to be bunked. They all started picking bunks and one individual Private Rasheed khaleem was upset that Jonas got the bottom bunk before he did. Rasheed threatened, “move your stuff to the top bunk. This is mine!” Jonas confused about his hostility claimed, “seriously bud? I got here first.” Rasheed tried picking up Jonas’s bag and wanted to toss it to the floor, But Jonas grabbed it and put it back. Rasheed swung around Jonas and missed Jonas barely, and Jonas kicked him in the stomach. Rasheed grabbed Jonas and they wrestled to the ground, the recruits shouted, “fight!” And people scrambled to separate the two men before the Drill Sergeant showed up.

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