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Chapter 30

Officer Material

Kyle could not believe what took place when he reached his new post. When he had arrived at the Base in Georgia, he was told to get in the line to be processed on what was an extremely hot afternoon. Standing in front of him was a Green Beret who Kyle had so much respect for. Coming down the line were two lieutenants, and they stopped at the Green Beret.

“What do we have here? You want to be an officer, Beret?”

“Yes, sir,” said the Green Beret sergeant.

The lieutenant said, “Outstanding, I want you to prove to me how bad you want to be an officer. I want you to take off the beret and throw it on the ground and spit on it.”

Kyle, standing behind him, was watching all this and not believing what he was seeing, being this was John Wayne to him. What the hell was he getting into? He wondered. Then, slowly, the Green Beret took off his beret and threw it on the ground and spat on it as he was told to.

Disgraceful, Kyle thought. You just threw all of your integrity on the ground.

After the show was over, they continued to process in, and the Beret became his roommate. That probably was not a good thing for him, being they wanted to get Kyle out so bad. They said they did not want any eighteen-year-old officers.

Not only were the instructors after you to quit, there was always a competitive spirit among the different squads. One of the squads who were living one floor down from Cadet Stone, they had a spirited day on the obstacle course, and Kyle’s team won. Well, that did not go over very well, and that night, before inspection, they sneaked into the floor and went to Kyle’s room. Down in the corner of the door frame, they put a cigarette butt. At five minutes to eight, the instructors came for the inspection. Kyle and the Beret’s room was immaculate and ready, but they did not see the butt placed there earlier. When it was found, they asked which one of them had been smoking and put it there. Both standing at attention when being asked, they were told that if no one admitted to it, then both would be punished.

Kyle, standing there in his white boxers with white T-shirt and barefoot, glanced over at the Beret and said, “I will take the heat. No reason for both of us to be punished.” Kyle spoke up and said he had done it and forgot he put it there and that it was fine as they took him down the hallway to the staircase.

“Kyle, you love to smoke so much, I want you to go over there at the doorway and grab the trash can.”

Kyle did as told and came back to the instructor.

“Now, I am going to be nice to you and let you smoke a cigarette. Not one but all that I have.” He held out a half-full pack of Camels and said, “Now, light the cig, and then put the army green trash can over your head and finish the smoke. Once done, light up one more until you have smoked all of them, then let me know.”

Kyle said, “Yes, sir,” looking a little scared, as he did not smoke at all. Kyle did as he was told. He had the can next to him and then took out one cigarette and took a long look at it and then started smoking one after the other with the trash can over his head, breathing it all in, turning green and coughing and choking with water coming out of his eyes and snot out of his nose, stumbling in the dark until he hit the edge of the top stairs, and with one step, he went down, falling hard and rolling down each step, hitting his head on the cement with the can over his head as he stumbled and fell seven steps down. With all the noise he was making, they all came running to see if he was all right. He was spread out on the floor of the last step with the can bent and lying next to him. He looked around to see if he was all right, and he was. No broken bones, but he was definitely shaken up. There was a lot of talk the next day among the cadets about what had happened to Kyle when it was not even his fault, but he took credit and the punishment for it. If nothing else, he thought, he had earned the respect of his fellow cadets for what he had done.

Two weeks had gone by, and unfortunately, troubles for Kyle were not over. That was proven on the following Sunday night when the cadets were cleaning their rooms and getting their gear ready for Monday training. Kyle was walking down the hallway, unaware that the duty officer was behind him.

The duty officer said, “Get out of my way, cadet. You did not hit the wall when I walked by.”

“I did not see you, sir.”

“I did not give you permission to speak. Get down to my office immediately and wait for me.”

Kyle did as he was told and was waiting in the office when the lieutenant came in. Kyle noticed that there were two chairs and a fan in the office and was wondering what that was about.

The lieutenant said, “Get in front of the chairs, face the chairs, and wait.”

Kyle stood there in his government-issued white boxers and nothing else on. It was hot and humid this night, and as he waited, a young good-looking red-haired woman wearing red lipstick with a short white skirt came in and sat in one of the chairs in front of the cool breeze of the fan.

“Okay, cadet, I want you to pick up the two grenades by your feet, and I want you to do the gorilla stomp. Crouch down and jump as high as you can while you beat the grenades against your chest until I tell you to stop.” The young woman smiled while sitting in front of him, enjoying the breeze from the fan and a cool Pepsi in her hand, and she lifted it up as if to say, “Let the good times roll.”

Kyle then started his punishment. As he jumped up and down, his dick fell up and down in his boxers. Until one minute into the punishment, out it came, flopping up and down with every jump, as the red-haired woman was focused on his privates with a big smile on her face. It was getting to be exhausting, time after time, pounding the grenades against his chest until he fell over into the fan that was keeping them so cool. He could not help himself. His legs were so unsteady, and his chest was aching with direct, sharp pain.

“Get up, you loser. Is that what you want to be?” said the duty officer.

“Sir, no, sir,” Kyle responded as he got up to switch off the fan and put it back so that the cool air would be on them. He took his position again with blood now trickling down his chest from the continual beating of the hard grenades, and as he jumped, he could see other cadets outside the office watching what he was being put through. When he was ready to collapse, the duty officer said that it was enough, and he was told to get out.

Slowly Kyle got off the floor. His legs were wobbling, and his chest was in severe pain from the punishment, and he made his way upstairs with the help of three others. The next day, the duty officer was called in the office where the captain of the cadets stood next to the desk of the major. There was a lot of yelling by the major, and the word got out that the lieutenant was relieved of command. Nobody could believe that Kyle could be still standing after such cruel, cruel punishment.

The orders came in after seven months of intense training. They started with 300 cadets, and only 189 made it through to graduate and get their commission as an infantry officer.

At the graduation ceremony where the new lieutenants were sworn in, they all had their family there to share their incredible accomplishment. Well, everyone except Kyle. His dad was dead, and his mother and brothers did not bother to show up. His orders were to report to Fort Bragg, where the Ninth Infantry Division was stationed. There was a lot of talk in the command about Kyle because he was the youngest officer ever to receive a commission.

He was assigned to command headquarters and while signing in he met the Colonel’s Secretary named Suzette. Kyle liked what he saw and had been in training for over a year and it was nice to smell and be around a beautiful woman. They started to date right away, and it was not long before they were engaged. One day, when Kyle came into command during his lunch, and he walked into the office, there he saw the Sergeant Major, standing about six feet tall with a heavy build, all packaged in his green camouflage uniform, with his hands all over his fiancée. Kyle, knowing he was new to the Command, and he outranked the Sergeant Major, stood there for a minute not sure what he should do. It was starting to bother him, so he decided he had to do something.

Instead of discussing it calmly, Kyle reacted the wrong way when he said, “Sergeant Major, take your hands-off Suzette!”

The Sergeant Major said, “Are you talking to me, Lieutenant?”

“Yes, I am, Sergeant Major, and when you talk to me, lock your heels!”

“You are making a big mistake, Lieutenant.”

The Sergeant Major was right, it was a big mistake, and it did not take long to be called into the Colonel’s office for a reaming out, and at the end of the day, he got orders to ship out to Vietnam, and with that, Kyle was sent packing for a long trip across the ocean.

Kyle was back at his barracks packing his gear and talking to everyone he could get a hold of to let them know he was leaving for Vietnam. There was a lot to do before shipping out. It was just about time to leave for the airfield when he heard a knock at his door.

“Lieutenant Stone, in Lieutenant Robinson from Headquarters and I have new orders for you.”

“Yes, I am Lieutenant Stone, you must be kidding me, I am already packed and ready to go. Who changed my orders?” Kyle asked

“They came from Colonel Edwards. That is why I rushed over here to tell you. I hope they are where you want to go.”

The orders were for him to stand down from Vietnam and wait for future instructions to come. That was good news for him. He just ducked a bullet, he thought.

It did not take long for the instructions to arrive. He was to work with a Senator, Chairman of the Armed Service Committee, on some hush hush personnel situation involving a Colonel who was up for his first star as a Brigadier General. Kyle would work undercover, getting any dirt he could on the Colonel with the objective to limit him from becoming a flag officer. These activities continued for many months, and Kyle was pleased with his duties, basically left alone to do what he was ordered to do. Until one day, when he got called into the Senator’s office and was instructed to get ready to deploy to Vietnam. The Colonel he had been following had received orders to Nam, and Kyle had to follow him there as ordered. There was a major problem with that, he could not tell anyone he was going to Nam, a war zone. He only hoped he did not get killed; nobody would know what happened to him as this worried him.

Kyle got assigned to an infantry unit that the Colonel was going to command. He was to act like any other infantry officer and go on patrol every day or when ordered. He was not to tell anyone the real reason for being there.

The thoughts going through Kyle’s mind were scary as he sat in the third row of a 721-Airliner heading over the ocean toward what he was hoping would not be his final resting place and would not ever see his family again. He tried hard not to overthink this but looking around at other members of the unit just showed how somber of a moment this was. It seemed as if all the others were having the same thoughts by the expressions on their faces and tears coming down their cheeks as they wrote their first letter back to those they just left behind. He thought they all were probably hoping like he was that this would be the longest flight ever, but in no time, it was time to exit the aircraft and enter the war.

War what is it, and is it for the right reasons? My life is worth a lot, and why should I risk it for some people I have never met or seen? I do not want to die or be a cripple for the rest of my life when I am so young and have so much to do in my life. My life, and why should I have to command those under me to kill strangers they have never met and strangers that are women? Why? Do we have the correct answer to these questions? The answers will fill my heart after it breaks from watching my friends being killed and shot with bullets that rip through their flesh, leaving them lying in blood with gaping holes, screaming for help. My thoughts are flowing through me, Kyle thought as he wrote. I must get it together, but the body bags I have seen scare the hell out of me and the reality of what can happen, as it did to those dead in the bag and now only a number on a tag on their big toe. Personal thoughts, written on a napkin, lying on the floor of the 721.

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