Someone once asked me what the most embarrassing moment of your life was? Well there have been many but the one that tops them all is the one that nearly ended my Army career early. I joined the Army 10 days after I graduated High School. I completed basic training and field medic school and went to medical laboratory tech school at the prestigious United States AMEDD Center and School at Fort Sam Houston. Anyhow, about half way through the program my bunk mate left. I occupied the lower bunk and he occupied the upper bunk and we both had wall lockers next to each other. When he left he said he left me a surprise. I had no idea what he meant, so I had given him my lock which was on the locker but didn’t have time to open it since we had to go off to class, and you don’t have time to dilly dally around. That day after class I was promoted to E-2, big deal, but at the time I felt like a Sergeant Major, lol. We got back to our barracks where three drill sergeants were waiting with trash bags. They instructed us to go directly in the day room and not to our lockers, that we were having a surprise wall locker inspection. I did not care; my locker was one of the neatest and cleanest in the entire bay. When it was my turn to have my locker examined upon opening it the drill sergeant saw how neat things were and said, forget it your fine and closed the door without even searching it. But he said whose wall locker is this next to you with a lock on it. I said, well, it’s mine right now since the other guy left. He said open it, which I did. There was a set of speakers that had been drilled into the top of the wall locker and a book bag. The book bag was my book bag I had loaned my former battle buddy. The drill sergeant opened the book bag and pulled out a playgirl magazine. My face went from normal calm to red and frightened to death. The drill sergeant started asking if this was mine and I tried explaining how the other guy left and I had not had time to open the locker. With the drill sergeant was one of my other bunk mates and he was laughing the entire time. I went back to the day room feeling like I was doomed and was going to the electric chair. Everyone heard about the magazine. But to my surprise no one called me any names or said a thing during shower time. But the next day we had a meeting of the entire company, which consisted of over 300 soldiers. They had about 200 bottles of liquor in the center of the court and 3 huge black trash bags full of dirty magazines. Then the drill sergeant said and one of you soldiers had a he/he magazine, who is that soldier? I had to get out of formation and stand in front of everyone while he talked about all the contraband. It was the most horrid, most embarrassing day of my entire life. The same day I was called into my drill sergeant’s office and the drill sergeant said he didn’t care what kind of magazine it was that I cannot have pornography while in school. He said once you get to your permanent duty station you can read whatever you wish. I emphatically tried to convince him that it was not mine and explained what happened, but he did not care if it was mine or not. He was actually the most understanding, open minded, coolest drill sergeant I have ever had. I liked him from the beginning but after that I liked him even more because that could have ended my military career right then and there. I will never forget that drill sergeant, who was black by the way, as was my best friend while in field medic school. So the next time you think you were embarrassed think about this, it could be worse.
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