It was the early 1980s and I was at the US Marine Corps Infantry Training School at Camp Geiger, North Carolina. It had rained for days, and the trails and pathways throughout the wooded training area had become quagmires. This did not of course stop the training.
It was into this environment that we men of “Charlie Company” began a timed hike. At first I did well, even though the mud in places seemed to make every step feel as if my feet weighed a hundred pounds. I was quite proud of myself at my professionalism. In fact, almost Hollywood-like, when I slipped my rifle was instinctively lifted skywards away from the unforgiving mud.
But alas, I started to fall back in the column, and eventually was trailing some ten to fifteen yards behind the others. As we approached a place where the trail crossed a road, a truck was waiting, and I and other “hike drops” was snagged by a sergeant who ordered us onto the uncovered back of the vehicle. Cold and wet to the skin we were taken at speed back to camp, as the chill began to take its toll. I never again was a hike drop.
Mud and toil – is a way of life
It prepares you for a world of strife
By testing yourself – to the limit each day
You strengthen yourself – for the role you play
The defense of others – is no simple chore
But to give of yourself – who can do more?
Lips blue, fingers numb
Windswept the transportation
Never lag again!