Excerpt From Chapter 7 TO SERVE WITHOUT HONOR page137

Published May 4, 2017

Things were a little more relaxed at Camp Geiger. We were US Marines now, although we were at the very bottom of the food chain. Very few of the graduating platoons ended up in the same training company or specialty schools at the camp. Some went to artillery or radio school. Others were chosen to become super-grunts and trained to join the marines elite fighting force called Force Recon.

In the August heat of North Carolina, we were introduced to weapons and tactics. We performed maneuvers in mock war games, using maps and compasses. We became intimately acquainted with the backbone of the Marine Corps infantry, the M14 rifle. In addition, we were acquainted with C Rations, the source of sustenance for troops in the field.

I applied myself to the challenges at Camp Geiger and tried to come to terms with my personal demons and the difficult time I had at Parris Island. I stayed out of trouble, and at the end of my time at Camp Geiger, I was promoted to PFC, Private First Class.

I looked forward to returning home on leave. It was more than four months since I’d left the world of Charter Oak Terrace, my family, and friends. All my old feelings diminished. Though, I had one thing I had craved—a new persona. I was a United States Marine!

The homecoming was great! There were hugs, kisses, handshakes, and back slaps. We took photos and made phone calls to relatives. I slept in my old room. My brother Jasper was still away, and I missed talking to him.