Scariest Days

While sitting in group the other day someone ask this question. “What were your most scariest days in the service?” After spending 13 months as a gunner in an infantry unit you would think that i would have instantly thought of a day in Nam. I did have some bad days over there but, one thought that came to mind was my first day or two at P.I. I was totally “Scared Sh$%less” I could not take a crap for at least 3 days! I am curious on any other thoughts of your “Scariest Days” in the Corps. Keep in mind that I sit in group with a lot of Army guys and, when I responded it got a lot chuckles. They had no idea what I meant. Anyone else have a similar experience or, was it just me? Bill 0331

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36 thoughts on “Scariest Days”

  1. That sounds about right Bill,I do remember those first few days, just about the same way.Have not thought about it for a while Thanx! Harry

    1. I wasn’t going to reply to this Story, but now I see maybe I should, don’t want to offend anybody. Cannot remember being scared in the service, least of all boot camp. I was 17 when I went in 18 Feb 1966. Join for the one reason of going to Vietnam. Everybody said how bad boot camp would be but I was prepared for a lot worst. I didn’t get scared till I got out. I have never been in group, but they did lock me put once in 1976, at a VA for 3 day observation. I get scared now but I am learning how to deal with it. I use my experiences from the service to get through. Murray

  2. That does seem to be the consensus, Bill. At least of the Marines I’ve talked to. While not unanimous, most agree that we were the most scared in our lives those first few days in Bootcamp. (PI or ‘Dego). Nothing quite grabs you by the “short & curlies” like those guys in the Smokies. But that is part of the plan, isn’t it. So you can always look back and say: “This ain’t so bad.”

    1. Hey Kurt, You make a good point. Looking back on those first days of bootcamp makes everything else seem not so bad. Bill 0331

  3. Bill you nailed it. I think I was scared and pissed off the WHOLE time at PI. Scared I would be sent to CCP or get hurt and set back. We had a SGT. that would punch you in the solar plexis with out warning. First time I was ever punched there. I think the only day I wasn’t scared was the day we graduated and left for Camp Geiger

  4. DI said “You will not move. You will not talk. You will not sit. You will not shit and you will not piss until I tell you to. Is that clear ladies. I did not shit for the first week. Semper Fi Sgt Joe Wilson 68-72

  5. I’ve had a number of Marines that admit to ‘traumatic constipation’ for days in boot but only if you mention it. I joke about a DI yelling ‘shit’ out of frustration, resulting in a recruit stampede to the head.

  6. I went to MCRD in July 1966 we were in the head one of our guys hadn’t gone for at least a week. As he sat on the shitter the blood veins in his neck looked like they were going to bust I made the mistake of smiling at what I was seeing. All the sudden our DI was tearing through the rest of the platoon I thought someone was I trouble little did I know it was me he grabbed me by shirt collar he then knocked the guy from the the stool and was in the process of trying to put my head in that stool last time I remember of smiling through boot camp. No my face did not touch water came to close for me.

    1. Rick, good funny boot camp story. Please contact me at bootcampstories2@gmail.com. I would like to use it in my book “SH*TBIRD! How I Learned To Love The Corps.” I am in the process of collecting new funny stories for a revision to make the book longer or for a book 2. Ask and I’ll send you an excerpt so you’ll know what the book is like. Jim Barber

  7. Yes it had taken me about a week before I realized that it’s not a nightmare and I’m not going wake up. But it was also had it’s funny side. Early one morning in 69 San Diego I had to take a dump. I was setting on the throne looking down the street. I had seen the DI come out of hes hutch with shower gear over his arm. Walking down to the shower. You could see be was still asleep. The boot guard walking around also had seen him coming and hid behind a large sign. When the ssgt got close to the sign the marine jump out screaming as loud as he could. Everything in the ssgt hands went straight up in the air. The ssgt landed right in the middle of that boots chest.i later had to feel sorry for that boot. I was setting on the throne looking straight down the street I was laughing so hard. I could not stop. I came very close to falling of the throne. Yes he chased me out. I was trying to pull up my pants as I was running out of the head.

    1. Butch, please contact me at bootcampstories2@gmail.com about your story. I am doing either a revision of my book “SH*TBIRD! How I Learned To Love The Corps” or a book 2, depending on how many more funny stories I can gather from Marines about their boot camp experience. Anyone interested in seeing an excerpt from the book, feel free to contact me, as well. SEMPER FI

  8. In 2009, I was scheduled to undergo a heart procedure at the James A. Haley VA hospital in Tampa, Fl. While lying on a table awaiting that needle that was going to send me to La-La land, one of the doctors proceeded to explain what they were going to do and told me not to be scared. Scared?, I responded! Hell, I’ve been scared by professionals! And then laughed at him. The other doctor asked him what I said, and he told him. They both just gave each other a puzzled look. I don’t think they understood what I was talking about. But, YOU DO!!!

  9. Two memories definitely standout from 1958 at MCRD San Diego. Standing in line, backside to belly button, in Receiving Barracks waiting for my bucket issue. I heard commotion and screaming behind me and turned to see a recruit on the floor in the throes of an epileptic seizure and a DI standing over him screaming, “Die, motherf&&&er, die!”. The thought flashed through my mind, “What did I get in to?” Zero-dark-thirty in Receiving Barracks the next morning the lights came on with yells of “Get out of those racks!”. A couple of racks over the recruit in the top rack was too slow getting down and so a DI reaches up and grabs the top of the rack and brings it all down to the deck, recruit, mattress with cover, and blanket. Another thought flashed through my mind, “My Dad told me not to do this!”. It’s funny now but it wasn’t funny then.

  10. When I told my friends I was joining the Marines (1972-1974) they thought I was nuts but I thought I was this big strong guy who can take anything. Well, boy I was wrong, when I got a taste of hell the first few days at PI. All I did was talk to God, asking him what the hell did I do by going into the Marines. Now I am 65 and never regretted it. It prepared me for life. Thank you USMC you did a great job in molding me into a fighter for life

    1. I agree I thought the same thing. I was 20 when I went in. I had worked in the steel Mill 2 years. I thought boot camp would be a piece of cake. BOY WAS I WRONG. I still remember my wife’s cousin who had been in the MARINES telling me “YOU THINK YOU ARE A BAD ASS, YOUR IN FOR A BIG SURPRISE”.

  11. Bewildered more than scared. Lasted about 2 weeks before everybody started catching on. Larry platoon 392 September through December. 0311l

  12. I had the same problem Bill. We were told ” Drink the Coffee” and that would fix the problem. I don’t know if it was true or just BS but it worked.

  13. The first few days (plt.245, K Co., July 62) were unnerving to say the least, and It got worse when my SDI found out my Dad was a Sergeant Major and still serving on active duty. Would do it all again.

    1. The same thing happened to a kid in our platoon.He had written on his papers place of birth Camp Pendelton. The senior DI asked what this was all about. He said his father was in the MARINES. They picked on this guy the whole time we were at PI.

  14. Got to MCRD about 2am..and the yellow footprint s minutes later.I do however have vivid memories of my last”peaceful” dump..it was at the Airport in San Diego while waiting to be collected by what turned out to be our JDI..next time I had a “peaceful” one was when I was ” snapping in” plt 3134. 68-72. Semper Fi

  15. After spending six childhood tears in a private military school, I was still scared shitless standing in those yellow footprints, asking myself what the hell I had done. The rest of boot camp was a breeze.

  16. BILL RIGHT ON THE MARK FOR ALL OF US. WHEN WE GOT OF THE BUS AND ON THE FOOTPRINTS. I SAW ONE RECRUT PISS HIS PANTS. THERE WAS A PUDDLE ON THE GROUND UNDER HIM. SOON AFTER THAT I UNDER STOOD WHY. AFTER THE 1ST WEEK I PRAYED I COULD BE A BIRD SO I COULD FLY OUT OF THERE. SURVIVED AND IT. WAS THE BEST THING I HAVE DONE IN MY LIFE SO FAR THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES. ONE MORE MEMORY THE SHITS AFTER BAD CHOW. A LINE OUTSIDE THE SHITER IN NAM. DEPENDING ON THE SIZE 4 HOLE ONE SIDE AND 4 ONE OTHER SIDE WITH 8 GUYS FACING EACH OTHER. REAL FUNNY TO REMEMBER NOW NOT THEN. THE FACES ON ALL OF US LOOKING AT EACH OTHER. JUST GET THAT PICURE IN YOUR MIND. HAPPENED IN NAM ALSO.. BRENDA MC CARRON THE IRISH MARINE. DANANG 1ST MAW 66- 68. STILL LAUGHING WHEN I THINK ABOUT IT. NOW JUST DRINKING BEER AND ENJYING LIFE AND LAUGHING AT THE RECRUTS AT PASIS ISLAND WITH THE SAND FLYS OR FLEAS. HA HA HA. SEMPER FI MARINES.

  17. I couldn’t shit for a week and when I finally did it came out like rabbit droppings which hurt like hell. They also liked to take the toilet paper out and just leave a couple of rolls out for all of us to share which didn’t go to well. The two guys next to me started fighting and were rolling around on the deck throwing punches with their skivies down around their ankles when the drill instructors came in and saw them. I think they did squat thrust forever!

  18. It was 8 days for me before I had my first bowel movement. When it happened it wasn’t a pretty sight or experience.

  19. we’d get marched to the head and the DI would say “you people have 5 minutes to shit, shower and shave”. Mike McManus, Plt 3006, Now 1964, MCRD SanDiego.

  20. Bill, Robert, et al: Anybody who thinks you’re lying had pansies for D.I.’s. Went thru the same thing at MCRD Diego, and I thought I was a big city bad ass…yeah right. Almost a week before I could take a dump. Must have grunted in the head (quonset huts in Diego then) for half the night LOL. More than one of my recruits at MCRD P.I. went thru the same thing. You lit up the lines with this one gunner. LMAO (sure as hell wasn’t funny then was it?)

  21. I think I was in shock for the first several days (MCRD Parris Island, January 1966, Platoon 215). I soon made up my mind to just go with the flow when I realized that there were 83 bodies in that squad bay and we were all going through the same things together. With the exception of a few that required “individual instructions” (if you know what I mean) from time to time No one could do anything right. I remember thinking to myself, “No one at home would ever believe a human being in the USA could be treated the way we were being treated”. Then, later on, l realized that everything that the Drill Instructors were doing was for a reason. Bends and thrusts, push ups, side straddle hops, and anything else they could think of built us physically. Mental harassment built us mentally to endure the mental hardships we would face both in out military career in Vietnam and later as civilians again. For that I thank all my Drill Instructors. A quote I read a few years ago pretty much sums up explaining Marine Corps boot camp: “FOR THOSE WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED IT, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO FULLY DESCRIBE”. “FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NEVER EXPERIENCED IT, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO FULLY UNDERSTAND”. Semper Fi Bob 1381

  22. I remember piling out of the bus and onto the yellow feet painted on the deck. I was on the outside, looking around, and somebody in uniform walked by. The kid next to me leaned over and said “Hey Sarge, can I have a smoke?” I think three of them popped out of the ground, pummeled the kid, dragged him off, never saw him again. Got my attention, for sure.

    1. I too seen something like this and wow, when the MP’s came and took this one guy away, they grabbed him, tied his hands and feet, and put him in the back of a MP truck and they were not gentle (if you know what I mean). I just said to myself, don’t mess with the DI on PI

  23. I fainted from low blood sugar while waiting to be given our initial issue. Very embarrassing. Three days later I peed my rack. Couldn’t wake up to go. Equally embarrassing and smelly. Somehow or another I became a Marine despite all that.

  24. I have laughed so hard with all these stories my wife probably thinks I’m crazy but if I tell here what I’m laughing about she wouldn’t under stand. First 3 weeks thought I would die wondering what I got myself into and the thought of what my dad (Navy WW2 vet) had said (boy you have messed up now). I will never forget the first morning wake up never been woke up like that again.

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