Reliving Basic Training, Sort Of

Recently I had the luxury of a long afternoon lunch at Chipotle on a Sunday afternoon, catching up on some reading and enjoying fall in Florida (for those who don’t live here, that means a very tolerable 75 degrees in the shade). For those who aren’t Chipotle fans the key ingredient is iced tea. Quiet place, background music, iced tea, really, what more can a man ask for? Background set, on to the story.

I tend to filter out noise when I read, but at some point I took a break to look around and could hear the table next to me chatting. Normally I would go back to reading, but something about this caught my ear, a young man of 19 or 20 had apparently just returned from boot camp at Parris Island and was explaining to Mom/Aunt/Someone and another friend his age about how it all worked. I listened in for a few minutes before my manners took over and it was time to leave, but even in that bit of time it struck me that his experience wasn’t so different than my own in Army basic training too many years ago. Duffel bags,standing guard in shifts late at night,long long days. If you’ve done it, you know how it goes. Made me think about who I was then and who I am now. Different in many ways, but maybe not all that different in others.

An unexpected trek to the past for a few minutes and a nice end to a nice break.