MREs...

...Meals... Ready to Eat... yeah, right... I was just over at Dog Snot Diaries, and their post about MREs got me to thinking... which, at 7 on a Friday night, is probably NOT something I should be doing..

...one of my most interesting memories about bootcamp involved.... not MREs... but the sack lunches they gave us at the Rifle Range...

...first of all, let me just say this... I love to eat... no, you don't understand... I LOVE to eat... I've never been overweight.... but, I eat like a horse....when you break it all down, I am a visceral person... food... drink... life... I love it, and I want to do it.... that being said, USMC bootcamp was a bit of an awakening to me...

...first, going through the chow line at Parris Island was in no way akin to "dining"... you lined up... you got your chow and a plastic glass of water... *our Platoon was not allowed milk or "bug juice"... so, for three months, I drank water...*....anyway, you went to your table... sat at attention, and ate... that was it... hell, you were too damn tired to worry about taste anyway.... well... I started to get used to this way of eating.. as much as it sounds crazy.. but, we had too much on our minds during training to be worried about taste budís.. or, enjoying the meal... in some ways, it wasn't even a meal... it was energy.... energy that we would NEED come tomorrow.. so, we sat... at attention.... and ate...

...ok... proceed to the Rifle Range portion of training... they handed out sack lunches to the recruits.... of course, our Platoon was ALWAYS late for something.... heh... which Platoon WASN'T?....anyway, our sack lunches consisted of..

1. a ham and cheese sandwich wrapped in cling film....
2. a piece of fresh fruit.... apple, orange, or banana....
3. a boiled egg...

...like I said, we were always being forced to do everything quickly, so.. our lunch consisted of this... the DI would yell to all the seated recruits... "Reach into your bag, and get your sandwich!.....Eat it!..... One... Two... Three.... Four.... You're DONE!.... put it away!.... get your fruit..... Eat it!... One... Two... Three... Four..... You're DONE!... put it away".... and, ladies and gentlemen... 40 guys in Plt. 3072 would eat lunch in less than 45 seconds... pretty slick, from one point of view.. but, damn infuriating to me... so... I devised a plan....

...I'll not go into details here, but just let me say... when asked to produce the boiled egg, I'd hold it up as instructed.... when told to eat, I would smash my hands together.... smashing the shell... rub them together furiously.... and then, cram the remnants into my mouth..... heh.... I could.. and still can... eat a boiled egg in 10 seconds.... peel it? ... fuck that... I ain't got time to peel.. but, I NEED that egg....

..much the same can be said of the fruit.... I can eat a banana whole.. and an orange... peelings and all... hell, I'd have three big bites gone before the DI yelled for us to stop....... it was at this point that I got my nickname "Coon".... because, I assume, I would eat ANYTHING... every DAY, I prayed that God would allow me to be gifted an apple in my sack lunch...

....I NEVER got a damn apple....

by Eric on February 13, 2004 | Comments(6) | SWG Stories
Ľ Les Jones Blog links with: Tailgate Party

Comments so far:

Hey,...like your page! I have to say some MREs aren't too bad actually. Of course I was a damn sailor for almost 10 years,...so I really didn't have to spend as much time dining on them as the boys in green. By the way,....good job,..it's good to have people willing to do what's necessary.

posted by: butchmule on February 13, 2004 11:19 PM

her eric, ye coulda been the inventer of that new contrapgshun thar sellin on tv fer peelin eggs. sounds lack ye cum up with the idee years befor its time ever cum around!

heres whut i dont git about paris island (i wuz not lucky a nuff to serve on a counta havin asthma). far as i kin tell frum whut folks sez they dun thar, twuz a form of hell. yet in my fambly full of marines, ever time we git together, them marines gits to reminiscin bout paris island lack twuz the best time of thar lives.

how kin ye splain that?


posted by: buddy don on February 14, 2004 05:08 AM

thanks, butchmule.. for your service as well..

Hillbilly: It's hard to explain.. I suppose that because it was not easy, and we survived it to become Jarheads, we have a huge feeling of pride.. I suppose it has something to do with "the few, the proud".. and, in a way, the "hell" of Parris Island WAS one of the best times of my life...

posted by: Eric on February 14, 2004 08:12 AM

Ohhhhh, lordy. BOX-NASTIES. Maaaaaaan, THAT was food made by the lowest bidder. I'll take MRE's for weeks before I'll have a Box-Nasty (unless it's ham slice... brrrr... gives me the shivers just THINKIN' about a ham slice...)

But you're right: GOTTA HAVE that egg. Damned if that wasn't the best part of the whole box...

posted by: Mike the Marine on February 15, 2004 10:27 PM

I remember being lined up behind some dumbass broad in chow line. We weren't supposed to talk and every day that dumbshit would ask the cook wht we were having to eat. Even tho we all knew it was rabbit, they would tell her chicken. And everyday she would complain and we would all have to drop and do pushups right there. That's what blanket parties were for, right?

posted by: drc on February 16, 2004 06:41 PM

holy crap, DRC, I thought you were DEAD!! Welcome back!!

posted by: Eric on February 16, 2004 06:43 PM