Excerpts from New Military Book

Friday I gave you an outline of what my book, Signs of Hope in the Military: in and Out of the Trenches of Life.

Today I am going to actually share excerpts from two sections of my book.

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The first chapter is about my Basic Training:

Taking Aim On Perfection

One part of the basic training was done at the firing range. We all had to learn how to properly line up the sights on our rifles, and shot at the targets with some accuracy.

I had never shot a weapon before in my life. It was a little intimidating at first. The loud noise each time you shot was one thing, but the kick from the weapon on your shoulder was another. You had to learn how to “hug” the rifle and keep it tight against your shoulder to keep it from kicking.

The first day was mostly learning how to lie down in the right position, and how to wrap the strap properly around your arm to help keep the rifle steady. This got boring pretty quickly, but the leaders were determined to have us all doing it perfectly.

The second day was much more exciting. They had us actually shooting at targets. The targets were pop-up type of targets. You waited until one popped up and then shot. It tested your awareness and your quick judgement. The targets didn’t stay up long.

I took my shots and waited as others did their shooting as well. I wasn’t sure why I was done so much earlier than the others, but the soldier assigned to me told me I was the fastest at hitting all the targets of anybody in the platoon.

Then they had the targets further away. The first ones were about 50 yards. The second ones were 75 yards. I did the same thing. I was done much faster than the other men. I was beginning to like my rifle and what I was accomplishing.

When we started seeing that some of the men weren’t firing anymore. I was told that they were missing too many targets and would have to come back for more training. The targets were now 100 yards way (the length of a football field.) You really had to concentrate because the targets went up and down pretty fast. I hit all my targets again.

There were only about five of us left after the 100 yard distance. Then they told us we were to be shooting at targets about 150 yards away. At this time they taught us about “Kentucky windage.” This is where you aim a little higher on the target and let the wind bring the bullet down to the target, or just less velocity causes the bullet to start falling lower.

This was much harder. You had to aim above the target to hit the target. This was a very hard concept to learn. I had some miss hits, but the first round was just practice to let us get accustom to shooting at that distance. By the end of the first round I was hitting most of the targets. They were so small from that distance, and you didn’t have more than a couple of seconds to react when they popped up.

The final round came and I was ready. The targets popped up and I shot them down. I hit four out of five targets. The rest of the men didn’t do as well. I was named the champion of the shooting range, and from all that I received an Expert medal that I still have to this day.

Have you done something you are very proud of in the military? Even if it was many years ago like my experience was you still should be very proud. If you are now in the service cling to your good experiences to help you through your time there.

You are or have served your country, and anything that was a positive experience should be kept in your memories forever. Be proud!


I know that it is hard to “brag,” about anything good you did during your service to your country, but you have had good and bad experiences just like everyone else. We all tend to not talk about our bad experiences because they just reopen the wounds, but please share the good experiences with your friends and love ones. They will enjoy the stories, and you will feel proud of your accomplishments. You are not bragging!!

Think about his

Isn’t it funny that the more we share with others the happier we are?


+Every chapter in the book will have an ending like this. IWILL stands for Important Words in Life’s Learning.

Think about this: This is just a moment to ponder something usually pertaining to the chapter.


From South Korea:

It’s Tough Being the New Kid on the Block

After basic training I was accepted into the Army Security Agency, which is a unit of soldiers who, in my case, monitored radio/teletype transactions to make sure there were no breaches of security.

I was sent to Fort Gordon, Georgia, for my training for that. I was separated from my two buddies there. I began to feel the loneliness again. Yes, there were hundreds of other soldiers just like me, but they weren’t from my home area. They were from all over the United States. They all had their own ways to approach people. Some didn’t want to have anything to do with the people around them.

I didn’t see why it was happening, and went out of my way to “cross the center line,” to the other side to get acquainted with them. I made some good friends on both sides, and didn’t get in trouble for doing it from either side.

Do you have family members, or fellow soldiers that you feel are isolating themselves from you? Are there those who want to be alone, and not mix with others?

I have felt that while I was stationed in Korea. There was a breakdown of short timers, (those with a month to go or less,) new guys who were “outcasts,” until they proved themselves, and the regular group who were in between.

I went through all three stages while I was there. However, I couldn’t let myself treat the new soldiers as outcasts. I learned that my first week there myself.

I was just settling in when two guys came walking up to me in my Quonset hut, (metal shelter.) They were both big and strong looking guys. One was African American, who looked like a linebacker, and the other was “tall drink of water,” from Texas.

I was every worried as they came towards me. Why would they fool around with a “newsikky,” (new guy) like me? They both had smiles on their faces and shook my hand. They greeted me like I was somebody important.

I figured they were the welcoming committee, but they weren’t. They were just two soldiers who had gone through the gauntlet like all new soldiers had to do, and they had decided that they would make sure no one else had to.

That was the one main factor that helped me cope while I was in Korea. I became very good buddies with those two guys. (Besides they were big and tough and they protected me!) They set the pattern that I used the whole time I was there. I felt it was my duty, because of these two men, to make the new soldiers feel welcome.

If you have been through some feelings of rejection in your world, reach out to someone who is in the same boat as you are and help them cope. Be like my two “angels” who came to make me feel welcome, and make others around you feel important and special.

You will not only feel good about what you are doing, but you will help someone who is struggling a great deal.


There are times when you have “down time,” in the military. Use that time to get to know some of the soldiers that don’t seem to have any friends. It may seem uncomfortable at first, and they may reject you, but they will never be the same. They will know that someone cares, and they will walk a little taller.

Think about this

Isn’t it great that when we smile at someone they smile back?


My next post will be excerpts from my time at FT. Bragg, and some interviews with veterans.


So how’s it going my friend? is the world treating you right? Are there days you just want to scream.?

I hear you!

There are many of us here on this site who have been through the same things. If you are hurting, don’t let the darkness overcome you! Get help!

There is a toll free number to call for help that is 24/7. The people there are highly qualified. There are 22 veterans who take their own lives every day. YES, I said every day. Most of them are veterans who never looked for help.

Here is the number:



+If you like what you see, please subscribe at the top of this page where it says, “subscribe.” When you do all future posts will come directly to your inbox. Also, if you know some else who could benefit for the site, please let them know about it. You may be saving a life. Your comments will not be seen by other people, just me, and I will connect with you to see if you are OK to share it.



You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all….never, ever, give up!

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