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Here is another excerpt from my upcoming book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of life.
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?
Checking in on you. How are you doing? Did you have adventures while in Basic Training?
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