The meeting didn’t take long. Lee had returned from his meeting with our first sergeant and the sergeant major looking distraught. He was supposed to go with the first sergeant to “clean up” the trash he had left. The sergeant major had ordered the first sergeant to have his soldiers move every bit of trash from that pile to the new trash pit. The first sergeant did not fully grasp the scope of the undertaking and decided that he and Lee would do the work together. They set off to take care of the trash heap. Meanwhile, Sergeant Easton and I had just finished an afternoon PT workout and went off to the chow hall for dinner.
“Where are you going after chow,” one of our fellow soldiers asked us. I cannot recall who the bearer of bad news was. “I’m going to the showers and then to do laundry,” Easton replied. The faceless soldier looked at us at the chow table and said, “The first sergeant says we have to go help with the trash.” I was starting to get annoyed and said, “What the fuck? I thought he and Lee were cleaning it up.” The reply didn’t make me any happier, “It’s too much; the whole company is going. They said for you to hurry with chow and get over there.”
Easton and I finished chow and started walking. It was about a mile to the trash point on foot, and when we arrived, we saw most of our Company digging in a mountain…Mount Trashmore. This mountain of trash was fucking HUGE! It took us a long time, it seemed like hours, but probably wasn’t that long. However, we did work until the sun set. I mainly remember the bags of rotten chicken leftovers, the Playboy that we found, and the gross greasy feeling that was covering my entire body. Easton and I had been doing PT, so we were still wearing our PT uniforms and didn’t have the protection afforded by our normal uniforms. We were covered in filth, dirt, and rotten food. We had to get to the showers…FAST!
This all sounds gross…and hard to put up with, but in retrospect it was all kind of funny. The lucky part, is that it was about to get a hell of a lot funnier.