I often flashback to certain past events in my life, like Marine Corps School of Infantry (SOI), circa 1989. Has it really been that long? I was an 18-year-old Private sitting with the others in my platoon, paying close attention to a crusty old Gunny who was going over the finer points of how to lay a proper ambush.

I sat there trying to focus on the class, fighting through the discomfort of the previous forced march; my lips so chapped that at night they’d stick together, and each morning tearing open the wound as I awoke to eat or drink. I’ll never forget when someone broke the instructors speech by raising his hand high in the air and asking, “Gunnery Sergeant, what if this here claymore mine gets turned all around the wrong way by accident?”

There was deafening silence as we all wondered who’d ask such a stupid question. The gunny looked off to the side, shook his head and raised his right hand, adjusting his cover higher up on his forehead as he spat out a stream of tobacco and replied, “Well, what if grasshoppers had machine guns?” There was even more silence followed by, “Then birds wouldn’t mess with them!”
By John Morrison


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