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Turning Green in Georgia


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The humidity was so very high that we could actually see the air that we were breathing. Fort Benning Georgia, Sand Hill, basic training graduation, the "turning green" ceremony.

We could see them across the "grinder", about a quarter of a mile away. They were in formation behind the barracks, doing calisthenics. We could hear the four companies counting cadence. It had a certain lilting, yet haunting sound, coming through the heavy air.

We speculated that the drill instructors needed to burn off some of the youthful exuberance with exercises. It was the day they would become soldiers and the excitement was almost a tangeable thing in the atmosphere.

For the first time all of the trainees were seventeen years old. Each had spent his Summer, not in basketball camp, or football camp, but in basic training in the US Army.

They all had to go back home and High School this Fall, as Seniors in their Respective Schools.

You could hear it in their cadence chanting, the pride of accomplishment.

The stands and dignitary's chairs were filling up under the large pavillion, as the public address system began to broadcast appropriately military music. Music for the visiting ladies hairdoo's to wilt by, in the extreme humidity.

Professional videographers were getting their equipment ready and seating was becoming scarce as the announcement was made, five minutes until our Soldiers marched in.

A pause in the cadence across the field drew our attention and we saw them start to march to the ceremony area, spaced out so that each group made a seperate entrance.

Each company was chanting a cadence or "jody". The first arrival chanted:

"I used to drive a Cadillac"

"Now I hump a large rucksack" . . . . .


It brought back memories of a time when we would chant:

"Hey, Hey, Capn' Jack"

"Meet me down by the railroad track" . . . .

I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth 08' Oliver Legacy Elite HULL NUMBER 0003(sold)

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