religious ceremony at basic training

Dear Mikey:

Alrighty. Let’s see, I started basic training early August, 2003, so I’m guessing we had the church service thing around late September, 2003. I went to basic training at Fort Leonardwood, Missouri. We were told we could go have basically a free day, where we could go bowling, eat pizza, watch the news, etc, all day long, and then attend a church service in the evening – the church service was mandatory if we went out there to have pizza and stuff. Or, we could stay back at the barracks and clean the WW2 barracks all day. I don’t remember exactly, but I think pretty much everyone chose to go, after 6 or 7 weeks of basic training we would have done about anything for a break – and I think they planned it that way, because they knew people would sit through any church service just to get some time off. The church service itself was standard boring droll, I grew up in the south around lots of pentecostals and especially southern baptists, and this was right in line with those. He (the preacher) told some big long drawn out story about some girl who wasn’t christian and didn’t accept jesus and all that, and then on her senior prom night she was in a car crash and the car caught on fire and she was screaming help me help me, and people couldn’t get to her, and her last words were save me, I’m going to hell! or something ridiculous like that. It was a cheesy story concocted specifically to try to get an emotional response from the soldiers, many if not most of whom were 18-20 years old and very impressionable. And then, in proper southern baptist manner, he started calling for everyone to come up to the steps at the front of the church and repent and be saved, all that crap. There was a bunch of guys that worked in the church, and they were hovering around me like vultures by a dying animal. I was jewish at the time – atheist now – so I didn’t believe a thing he said, and I pretty much shut out the entire sermon. But these couple guys were all standing like right next to me, ready to lead me up to the front of the steps, and kept asking me things like “are you SURE you’re okay in life?” “if you want to go up there, we’ll go with you”, etc, just constantly pestering me. It wasn’t as bad as the soldiers forced to go to that concert, but still, definitely not right. It was about 7 years ago, so kinda hard to remember more than just the main big picture, but I hope I’ve been some help

(name withheld)

Please Share This Page!

    Commenter Account Access

    • Register for a commenter account
      (Not required to post comments, but will save you time if you're a regular commenter)
    • Log in using your existing account
    • Click here to edit your profile and change your password
    • All comments are subject to our Terms of Use

    No Comments

    Start the ball rolling by posting a comment on this article!

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    *

    You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>