Postcards from Tradocia

hurts so good

There’s nothing quite like the smell and sting of CS gas.

Today’s main event was the gas chamber. We lined up in groups of 25, then tromped into the little cinder block building, where we performed jumping jacks, push-ups, and knee benders, all while wearing gas masks and swimming in a cloud of CS (aka tear gas). Then we had to lift our masks, have the instructor look at our faces, then put the mask back on and clear it. After that, it was back outside, where the mucus flow began!

Actually it was much easier than basic training – we didn’t have to say anything, unlike in basic. We did cause quite a stir at the dining facility afterwards, though, when we streamed in all wearing our CS-coated clothing. Hilarious!

Tomorrow is rifle shooting ad infinitum – 0800 to 2300.


  1. kelly

    Hi Alex,
    Sounds like the same amount of laundry I have to do! No, really. I havent seen your sight for acouple days,
    alot happeing. I would think you guys would run that drill over and over. Weird, probably more to come. When are you training for communications? Seems like your training so far is regular soldiering. Have they told you more of your mission yet? Well I LOVE your entries.
    You look great in your uniform, khaki is the “new black” I hear. LOL.

  2. Mom and Dad

    Hi Alex – This is totally unrelated to your laundry message, but I thought you might find this atypical Viet Nam experience interesting.

    I was talking to a guy at work a few years older than me (work is going well), who had been drafted and sent to Viet Nam. This after they changed the draft policy to target older than the youngest men. He said that in his basic training group almost everyone was a college graduate, a signficant portion had Master’s degrees, and there were a few PhD’s. Some had high-powered finance jobs on the east coast.

    He entered OCS, but wormed his way out of it.

    He ended up a typist in Viet Nam, typing 10 hours a day, 6 days a week!

    He said that from what he encountered in OCS, even during the Viet Nam period army training and organization were excellent.

    Love, Dad

  3. Mom and Dad

    Minnesota 5, Notre Dame 2 in the Midwest NCAA hockey tournament at Grand Rapids, MI. Minnesota went down by 2 in the first, Notre Dame scoring in the first and last minutes of the period.

    Minnesota’s fifth goal was into an empty net.

    Shots on goal: Minnesota 45, Notre Dame 22.

    Vanek scored two goals and had 11 shots on net.

    This was the first time Notre Dame had made it to the NCAA tournament, and they played a good, gritty, defensive game

    Minnesota will play the victor of the Michigan State vs. Duluth Bulldogs game later tonight.

    Minnesota is within 3 or 4 games of the NCAA title!

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