Messes up your dope huh ?

While on rifle range guard duty at Paris Island in 1965, my sling slipped and my M14 fell muzzle first to the ground. Thinking this may effect my marksmanship qualifying efforts, I mentioned this unfortunate event to my junior drill instructor thinking he may have some sound advice. He took my weapon and asked me to show him how it fell. My confusion was answered by him instructing me to fall exactly like my rifle did. At that point in my stay at PI,my instilled blind obedience took over and I fell over but used my hands to cushion the impact. he barked “no maggot, your weapon does not have hands, do it again.” The second time was without hands and it did in fact “mess up my dope”. Lesson Learned !!

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1 thought on “Messes up your dope huh ?”

  1. Twice, TWICE! I dropped my M14 in boot camp! Like Gomer Pyle would say, “For shame, for shame, for shame.”. First time was when exiting the Quanset hut for a formation on the company street. Twenty recruits trying to get out that door at the same time gets feet entangled, doesn’t it? My rifle went skidding on the asphalt and I went skidding on my elbows the other way! Another recruit handed me my rifle and I immediately doodood in my trousers. There was an eight inch scrape on the dark wooden stock! The scrape showed the lighter colored wood underneath years of linseed oil that had been rubbed on by other recruits. I had to somehow hide that scrape from any and all DIs until we got back from the grinder. Once back at my footlocker I mixed a little shoe polish with linseed oil and “voila” no more scrape! The next time I dropped the same rifle was during rifle inspection. As soon as the Senior DI smartly stepped in front of me in formation expecting an equally smart “inspection arms” from “order arms” my right hand came up and forward in the direction of my left shoulder but the rifle barrel went forcibly into the DIs crotch! My sweaty hand and all that linseed oil did not mix well! My rifle went back to skidding it’s way down the asphalt and the DI went down where he stood. Not knowing which to pick up first; the rifle or the DI, I chose neither. I just stood there frozen at attention and sweating bullets! The DI, being a hardened combat veteran with a Purple Heart came out of his crotch on spring loaded legs and picked me up by the throat and HELD ME THERE until he grew tired and never mentioned it again! I can truly say my boot camp rifle also earned its own Purple Heart!

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