The following is taken from Chapter 3 of Rev. Paul Zimmer's Prodigal Daze. Additional information on this book can be found at can reviewed exclusively @ http://www.removethehaze.com. I prayerfully hope this partial chapter blesses you. Enjoy In the Army Now! My personal anxiety grew to a fever pitch, as I stared out the window of the bus, and the closer we came to our arrival point, the more knotted my stomach was. I was so wound that I jumped out of my skin when a guy from the other side of the aisle yelled out that he could see barracks. Sure enough, as I looked out that side of the bus I too could make out the silhouette of barracks and military vehicles through the darkness and fog. Within a matter of minutes of that discovery, we were surrounded by an endless number of barracks and military buildings. As we drove down narrow streets dimly lit by the sparsely placed street lights, I was able to make out some of the signs in front of the buildings. There was a commissary, base hospital, Judge Advocate Generals Office, and numerous mess halls. As the speed of the bus decreased, to a crawl, the sound of its diesel engines were whining even louder, which added to my anxiety as I knew we were within minutes of disembarking the safe confines of the bus, and my personal nightmare would be set in motion. My stomach had twisted itself up in so many knots that a nausea feeling crept over me as the screeching sound of the bus's air brakes signaled we had arrived. We had finally pulled into an area that was so well lit that the coastal fog was driven back to the sea. As we sat in the bus, the mood of those around me was rather subdues, and almost somber. It was apparent that no one was looking forward to getting off the bus that morning. As I looked out the window of the bus, I couldn't help but see the same large banner that many of the others were already looking at. On my side of the bus, stretched between two light poles, was a bright red sign with large white letters that welcomed us to the United States Army Reception Station at Fort Ord, California. I finally knew where we were going, because the sign was quite informative. To this day, I still don't understand why our destination had to be so secretive. After we arrived we knew where we were, and eventually we would be letting our families know where we were. All the cloak-and-dagger leading up to our arrival at Fort Ord made no sense; unless the army was afraid, the enemies of this country would commandeer our bus, and take us hostage. Whatever, we were there, and though we were left sitting on the bus for another fifteen to twenty minutes, once those two foul mouth drill sergeants came aboard the bus a spirit of intimidation came with them. They began shouting, cussing, and pulling guys out of their seats. Their objective to have all of us get off of bus could have been better accomplished without all of the colorful language, and physical intimidation. It became quite apparent that these guys did not intend to warmly welcome us to the U.S. Army. Actually, the street language they used to describe our mothers, and our physical and mental potentials, were new to my limited and often sheltered vocabulary. To be honest, if their intention was to intimidate and offend, they deserved a passing grade. From where I sat, all I could see were the bodies of scared young men being physically pushed and tossed off of the bus, so, as they approached where I was sitting, I prepared to jump up and run off that bus, because that's what they seemed to want. The nightmare of military service had just begun. What happened on the bus a few minutes earlier was tame in comparison to what came next. We were ordered to stand at attention, while another sergeant exited the only building we could see due to the bright lights shining down in our faces. This guy was even larger than the first two that yelled, yanked, and kicked us off the bus. He must have been the head sergeant, because he stood before us, and read us the riot act. I was amused with the thought that maybe these guys were angry for having to get up so early in the morning and greet us. But in the midst of my self amusement, I watched in horror as a sergeant grabbed one recruit by the neck and asked him to tell the group why he was smiling. Any thought of smiling, or smirking was quickly eradicated from my mind. Of course, when you try not to laugh or smile, the human mind, at that time of the morning, will work against your best efforts, and pretty soon more than half of the group had cracked smiles, and some were even laughing, This only caused "Sergeant Gorilla" to become totally enraged, but because one guys smile had become a case of infectious mass hysteria, all he could do was make us do a hundred push ups while he ranted and raved something about respecting our leaders.