Short Story: Yellow Footprints At Parris Island

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The phrase “through pain, comes discipline” may sound strange or even unorthodox to the average person, but to someone who has stepped on the yellow footprints at Parris Island, they might beg to differ. It was an intense first night on the island to say the least; about 60 of us or so packed on a small bus that was well over capacity, and the fear could be sensed in us all. I remember the long silence finally being broken by a drill instructor’s polite words to “get the hell off his bus”, after those kind words were said we all did in fact get off of his bus; where I was greeted by the humid and cool November air of South Carolina; to this day I can still smell the swamps that surround the Island. They say that anyone who does decide to step on those yellow footprints fall under one of two categories: those that are “crazy brave” and those that are “phony tough”. In hindsight I can safely say that I was the latter of the two, but there was a lesson to be learned on that island for everyone there, and for me it was a lesson in humility. …show more content…

Little did I know this thought would cross my mind quite a bit over the next three months. It wasn’t an “oh my god, this is too hard” kind of thought, but more of a “why are we doing it this way? There’s an easier way to do this’ kind of thought. More or less it frustrated me how much the military carries the “that’s the way it’s been, so that’s the way it’ll always be” kind of approach to things. Not that it’s a bad concept, but it frustrated me to no end. However, I did eventually learn to conform, and stop being an individual, after all there is no “I” in

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