The misadventures of an 18D across the world.
It’s easy to forget that between the cool guy pics and polished image of many social media accounts, we’re all just normal humans. Nobody is perfect, least of all the 18D medics here at Ready Warrior LLC. We’ve done and experienced some things that will make you probably wonder how we ever made it to a team in the first place, let alone stayed on one. So, let’s hit just some of the lowlights of times where we had some misadventures or just sucked at life. What follows is a collection of short stories that highlight the stuff that never makes it into the books or media.
The Rooster that had to Die
On our first trip to the Philippines, our team was assigned a training mission in a small town on the island of Mindanao. When we arrived, it was exactly what you’d imagine a jungle camp to look like. Bamboo hunts, thatched roofs, and minimal security. If you’ve ever been to the Philippines, you know they love cock fighting (roosters—not…never mind). The camp had dozens and dozens of roosters. Some were roaming free, but the prized ones they used for cockfighting and guard duty were kept in small basket cages outside the soldier’s quarters. Okay, we thought, whatever works for them.
Only problem was…unlike in cartoons where a rooster crows a few times early in the morning to wake you up and then shuts up, these annoying bastards never stopped. Ever. Cockledoodledoo all !&#&@* night. What was worse, someone in the camp kept their rooster directly outside my window. After two nights of horrible sleep, I asked the soldier if he would mind moving his rooster somewhere else. He just laughed and replied ‘No’. Earplugs didn’t work, and I wasn’t about to wear Peltors to bed.
By night 5 I was at my wits end. We were working 16hr days, and the lack of sleep was getting to me. At approximately 3am on the 5th night, I snapped. I took my knife out, walked outside, and shanked that stupid rooster to death. I walked back into the team hut and saw my Team Sgt, who shared the room next to me, staring at me from outside his door. I still had the knife still out and had blood and feathers on my hand. I was one of the newer guys on the team, and I was worried that he was going to send me back home the next morning for this stupid act. He simply replied “If you hadn’t done it, I would have” and went back to his room.
The next morning, the soldier who owned the rooster was PISSED. I thought we were going to get into a rumble, but after some back and forth, I offered him $80 to replace the rooster, under the condition that he no longer keep the rooster anywhere near our hut. He was more than happy to take that deal. I finally got a decent night sleep for the first time that night..but that didn’t last long, because I got sick…really sick. To be continued in….
The Balut that got me
Not long after the rooster episode, myself and a teammate were invited to try an Asian delicacy called Balut. Some of you may know what that is already, and have already gagged a little. For those of you who do not, it is a duck egg. Let me be more specific. It is a duck egg, that has been fertilized, and the baby duck is 14-21 days gestation when its development is stopped and it’s sold. You buy the duck egg, poke a hole in the top of the egg, dunk it in a vat of vinegar, and then suck the partially developed duck and yolk down. Depending on the stage of development, a feather may tickle your throat on the way down. See below for an example:
Surprisingly enough, I found them to be delicious in a weird, scrambled egg type way. I ended up eating two of them during that short break in training we had, each time dunking them in the pitcher of vinegar and spices with everyone else. By now you're probably seeing where I went wrong.
It was later that night the trouble started. I shot out of bed like a bolt of lightning at 1am with huge stomach aches. Yep-bathroom time. Then again at 2am, 3am, 3:30am, 3:45am. After 5 nights of barely sleeping because of a now-dead rooster, I was awaked again because my insides had decided to set themselves on fire. Without exaggeration it was the most violent stomach pains I’ve ever had in my life. All caution was thrown to the wind and doors were thrown nearly off their hinges as I made the mad clench-scramble in an effort to not shit myself en-route.
The next day I came out of my room and felt better. It was my day to teach TCCC, and I was a Green Beret. I could make it through the day on barely any sleep again. I didn’t even make it to noon. I spent the next 3 days alternating between sprints to the bathroom 20 times a day and bouts of fitful sleep. Rather than get better, I was getting worse. By the 4th night, I had a temperature of 104.8. My junior medic and I decided that if it hit 105, we’d have to enact our MEDEVAC plan, which let’s just say was not ideal. That night I had a fever of 105 exactly, but convinced my junior to wait it out until the morning before I gave up.
I don’t remember what time I woke up that night, but instead of making a mad dash to the bathroom, I was now laying in a pool of water. My first thought was that it was raining and my roof had sprung a leak. I realized after becoming more awake, that what had really happened was that my fever had broken, and my sleeping bag was waterlogged in my own sweat. I felt almost completely fine the next day, minus being a little weak and severely dehydrated. Having been absent for a few days and our soldiers we were training being told I was sick, they brought me food upon seeing me for the first time in days. It was Balut. FML
To be continued with more stories............