One month into Marine Corps training in San Diego, California, we were preparing for a ten-mile march in 100-degree weather when a jeep drove up with a large radio in the back.
"Who knows anything about radios?" our drill instructor asked.
Several hands went up, and anticipating a ride in the jeep, recruits began listing their credentials. Everything from a degree in communications to a part-time job in a repair shop was declared.
The DI listened to all the contenders, then pointed to the most qualified. "You!" he barked. "Carry the radio."
Apparently this was an actual radio conversation:
#1: "Please divert your course 15 degrees to the north to avoid a collision."
#2: "Recommend that you change YOUR course 15 degrees to the south to avoid a collision."
#1: "This is the captain of a U.S. navy ship. I say again, divert YOUR course."
#2: "No, I say again, divert YOUR course."
#1: "This is the aircraft carrier Enterprise, we are a large warship of the U.S. navy. Divert your course NOW!"
#2: "This is a lighthouse. Your call?"
Down at the Veteran's hospital, a trio of old timers ran out of tales of their own heroic exploits and started bragging about their ancestors.
"My great grandfather, at age 13," one declared proudly, "was a drummer boy at Shiloh."
"Mine," boast another, "went down with Custer at the Battle of Little Big Horn."
"I'm the only soldier in my family," confessed vet number three, "but if my great grandfather was living today he'd be the most famous man in the world."
"What'd he do?" his friends wanted to know.
"Nothing much. But he would be 165 years old."
As a sergeant in a parachute regiment, I took part in several night-time exercises. Once, I was seated next to a lieutenant fresh from jump school.
He was quiet and looked a bit pale, so I struck up a conversation. "Scared, lieutenant?" I asked.
He replied, "No, just a bit apprehensive."
I asked, "What's the difference?"
He replied, "That means I'm scared, but with a university education."