Reviews from

Basic

A Comedy of Terrors.

13 total reviews 
Comment from T B Botts
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

Well done Brad.
I didn't realize how difficult your generation had it, although only ten years later I was in boot camp in Great Lakes Illinois in January. I was in the navy and the wind that came off Lake Michigan would cause tears to fall and freeze on our faces while we stood outside in our Pea coats at attention waiting to get into the chow hall. I never experienced anything quite so brutal as you described. It sounds like the DI's were a little over the top then. I guess they were doing as they were told though. Glad you made it through. You told your story well. Congratulations.

Tom

 Comment Written 25-Jul-2021


reply by the author on 25-Jul-2021
    From what I hear, Basic is more humane now. Back then, DI's weren't profiled for psychological traits, but it is still tough for sure. Thank you for the 6 stars! I am honored. Glad you liked it.
Comment from Carol Hillebrenner
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted

This is very well written and quite interesting. I graduated in '64 and by November my boy friends were disappearing and returning as men who couldn't sit on a sofa to talk to me because their head was above the horizon. I do understand how the lessons you learned in basic could become a "good" memory, because you had to grow into men so quickly. This seems highly publishable but I haven't come up with a suggestion as to where is should go. Certainly a good entry into the contest.

 Comment Written 24-Jul-2021


reply by the author on 25-Jul-2021
    Thank you Carol, so glad you liked it. The contest was an old one, but I put this back on as its my favorite story. There was nothing like the sixties, and as you know, it had quite an impact on us.
Comment from Susan Newell
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted

I wish I had a six for this, despite some spags. There are some places where I think italics would have done better than caps, but understand the posting limitations here. This is exceptional in terms of story-telling, character development (the ones you wrote into being), and character development (your own) through relentless discipline. I have heard numerous shorter, but similar, versions from other men who survived boot camp and thrived afterwards (my husband included). The military used to be The Great Leveler (in terms of opportunity), though I don't know that it still is. Great job and thanks for the read.

Notes:

none more so when we reached Las Angeles. -- suggest "none more so than when"

I wondered if Angel was out there somewhere walking a dusty road, looking for a new life somewhere? -- not a question

The guy snapped the tray back, but THEN for some unexplainable reason, he flipped the tray back up to the VERTICLE? -- not a question ==> vertical

we trudged around the Airbase ==> airbase

night watch man's ==> nightwatchman's (I think)

male dominatrix. -- trix is feminine -- suggest replacement with "sadistic sexual dominator"

Amarillo Air Force base Texas. ==> Base (since it's specific)

I went to the Base Exchange -- base exchange (non-specific, comparable to store)

 Comment Written 24-Jul-2021


reply by the author on 24-Jul-2021
    Thank you, Susan. So glad you liked it. Yes, the damn italics show smaller so it's hard to use them. Good eye on those typos. I guess I used question marks to show the uncertainty of the scene. But the story must do that. 'Base' is part of the name and it should be capitalized as you show. I like your suggestion, for the Bulldog DI,s tag, but best not to use 'sexual.' The Forces will have a problem with that! :>)
reply by Susan Newell on 24-Jul-2021
    You are welcome. I really enjoyed the detail of your story.
Comment from Sanku
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

I was quite shocked to read what goes on in Basic Training.later as I came to the part where you said it had toughened you up,the I kind of reconcile myself with these facts..Very well written

 Comment Written 23-Jul-2021


reply by the author on 23-Jul-2021
    Thank you for your 6 stars Sanka. Yes, the military training is harsh, the Airforce is easier now, but training for marines, etc, is very tough, they have important jobs, but almost all come out feeling they are part of something important.
Comment from BethShelby
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted

I read you story with a good deal of interest. It sounds a lot like the story my husband told me about his first days in the military. I'm sure there were many times the first week that you wished you had not decided to join. This was very well told and very scary but also amusing.

 Comment Written 22-Jul-2021


reply by the author on 23-Jul-2021
    Thanks for your review Beth. Your are correct about the first week, in fact they are waiting for deserters during this time, its a weeding out process. Most of us never forget those memories, it shaped our early lives.
Comment from LJbutterfly
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

Wow! This story is so descriptive and emotionally charged that I could almost relate to the many tales my husband told me about his experiences in basic training during the same period of time. With each story example, you gave a summary letting the reader know why that particular incident was included. Well done.

You may want to look at this one word: I walked the "trail," hoping I might run across him.

Do you mean I walked the "train...?"

To me, the two funniest lines were 1. noodles, carrots and celery, and
2. "Bless my locker and make it right."

This is definitely a six. Best wishes in the contest.

 Comment Written 22-Jul-2021


reply by the author on 22-Jul-2021
    'Wow' to you back Butterfly! Thank you so much for the 6 stars. It really is satisfying to know a fellow writer likes one's work. And thanks for spotting that typo. Brad
Comment from barbara.wilkey
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted

Thank you for sharing this contest entry with us. My husband was active Army for 23 years. His stories are a little different but very similar. Good luck with the contest.

I didn't see Angel the next day. (the following day, has to deal with definition)

 Comment Written 22-Jul-2021


reply by the author on 22-Jul-2021
    Thank you, Barbara. Yes, basic training is something no ex-military will ever forget. Thanks for that correction.
Comment from royowen
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted

I missed out on the two types of basic training, by the time they reintroduced I was too old, not so my brother, who was given jungle training, the most brutal of all, I'm Australian, so he was posted off to Vietnam, where he was wounded, did his two years, but back fro basic trading + when he came home of furlough, he'd grown two inches, gained two stone, as fit as a Mallee bull. Beautifully written, he never spoke of Vietnam, well done, blessings Roy
Typo : something to scrap(e) it off.

 Comment Written 21-Jul-2021


reply by the author on 21-Jul-2021
    Nam was the worst. It wasn't a good idea to wear your uniform on leave then, some people would actually spit on you.
    Thanks, Roy, blessing back at ya.
reply by royowen on 22-Jul-2021
    Good job
Comment from Diana Kane
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted

This was awesome! It was riveting. I felt like I was there... And invisible voyeur. This is just such an insight into a day in the life kind of thing. Thank you for sharing it. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

 Comment Written 23-May-2020


reply by the author on 23-May-2020
    Thanks Diana, glad you liked it.
Comment from Gypsymooncat
Good
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted

The only reason I'm giving this a four instead of a five, was that I found a few things that need adjusting. Otherwise, this was a very well told story of a great time in your life that started off as anything but. I enjoyed it, and hope that my suggestions aren't taken as overt criticism:

There (were) noise and confusion - were should be "was"
The train would stop to pick more - should read "pick up more"
He told his name was Angel. - "me" needs to go between "told" and "his"
then go on-never see them again - this could read "then go on to" or "then go on never seeing" them again
there was no one person - I see your problem here. Can I suggest: "there wasn't anyone they could single out"?
"I don't know, Sir!" the poor guy stammered." - no need for conversation marks after stammered.

As said though, overall, this was a very good story and I'd say a strong contender in the contest. Good luck!


This rating does not count towards story rating or author rank.
The highest and the lowest rating are not included in calculations.

 Comment Written 23-May-2020


reply by the author on 23-May-2020
    Yeah, Thats what I get for throwing it on there without final proofing. I had to leave, and by the time I got back it was to late.
    Many thanks, I won't do that again.
reply by Gypsymooncat on 23-May-2020
    No worries! I'm happy I may have been of some help xoxox PS: And we all have done similar to you at one time or another lol!