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Smith & Mormon - Part 2

Hello and good day!

When I left off yesterday, my brother Brian was in basic training at Fort Jackson in South Carolina. He was sitting on the top bunk of a bunk bed in a barrack, wearing a t-shirt, underwear, and house sandals. It was hotter than all get out, and that's why he was dressed in such sparse attire.

After two hellish weeks of hiking and crawling under chicken wire and doing pushups in the heat and being awakened in the middle of the night by drill sergeants to go outside and do jumping jacks under the moon for hours on end, he finally had a free moment to rest and read a magazine.

He was enjoying himself when the drill sergeant's assistant came into the barrack. "Private Horsley, Sergeant Smith wants to see you right away," said the messenger.

Brian nodded and climbed down the ladder to the ground. He walked to his dresser to take out his clothes and get dressed.

"What are you doing Private Horsley?" asked the messenger. "Putting my clothes on sir," said Brian. "Sergeant Smith wants to see you right away private. Come as you are," said the messenger.

"Yes sir," said Brian.

He followed the messenger out of the barrack door and out into the hot, bright blue day. The terrain was sandy and dry. There were soldiers everywhere, training and marching, yelling and chanting, and there were long, two-story barracks lined up in rows all over the place.

Brian walked behind the messenger in his t-shirt, underwear, and sandals, looking straight ahead, so as to ignore the snickers of the soldiers who were having a laugh at his expense. The messenger led Brian into the drill sergeant's office which was a single room built of old, flimsy wood. The room was small and hot and had a wooden desk and a chalk board on the wall.

When Brian saw Sergeant Smith, he stood at attention, his hands to his side and stiff as a rod. Sergent Smith was short, 5 feet 5 inches tall, and barrel chested. He loved his job and was a drill sergeant 24 hours per day.

Smith walked right up in front of Brian and stood there. Brian was about 5 inches taller than Smith and Smith had to look up at Brian to make eye contact. Smith had a southern drawl, and he yelled every word he spoke.

"Where you from private Horsley!" asked Smith. "San Diego, sir!" said Brian. "You got a girlfriend private Horsley!" asked Smith. "No, sir!" said Brian. "Don't you lie to me Horsley!" said Smith. "Yes, sir! I will not, sir!" said Brian.

"You got a girl in Fort Wayne, Indiana, don't you Horsley!" said Smith. "No, sir!" said Brian. "Look at this shaky old cursive she wrote the address in Horsley! Your girlfriend an old lady or something Horsley!" asked Smith.

"No, sir!" said Brian.

Smith stood there with a mean look on his face, his head leaning back, eyeballing Brian. "Who is Opal Whitefoot Horsley!" said Smith. "She is my Aunt Opal sir!" said Brian. "What kind of name is Whitefoot Horsley!" asked Smith. "I don't know sir!" said Brian.

"I thought you said she was your aunt, private Horsley!" said Smith. "She is sir! My mom remarried sir! Aunt Opal is my stepdad's aunt sir! I don't know where the name Whitefoot comes from, sir!" said Brian.

Smith had to let that sink in.

"What the hell is your step aunt sending you a package for Horsley! Nobody's step aunt likes them like that! You lying to me Horsley!" said Smith.

"No, sir!" said Brian. Smith squinted his eyes and stared at Brian. "What do you think is in that box Horsley!" said Smith.

"I believe that Aunt Opal sent me cookies sir!" said Brian. Smith took a beat to think things through, and then he called the messenger over. He whispered something in the messenger's ear and the messenger left the office.

"Well, well, well Horsely! You must feel pretty damn special don't you!" said Smith. Brian didn't know how to respond. It felt like a trick question.

''Did you know that cookies are considered contraband according to fort regulations Horsely!" said Smith. "No, sir!" said Brian. "Get your butt over here right now and open up this box!" said Smith.

Drill Sergeants couldn't open the mail themselves, but if they suspected contraband, they could make a soldier open their mail while the drill sergeant looked on. Brian walked over and tore the box open.

The smell of chocolate chip and peanut butter and butterscotch and sugar cookies floated out of the box. Smith looked down in silence and his nostrils widened.

"Atten-shun!" cried out Smith. Brian scurried back over to where he was previously standing and stood at attention. Smith picked up the box under one arm and carried it around to the other side of his desk. He set the box down on the desk in front of his seat. Then he sat down in front of the box and started taking out bags of cookies one by one.

Brian noticed that Smith was making two separate piles. Just then, the messenger came back with four members of Brian's platoon who all stood at attention next to Brian. Smith stood up from his seat and walked over to stand in front of the five soldiers.

"You boys like cookies!" yelled Smith. "Sir, yes sir!" yelled the soldiers, including Brian. "You keep quiet private Horsley!" said Smith. "Yes, sir!" said Brian.

Smith brought over bags of cookies from one of the piles and started handing out cookies to the four soldiers who had just showed up. They were all standing there in underwear and sandals as well.

Smith didn't give anything to Brian. "Start eating soldiers!" commanded Smith. Brian watched as his four comrades stood and ate the cookies that our Aunt Opal had sent. Smith looked on as if he were watching the most important thing in the world.

"Keep eating men!" commanded Smith. The soldiers ate and ate. Smith kept handing them more and more cookies while Brian stood and watched. Once Smith could see that the soldiers had eaten their fill, he dismissed them.

"Horsley! You stay here!" said Smith.

The other soldiers walked out leaving piles of cookie crumbs where they had been standing. There were only a couple of half empty bags remaining from the pile that Smith had distributed. He walked over and handed these paltry bags to Brian.

"Dismissed private Horsley! And remember that cookies are contraband on this fort!" said Smith.

Just as Brian was exiting the office door, he looked back over his shoulder at Smith. Smith was sitting at his desk with his hat off. His dark brown shaved bald head was shining with sweat.

Smith was sampling cookies from the bags he'd kept for himself. The second pile was nothing but Smith's favorites.

I'm running out of space for today.

There is a little bit more to this story, which I will share tomorrow. Thank you so much for your time today. Hopefully you got a chuckle out of this story.

I hope that you have a truly blessed day!