Sergeant Perkins observed as the new recruits of Upsilon Squad settled into their new accommodations. After a full day, the ten recruits had finally stowed their gear inside their footlockers and Perkins took his leave, promising to return early the next morning at 5 a.m. Finally, the recruits could relax without a Sergeant barking out orders.
“Holy, cats! What a day,” said Jackson Shepherd, falling into his bed, doubling the pillow over behind his head. “I’ve never had so many people teach me how to do every little thing. I had a kid actually show me how to properly button a button.”
“I know, right?” added Ian Thomas, sitting upon the edge of his bunk. “The way they treated us like babies, I expected Perkins to give me a sack of diapers.”
The other recruits laughed out loud. The entire squad began to loosen up and enjoy themselves.
“Yes, and I had a Sergeant show me how to properly hold a bottle of water, so as to not spill it down my chin when I drank,” teased Weber, the young German recruit.
“I was upset when Sergeant Perkins left us alone for two minutes to eat our sandwiches,” joked Espinoza, the boy from a small Spanish mountain village of Trevélez. “I needed him to cut the crust off my bread.”
“Be careful what you wish for,” warned Chu, from Lijiang, China. “Tomorrow is another day and Perkins may help you eat your sandwich.”
“Hey, Espinoza,” cracked Irwin, the young Australian girl from Perisher Village. “If Perkins won’t help you eat your sandwich, I will!”
“I’ll take half of that sandwich if Perkins doesn’t want it,” laughed Gregory, the Canadian from Alberta.
“And, did you see Perkins’ messed up finger?” Jackson cracked, wiggling his pinky in the air. “A kid in the supply room told me he blew off his little finger during weapons training a couple years back. That’s why they call him, Pinky. Oh, man! Ouch!”
The recruits cackled hysterically at Perkins’ misfortune. Weber and Sanchez almost completely lost consciousness from laughing so hard.
The children continued to enjoy their first evening together and especially enjoyed making jokes about Drill Sergeants. Before long, taps began to play through the wall speakers. Drill Sergeant Perkins had instructed the recruits, on more than one occasion, that taps meant lights out and time for bed. No exceptions! All recruits were expected to be well rested for a full day of hard work. Training would begin promptly at 5 a.m. with a blast of the much-talked-about Air-Horn.