Tales from the Snake Pit

Here, I will share with you some funny memoirs from my days spent in the military. While I share my favorite stories with you, I would love you guys to comment below and share your Funny Veteran Story. Thanks for your support and without further a do (or is it a due) I present you with Flashbacks from the Snake Pit.

The 4th of July in 2003. While the rest of Americans were celebrating with beer, dogs and burgers and fireworks, I was scrubbing a port a potty in the middle of the afternoon in the San Antonio heat with a toothbrush. Why? Great question. I had the misfortune of making eye contact with a drill instructor. He was not just a drill instructor, but my drill instructors SUPERVISOR. So you made eye contact with him? What’s the big deal? Well, to this day, I still don’t know. Maybe it was my scrawny face covered with extreme fright. Whatever it was, he didn’t like me looking at him. Long story short, he’s screaming at me in front of the “snake pit” where all the drill instructors ate dinner. It was like the jock table, and I was the chess club president. I can still see their faces in slow motion as they were yelling, chuckling and enjoying the torment they were bringing me.

Then it happened.

My newfound adversary decided to dump out my black pouch. This pouch contained everything from study materials to unauthorized letters to my parents. So he DUMPS out the entire contents of my pouch. And of course what does he go for? My letter. My letter to my parents where I literally say “my drill instructor isn’t that bad. He’s actually kind of cool.” He reads this aloud for ALL the drill instructors to hear. The color red that my drill instructor, TSgt Hernandez, turned that moment, I still have yet to see. When all the smoke is cleared, they finally allowed me to eat. I forgot to mention this whole time I’m holding my dinner and my arms are killing me. So, they finally allow me to eat and out of nowhere I hear (and still hear) “YOUR ASS IS MIIINE!” right in my right ear drum. Needless to say, I lost my appetite that afternoon. An hour later, I’m scrubbing the foulest, most repugnant port a potty you could imagine, with a toothbrush, in 100 plus degree temperature.”

As I marched back to the dorm, head lowered, defeated, I realized that this day was almost over and I’m one day closer to graduating..WRONG!

TSgt Hernandez was so pissed that he called all the element leaders and dorm chief were waiting in his office as I entered the dorm.

I was summoned to the office where I felt like I was walking into a mob hit.


“Tomorrow, we’re having blue line inspections, and you’re going to fail. Let me hear you say it!” At this point, I was seriously questioning his self confidence. It was like, “Lighten up Frances”, but I was smart enough to not say that BUT to say “I’m going to fail” like he demanded.

So the next day, true to his word, I failed the blue line inspections and got recycled to a new flight. I had to start that week over, YAY!

And to think all because I accidentally made eye contact with a psychopath. But it was all good. I got recycled into a band flight! Even though I didn’t play an instrument. Basic was smooth after that…well, besides my issues with SSgt Clark, that is a story for another day.

Brian Jones

Air Force Veteran


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