I had just arrived at Ft. Bragg about an hour ago. Standing in my room in the barracks , looking out the window I had never felt so alone. An unexpected knock brought me back from my pity party. I opened the door and found myself looking directly at another mans chest. My eyes traveled upward almost to the ceiling before I met his eyes staring down at me.
“I’m Vinnie , you the new cherry ?” he said in a thick New York accent.
“Yeah,” I mumbled.
“We’re having a party.Third floor latrine. Nine tonight.You’ll be there.”
I just nodded my head because it wasn’t a question.
After he left I had a chance to think about what had just happened and felt relieved that the paratroopers at Bragg were so friendly. I had heard nothing but horror stories about this unit and here my first night on post I have been invited to a party. I had no idea the party was for me.
The first couple of hours of the party were fun. Loud rock and roll and lots of alcohol. So much alcohol that it was in a large trash can with all different kinds of fruit floating around in it. I had just come from jump school and had not had a drink for about six months so it hit me especially hard.
About midnight the music was turned off and everything got quiet. Vinnie walked up to me and put a duffel bag in my hands.
“Get inside it ” he ordered.
“What,” I asked ?
“Pull it over your head and get inside”
OK . I see whats going on here I think to myself. They’re just trying to scare me , to see what I’m made of. I shoved the bag as hard as I could back into the giants chest and said,”there ain’t enough ass here to put me in that bag.”
About 60 seconds later , standing in the latrine with a duffel bag over my head , I was rethinking my choice of words. They continued to drink and ignored my pleas and threats.That’s when I heard one of them say , ” let’s throw him out of the window !”
The stories are true ! They are crazy ! I wish I could tell you that I was stoic and brave. The truth is I was drunk and terrified and screamed like a banshee all the way down. Unbeknownst to me they had tied a rope to the bag and anchored it off in the latrine. I was nothing special. They had done this for every new guy for years. The rope went taught with just enough room for my toes to touch the ground. They left me in there for about an hour , spinning slowly and puking profusely.
The next Friday I went to the new guys room and knocked on the door. ” We’re having a party….”