Benjamin’s Journey

Benjamin sat across from the federally-appointed psychiatrist, noticing his slow and then fast writing speed.

“Tell me more.” The psychiatrist stated, more of a demand than a request.

“I was a senior in high-school, and I was looking forward to turning 18 and graduating so I could sign up with the United States Marine Corps. I wanted to see the world.”

“What was your first experience of the Marine Corps?” The psychiatrist put his pen down and watched Benjamin’s response intently.

“Getting off the bus at Camp Pendleton, North Carolina. As soon as we arrived on the base, a drill sergeant ferociously climbed on board, with all the recruits climbing over each other to get off the bus. That was my first dog-fight, and my ‘welcome’ to the Marine Corps. I was 3 or 4 men away from the exit when I caught an elbow, slammed right into my nose. Blood spurted over the seats, my clothes, my bag and other recruits. But military matters were more pressing, so we all lined up on the yellow foot-pads, me in formation while my nose continues to pour blood.”

“Tell me about your first Commanding Officer.”

“Staff Sargent Gregory Monticello, originally from Cleveland Ohio, the first of his family to enter the military due to the lack of available job opportunities. Why would you want to know about him?” Benjamin showed the first glimpse of a smile in over 3 weeks of meeting with his psychiatrist.

“I’m asking the questions here.”

Benjamin took a deep breath and stretched his arms. He knew this was going to be a long night.

Inspired By: “Journey.”

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