KYLE RIPTON

PREVIEW



After hours of sitting on a cramped bus, we arrived at Fort Jackson, tired and irritable. My first taste of the military would come as the drill instructors jumped on the buses and began barking orders. I remember a few things, but the one thing that really sticks out in my head is the part when he said that I had three seconds to get my shit and get off this bus, “And two seconds are already gone.” As skinny as I was, I was not going to piss this guy off any time soon. Gathering what little I did have, I exited the bus and was motioned to the formation in the courtyard. This was where we were all broken down and separated by gender, of course, and service number. The barking never really stopped for me. It felt like it was a new thing for me, even though I had the abuse every day of the week at home from my stepmother, Olga. For once in my life, I was scared, so I did the best thing that any scared person would do. I picked out one of the instructors in the “Smokey-the-Bear” hat and then picturing that person as Winnie the Pooh. I could not help but laugh aloud as names were called. One person I picked out was a five-foot-two, African American male who literally sounded like a Smurf. What was even funnier was that he had a sidekick, an African American female who towered over him. Now here was a female who looked like she could really do some damage. Let us just say that the best part about her was her smile. The six-foot-two female, better known as Drill Sergeant Horn, was built like one of those athletic aerobic instructors that you see on television all the time; you know, the ones that producers use in the fat body commercials. Well, nevertheless, she could smoke the living daylights out of you, and you would not even know it. Moreover, this is what happened daily to me. By the time I graduated basic training, I would be very much in shape. As I tried hard not to laugh at the “dynamic duo,” the drill sergeant came over to me and yelled at me so loud that I thought my ears would pop.


“What the hell is so funny, private?”

“Ha, ha, ha, ah...Nothing drill sergeant.”

“Well something must be really funny if you are laughing.”

I slipped every now and then with a laugh as the brim of his drill sergeant hat tapped my forehead. He was so damned close, I thought he wanted to kiss me.

“I..I.. he, he, ha, don’t think you would think it was funny, drill sergeant,” I said as I laughed, and small amounts of spit splattered onto his face. You could see the veins in his neck swell as he became more enraged.

“Well then, try me, private.

Diaries of a Soldier nightmares from within by Thomas Schombert

OVERVIEW



Diaries of a Soldier is the trilogy of a child who grew up to be a soldier only to suffer the horrors of life itself. From birth, through the treacherous journey of his life this soldier took, until his career suicide.  Share his laughter, pain, anger, trials, and tribulations as this career soldier pours his heart out for the freedom of others; sacrificing his very soul to give to his country and never asking for anything in return, but should he have saved a little for himself. Run through the gauntlet of fears as you read about the demons that now haunt him to this day and why. Bucket Head is only the beginning of this soldier’s problems as he does everything to survive the nights filled with terror, subsequently changing his inner being each time he awakes.

Cannibal Boy will leave you numb as you read how this soldier used his own mistakes to follow a way out, yet is still struggling with the demons of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Read how this one soldier, who gave his very soul to everyone around him, is now rejected by those around him and the total devastation of a broken heart for life. Try to figure out why this proud and highly decorated soldier, turned away from his medals and all that he had learned in the military in an attempt to find himself what little peace there is left in his life.

This based on a true story, as told by the soldier himself.