The Day I Saved the Army
My son’s boot camp graduation somewhere in the southeast. After the graduation ceremonies at Army boot camp, the parents of the recruits and the recruits were invited to eat lunch in a room that had a folding pocket door room divider.
So many people showed up for this graduation that they had to open this wall so more people could hear the commanding officer welcome everyone, have a short prayer, and eat hastily prepared chicken. The General at the podium, realizing the door needed to be opened, ordered the officer standing next to him to have that door opened. That officer told the lower ranking officer next to him who ordered the sergeant standing next to him, who ordered a another one and on down the line.
Anyway, it went down through maybe 7 ranks. Finally, the last man corporal walked over and turned the locking handle and then went to the wall to switch the switch that electrically started moving the folding doors toward the pocket. A couple of the folding doors went in to the pocket on queue and then the doors would stop moving, would rattle like a stopping train and then jam. The corporal would move the switch to ‘open’ the two doors would come out of the pocket, the wall would be made and he’d switch to ‘close’ again. The same thing would happen, two doors in, it would make that sound and then jam.
This happened several times while everybody was watching, including the General with all of his little duckies heads turned to the right staring at that door and the little corporal switch switcher.
After several minutes of people trying to command this wall into the pocket, I pulled back my chair, walked over to a joint that I could see was jammed opposite of the way it needed to be. I motioned to the kid to hit that switch, two doors went in and I banged the contrary joint in the correct direction with the side of my fist just before it was required to bend.
There was a steady hum and movement as each panel slowly followed the other into their little pocket as designed.
I very business like, calmly walked back to my seat and sat back down next to my son to enjoy that terrible chicken more than anyone else in the place as the General spoke his piece.
Nobody knew……………………I was X-Navy!
True story! It’s one of those medals I awarded myself that only Jesse and I can see, tucked into the vapors of unwritten history……….until now!