My locker>>>
Senior Airman Burchette, my T.I.>>>
January 28, 1985

I passed Basic Training by the skin of my teeth. Academically, I had no problems but it was thinking on my feet while being yelled at that didn't suit me. A guy named Greenberg, who I'd tried to be friends with, lost his mind around Christmas and was taken away. Another guy was sent back a few weeks because he couldn't handle the pressure. Me...I was just depressed but I survived. On day 20 of training (week #4) we were issued our blues, which looked a heck of a lot more snazzy than the fatigues we'd been wearing the first four weeks. On our last weekend we all went on town pass. The really cool thing about this was we got our stuff back! On the first day of training they'd taken all our personal belongings... everything...we even had to buy new underwear! Then they shaved our heads and we were cut off from everyone for six weeks. The day of town pass we were allowed to get our stuff and I brought out my camera. San Antonio, Texas looked like the most beautiful town on earth that day. I took many photos.

Photos, top to bottom: My wall locker, which could be inspected at any time. All clothing had to be a certain number of inches apart, in a certain order, and all clothing had to be fold with an exact dimension, and all parts had to be 100% dust free, among other things. I really don't remember all the details but I shot this photo as I was packing to leave. It's in shambles. Second photo is Senior Airman Burchette, our Technical Instructor, and the guy who yelled at us most. This was our last day so he was in especially jovial mood as you can see...he isn't yelling, and he gave me permission to photograph him. Third photo is my friend John Curtain, his cousin's wife Tanya, Mark Reuter, and John's cousin, David, on our final weekend of Basic on town pass. Fourth photo is John and Mark at the Alamo, looking a little out of place. Fifth photo is the Riverwalk in San Antonio, sixth is one bay of the barracks we lived in for six weeks; my locker was on the right, 3rd or 4th...I forget. During inspections this whole area had to be literally spotless with a list of details that had to be met. I could never list them here. Bottom photo is what I shot as I walked out the door to my last photo of basic training. I could never figure if that guy in the middle was zipping up or zipping
down to flash me. I guess we'll never know.<<<previous<<<learning to fly

L to R: John Curtin, Tanya (his cousin's wife), Mark Reuter, Tanya's husband David at San Antonio>>> John Curtin, Mark Reuter, the Alamo>>> Riverwalk, San Antonio>>> My barracks>>> My last photo in basic as I walked away>>>