Written By; Gary Wonning
I was to find the Air Force and that change of orders would lend itself to play a role in several events in my spiritual journey, not only in the future but the past as well. Four years earlier, while in basic training, one of those events took place.
During the second week of my training, my flight was marched to the infirmary to get our mandatory flu shot. Except for a sore arm, all went well until about three am the next morning. I was jolted awake by an extreme urge to find the latrine. For the next several minutes I found myself leaning over the commode worshiping the porcelain goddess. Not only was I extremely ill, I became concerned, I was scheduled for KP in about an hour. KP meant I would be getting up about four am and working until probably nine pm, how was this going to happen? Knowing that if I claimed I was sick, no one would believe me, they would just think I was trying to get out of KP, so I decided to fake it.
Marching in the cold Texas morning, I was shaking like a leaf in a hurricane, doubt soon set in as if I would be able to pull this off. As I arrived at the chow hall it was soon evident KP for me wasn’t going to happen that day. Fearing humiliation, court martial, flogging and everything else I could think of, I reported my condition to the officer in charge. The anticipated cold stare and rebuke came and I was ordered to sick bay.
Sensing some relief that I didn’t get flogged, I beat a hasty retreat out the chow hall and suffering extreme chilling and nausea, I walked back into the cold Texas morning.
At least when I get to sick bay, there would be an officer in charge that I don’t know, he would probably give me a shot and send me to the hospital or back to the barracks. The worst should be over.
As I entered the sick bay, my heart stopped in mid beat. It’s my Training Instructor on duty, the mean one. Here we go again! Gritting my teeth, I walked up, saluted, and stated my delicate condition, another cold stare and the response, “You have KP today, right?” I replied. “Yes Sir.” Another cold stare followed by, “It figures, go back to the barracks, I will deal with YOU later.”
Who would want to get well at this point in time? If I live through this I’ll worry about that later, all I want to do now is sleep.
Regaining consciousness about the same time my fellow trainees returned from KP, I received the expected response from them also. Too sick to care what anybody thought, I rolled over and went back to sleep. Next morning at four am reveille, feeling weak but better, life returned to normal and it was forgotten until a couple of days later.
Mail call and a letter from mom, this wasn’t unusual as she normally wrote two or three times a week. As I opened the letter and began to read, cold chills ran up and down my back. She immediately asked if I was OK, she went on to state she woke up at three am on the morning I was sick and woke dad and told him I was very sick.
How did she know? I hadn’t written or talked to her? She had no way of knowing. The flu shot had not only gotten me out of KP, it also served as a gentle reminder of how we are all connected on some level.
The rest of the story
His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.
He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.
He has published several books about his adventures.
For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.
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