Something Really Old I: Drill, Sergeant

From my AOL days (1996 – 1998).


My wife played softball on Saturday and spent Sunday wobbling around the house like Weeble. She had odd-shaped bruises in weird places (a thin, streaky one on her ankle, a splotchy Rorschach blotch on her shoulder and small but nevertheless real bruise in the cleft of her chin — the Kirk Douglas special) and stiffness in her joints. Lactic acid, produced in bursting moments of athletic activity, leaked through her muscles, making them achy and sore. She debated whether or not to be fed intravenously.

Don’t feel too bad for her. The pain my wife was feeling was brought about by her own doing. It’s a subset of the entire “Feel the Burn” philosophy that dictates that unless you exercise your body until your neurons misfire, you’re not really exercising at all. This is in turn a subset of a larger philosophy that embraces pain, and how much of it you can take, as an indication of character and internal makeup (Not REAL pain, mind you. Real pain is brought on by circumstances that you cannot control, like car wrecks, or food poisoning, or Charlie Sheen popping up in a movie you’re watching. Real pain is random. Real pain is scary. Real pain hurts).

On one end of this philosophy, you’ve got my wife and her softball aches. On the other end you’ve got G. Gordon Liddy barbecuing his hand, taking “Feel The Burn” rather too literally. Somewhere beyond Liddy’s finger food, however, is a story that my dentist told me earlier in the week, while he was shaving down my teeth.

My dentist had his medical schooling paid for by the Navy, and in return was stationed at Parris Island, tending to the dental needs of the Marines there. In all respects, my dentist said, the Marines were fine, upstanding men, both officers and gentlemen.

But the Marine officers also had this thing about anesthesia: they didn’t want any. They would come in to his office, salute and say “Sir, I request not to have Novocain. I would like to test my endurance to pain.” Then they would sit down in his chair, their uniforms neat and freshly pressed, to await the dentist’s ministrations.

This freaked out my dentist for a while, until he was pulled aside by some of the other dentists who had worked on the base longer than he. “Look,” they said, “If they’re dumb enough to ask, you might as well give them what they want. Just tell them not to move.” He did. They didn’t. After the work was done, my dentist said, the backs of the Marine officers’ neatly-pressed uniforms would be drenched with sweat from collar to seat.

The payoff for the Marine officers (other than quality dental care) were the bragging rights they got out of it: someone was tooling around in their mouth with a high speed drill, and they TOOK it. Like a MAN. Like a MARINE. At social functions on base, my dentist would be approached by his patients, who would have a friend in tow. “Sir,” they would say, “Please communicate to my colleague here how much pain I endured in your chair.”

“We drilled right on the nerve,” my dentist would invariably reply. Everybody went away happy.

If I were a dentist, I don’t know that I would want to have a reputation as a master of nerve pain, but my dentist didn’t seem to mind, and now we have a corps of Marines ready for whatever feats of dental malice our enemies may hurl against us. As an American, I sleep better at nights knowing this.

How do I feel about this “No Pain, No Gain” philosophy? Well, ask my dentist. He drilled right on the nerve, and I didn’t flinch once. It’s because he numbed my face so thoroughly there are parts of it I still can’t feel.

56 Comments on “Something Really Old I: Drill, Sergeant”

  1. In my Marine career there were enough sources of pain that I didn’t need to go out looking for some just to prove a point. My philosophy in the dentist chair was that the people who made novacaine needed to support their families too and so I wanted them to go on double shifts. It all stems from a childhood dental experience where I was absolutely convinced the needle had a barb on it and went all nutso on the dentist.

  2. The thing they don’t mention about natural childbirth is the endorphin rush. Best high of my life. Completely stoned bliss. I asked my midwife about the three days of ecstasy and she said it was a side-effect. Totally worth it, and not just for the bragging rights.

  3. This made me laugh so hard I nearly had tears streaming down my cheeks. Had I not been in a crowded cafe, they might well have done. Good job, sir.

  4. On the one hand, I totally understand the desire to tests one’s own limits of endurance. That’s just good fun.

    On the other hand, pain is only a signal. Up to a certain point you can learn to ignore it through compartmentalization and detachment, or even accidentally ignore it if your body goes into shock and starts pumping adrenaline (as I learned as a teenager when current dragged my dumb freezing ass over a very sudden and bend-concealed 20-storey waterfall and left me with a bone-deep gash I finally noticed over an hour later after I hiked back home and sneaked inside to avoid getting chewed out for river trekking without a buddy, only to realize I’d left an incriminating trail of blood long before I knew what a face-palm was), but the signal is there for a reason. So yes, pain management is a useful skill to develop, but the whole macho angle always just seemed really dumb to me.

    On the gripping hand, a high pain tolerance gives you a better chance of remaining cogent enough to self-administer first-aid, which can mean the difference between a clean-heal and a really nasty scar, and I’m way to pretty for scars.

  5. You forwent the “transcend dental medication” joke!

    I’ve had a large portion of my dental work done without more than a topical anaesthetic, and the reasons for this are twofold – one, I have a weird pain threshhold, in which I don’t actually notice when something is wrong with my teeth. This is largely responsible for the amount of dental work I’ve had to have done. I don’t notice small problems, so they become big problems, and one day I’m chewing and something gets stuck in a giant hole in one of my teeth and I go “hey, that’s not right”. The other is that I really, really, really cannot stand the needles, so for me it’s a matter of deciding between two horrible things and choosing the lesser. My dentist (who is wonderful – everybody should have such a dentist) doesn’t use general anaesthesia, but for the one thing I’ve had done which really really required anaesthetic (having all four non-erupted wisdom teeth removed), he was kind enough to prescribe me a tranquilizer. He also told me to bring a CD to listen to and really good headphones to block the noise. Having all your wisdom teeth removed takes almost exactly two playthroughs of Great Big Sea’s “Road Rage”.

  6. I only saw three dentists when I was in the Navy. The first in boot camp (no you can’t pull my wisdom teeth) the second when I checked on board my ship (is it supposed to hurt two months after you work on me?) and the third when I checked off the ship (I haven’t been back because the first time I came down here it hurt for two months.)

    25 years later, I have forgotten enough to go see an Army reservist optometrist.

  7. Yes, I was a Marine, and given the choice, I said “YES, sir. Novocaine, please, sir!” There’s enough pain in a Marine’s life (or at least there was in mine) that I didn’t need to search out more. I did know jarheads who did that, though, and I always wondered a bit about their sanity. And about the dentists who would allow them to do that. Seems to be a needless risk, patient jerks, you stab him with drill, … no good can come of that.

  8. I can agree with the puzzlement at the culture that venerates suffering pain for the sake of showing that you are a Manly Man(tm); it is the same subculture that finds bragging rights in eating the hottest possible peppers (often without caring for the pepper taste, merely for the burn).

    I must say however, that when it comes to exercise, you want a bit of pain. Slightly sore muscles is a sign of muscles recovering, signalling your body to use your food intake to repair the minor damage suffered, and in the long term building more muscle tissue.

    Of course, it is easy enough to fall into the trap of #1, and then ruin your body by overdoing it…

  9. I wonder if these stalwart young men all saw MARATHON MAN too many times, envisioned some future captor drilling their teeth like Laurence Olivier, and wanted to be prepared?

    I have no trouble believing their seats were drenched with sweat. A few months ago, I went to see a dentist I didn’t know, to get a new filling and to get a cracked filling sealed. Since both of my previous dentists, each of whom I saw for many years, were excellent, I never understood why people were afraid of the dentist. What’s the big deal?

    NOW I know. -This- guy really hurt me. More than once. In more than once place. And my mouth was so cut up that I was slightly swollen and in pain for three days afterwards. And what I remember most about the visit is him sticking the novocaine needle DIRECTLY into a nerve. My whole body involuntarily jumped about 3 inches straight up off the dental chair.

  10. Sigh… back a long time ago, my drill sergeants used to push us to the point of “muscle failure”. I got used to lactic acid crystals ripping my muscles apart… hell.. several times I cried because I couldn’t give more than I’d already given.

    I know this is an oldie, but it stirred up some oldie memories.. not all good.. but not all bad. Thanks automated John/Scalzi fill-in.

    p.s. those Drill Sergeants were sadists.. but also some guys I think of fondly. Showed me I can put up with more crap than I thought possible. Still carry around my dogtags when things are rough, just to remind me I can do it.

    p.p.s. as someone who did a lot of baseball/softball/soccer/volleyball/rollerblading…….. the bruises and aches and sprains can also be stories to share later.. and confirmation that you didn’t just sit on your ass the whole of your life. Hmmmmmm.. need to break out my blades…..

  11. Well. THIS is a disappointment. When that maniac Scalzi announced a break, I thought “Great! Now I can catch up reading all that crap he writes on his blog!”

    ‘Twas not to be. Now he’s gone and dragged some oldies/goodies to further confuse me. Sweet.

  12. And then there’s the double-X version of this: women who want to experience “natural” childbirth.

    One of the main differences is that I don’t think anyone except those Marines wants to feel every moment of getting your teeth drilled. There’s no particular emotional attachment to it for most people and it’s a totally passive process of someone else working on you. If you’re doing the work in the dentist’s chair, something is wrong! In childbirth, most (albeit not all) of the pain meds completely numb the part of your body that’s actually doing the work. So you’re stuck in a bed for hours at a time, unable to go to the bathroom if necessary, and can’t actually feel when you’re supposed to push. Personally, I plan on doing it with as a little pain meds as possible because I want to be as engaged as possible mentally and physically.

  13. Oh yes, the natural childbirth endorphin rush. Did it three times. Next best was my first degree black belt test. Getting teeth drilled without novacaine just sounds foolish.

  14. I’ve had fillings without anesthesia, because lidocaine makes me nauseous. If the filling is minor, it isn’t that bad.

  15. My dentists all think I’m weird… the left side of my mouth requires 5 times as much anaesthetic as the right side does in order for me to not feel what they are doing. Having a tooth removed last year, from the left side of my face, was incredibly traumatic.

  16. I have an extremely high tolerance for pain, but I’d just as soon avoid it where I can. The annoying thing is that I burn through dental anesthetics in about half the normal time (which led one dentist to ask gently what substances I was using on the side – the honest answer being ‘none’.) Added to that, I apparently have harder-than-normal teeth – so even a routine filling needs to be done quickly and with the sharpest/hardest tools available, otherwise they have to pause halfway through and shoot me up again. (I had to have a bridge put in some years back, replacing a tooth that had died and shattered, and it took four diamond burrs and about three shots to get the job done.)

    @DigitalAtheist: I think highly of several of my past drill instructors (MTIs, since I was Air Force) with respect…but it’s because they pushed us to what we THOUGHT we could handle, and then went a short way beyond that, to show us what we REALLY could handle. And then did it again a few days later, once we were a little less sore. (In fairness, the second-best – who we found out later was still in his practical training stage – was a former Marine who had transferred to the USAF where the waiting list for instructor duty was a bit shorter.)

  17. Oddly enough, I hate getting novocaned at the Dentist’s office. It’s more uncomfortable for me than the actual dental work.

    I did get numbed when they took my wisdom teeth out, though. I ain’t crazy.

  18. I’ll spare you the details, but I will comment that unlike other things that hurt that much, labor is easier to tolerate because there’s WORK going on.

  19. Sea Stories usually begin with,” No Shit, there I was…” I never let truth get in the way of a good story, especially if beer is involved.

  20. So then the dentist either had to take time to wipe off his sweat-soggy chair (and there’s not much time between patients on a military schedule), or the next overly macho idiot got to sit in someone else’s sweat, which is unsanitary in peacetime conditions. I mean, ew. The dentist had a strong stomach to deal with not only all the blood, tissue, and teeth, but also the day-long scent of Manly Man pain sweat.

  21. I am a doughy soft guy just like you. A very close friend of mine had dental work without pain killers using self hypnosis. He said it was interesting but not distressing. Me, I take all the pain killers I can get. That said, I do not laugh at those who are tougher or smarter than I am. I admire the accomplishment.


  22. Actually, quite a lot of people get their teeth drilled without local. For them it’s not so bad, especially if they really, really dislike needles and numbness. I wouldn’t do it, and I agree those young marines were pretty dumb, but I believe that it works. Incidentally, my dentist uses lidocaine without epinephrine in it for me, because I had a panic attack in the chair once (though I don’t think it actually had anything to do with the epinephrine), and for ages I thought they’d made an advance in the dosing or something because it would wear off much sooner after I left the office. Seems it’s the epinephrine that makes the anesthetic last longer, but for me the original dosage is just about perfect without.

  23. Needles don’t bug me. But, the concept of my teeth’s existence and the need for someone else to rebuild them freaks me right out. If the dentist offers full sedation dental cleaning, even, I’ll take it.

  24. I’m completely uninterested in proving my manliness. If there was a way I could pass out BEFORE getting to the dentist, only to be revived a half our after I’d left, with no memory of the experience whatsoever, that’s the option I’d pay for.

  25. I must be the world’s strangest human. at 45, no cavities to be filled, have all four wisdom teeth, and had a dentist wonder who did my straightening work and was shocked when I said no one.

    @Don Hilliard: the ones I had pushed us ’til we couldn’t move anymore.. than asked for one more foot/yard/minute. I can say that while they pushed us hard, my father would have been surprised that we didn’t get knocked on our asses… which happened frequently in his day (WW2). Mind ya, did see a couple of other recruits get knocked down.. and took a light punch to the balls myself. Having talked to others who had had the same sergeant… well.. he seems to have had problems. On the other hand near the end of basic training, I had one of my drills call me aside and apologize to me because he thought at the start I would not make it or drop out. Told me he was wrong and that he thought I would do a good job. I hope I validated his faith in me.

  26. @Christopher Wright: Not sure about where you live, but some dentist near me offers “sedation dentistry” where they knock you out, do the work then let you come to again. ;-)

  27. I had teeth drilled without anesthetics not once but twice, because I was just that phobic of needles.

    The increment was not worth the excrement.

    I now get the drugs, and just close my eyes for the needles.

  28. Hmmm, I don’t know how much of what your dentist told you was filtered memory and how much he was pulling your leg. I’ve known a LOT of marines (still do) and they don’t mind pain if it’s part of the job and can’t be helped; but they don’t go looking for pain to “test their manhood”.

    And yes, I know both enlisted and officer, career and short-timers.

    What I think is that like every workplace you find yourself in there will be dolts who want to impress others with how much pain they can take, how much physical abuse they can endure, how much booze they can quaff in 10 minutes etc. But they don’t tend to have a higher concentration in the Marine Corps.

  29. I’ve had genital reconstruction.
    There were complications. Granulation tissue.
    Though my Ob/Gyn tried to be as gentle as possible, cauterisation there is not fun.
    I requested for the third and subsequent sessions that no local be used – it hurt, and was ineffective anyway.

    Having what is basically a hot soldering iron applied down there is certainly an experience that is truly memorable. I don’t recommend it unless really necessary though.

    It was more painful than being halfway through 5-root root canal therapy when an earthquake hits. I don’t recommend that either.

  30. I always get extra anaesthetic at the dentist, because apparently I have a very high resistance to the drug. The dentist jabs me, waits a minute, then prods my gum. “Feel that?” he says. “Yesh,” I say (he doesn’t take his implements out of my mouth so I can answer coherently). So he jabs me again. Usually this goes on for two or three rounds, until finally my mouth is just about numb. I still feel pain when he drills close to the nerve, though.

    Except maybe it’s not really resistance to the drug, just a delayed reaction. Because about an hour after I’ve left the dentist, nerves still jangling a bit, my face starts to feel like the Elephant Man, and this will last for quite a few hours.

  31. My wife is another one who never gets local anesthetic for drill-and-fill because she doesn’t like needles. But part of the reason is that she never had a single cavity when she was a kid, and never got inured to the needles (she did have her wisdom teeth out, maybe under general). More recently, she’s gotten some, but they’re very small and require little drilling.

    It’s the complete opposite of my dental history. I’m currently going through the multi-step, multi-month process of having a dental implant installed, and one thing I’ve noticed is that local anesthetic seems to have gotten much more targeted than I remember from earlier days: they can give me all the shots for pain-free surgery on my gums and it barely numbs the rest of my face.

  32. I don’t get anesthetic at the dentist either, but it’s just because I hate being numb and I don’t have any problem ignoring pain if I know that it’s actually under control. I don’t care about the needles either, I just hate being numb.
    I did get a local to have a couple of wisdom teeth extracted a few months ago. That was pretty amusing, the tool he used sounded like a chainsaw cutting into my skull.

  33. Seems pretty tough, but when I was young (a looong time ago), I hated the idea of getting a needle in my mouth so I never got Novocaine when I got teeth filled. It hurt but since I didn’t know how it felt with anesthetic, I just figured that’s how it felt for everyone. Never thought I was a tough guy. Then one time, the dentist didn’t ask and just gave me the shot. It didn’t really hurt to get the shot and there was NO PAIN at all when the tooth was filled. That is when I realized what I had been all that time – stupid. Guess I was wrong, guess that skinny, suburban, 12 year old, geeky kid was as tough as a marine. Cool.

  34. I used to drive those guys onto the beach in an 8 boat. Brave? Yes. Fear? Sure. Pain was accepted but not looked for. Painful was trying to separate them from their money in a low stakes poker game in troop berthing.

  35. The last time I had a filling put in, the dentist didn’t use a needle, pain killer or anything, and I had no numb face or any pain or swelling afterwards.

    He used a process called air abrasion, which is like sandblasting the cavity with pinpoint accuracy, then putting the bonding on. A lady at work had a cavity filled the same week and she had the needle. Poor thing was all sore and her face was swollen.

    I did pay an extra $250.00 for the procedure, so let me take back the part about no pain!

    Really, it was worth it.

  36. Any more, I request no anaesthetic because, to me, the needle hurts far more than the minor drilling I have needed in recent years (replacement fillings and one new cavity that was very small). I trust my dentist to tell me if that’s a bad idea – but he agreed that none of my work was anywhere close to a nerve and aside from the odd twinge here and there, his drilling was absolutely painless.

    On the other hand – when I had my wisdom teeth out – I insisted on being out for the procedure. The last thing I remember is the dental surgeon saying, “Oh, you’re a *cheap* date” right after she turned on the anaesthesia. Immediately after (from my perception), my friend was helping my still-loopy self back to her car.

    In my case it’s not at all about showing how tough I am, but an attempt to minimize my overall pain – because I hate pain.

  37. Part of the problem with Novocaine and friends is that they have to be placed close to the nerve involved, and the nerves leaving the teeth don’t always follow the neat paths learned in school. Over the root, not under it, turn left here, not up, kind of thing. So the needle can leave its solution far (well, a couple of millimeters) from where it has to be to be effective. Some of these changes can be felt or seen by the dentist, but not all.

  38. I had a crown put on a while back by a guy who was great with crowns but terrible with Novocain. That was an interesting experience. He had the left side of my face so numb I couldn’t blink–but the tooth was still awake.

  39. @DigitalAtheist: Different services, different methods. One of my instructors made it clear early on: “Most of you ain’t gonna be hauling seventy-pound packs up hills. Those that are, they’ll train you for it when you hit tech school… or bust you out. Here, you’re gonna get physically fit, and you’re gonna learn to follow orders and pay attention to detail, which is why your undershorts better be ironed into a perfect f***in’ six-inch cube when I inspect tomorrow.” The major stresses were on that attention to detail, and on teamwork. (The same instructor, at the aforementioned inspection, trashed one clothing drawer after another, three or four in a row…then stopped dead at the fourth or fifth. Softly: “This is perfect. This is f***in’ perfect. You a**holes,” indicating the airmen whose kit he’d just dumped onto the deck, “come look at this! This is what your s*** is supposed to look like! Got it? Good!” And yanked the drawer out and upended it, dropping it with a crash, then turned to the owner, quivering at attention, and snarled “Next time, share the f***in’ wealth with these guys!”)

  40. zoebrain: oh, ouch. After my son was born I had to have a bunch of lacerations sewn up, and they gave me IV fentanyl rather than local anesthetic. It worked really well.

  41. @HelenS, my dentist prefers to use the novocaine without epi, since many people are sensitive to it. He’d rather stop halfway through and shoot you up again than worry about people having panic attacks and increased heart rate. He feels it’s stressful enough for people to go through dental procedures without giving them extra adrenalin on top of it. He charges the same either way. (But I must say the man is a genius with needle placement, as @htom and @next to last samurai have noted makes a difference.)

    @zoebrain, I am in awe of your intestinal fortitude. I have had fillings without the needle, but I would have never had what you did without a general. Or at least a whole bunch of intervenous goodies. My hat is off to you, and firmly held over my girly bits in fright.

    I had a doctor who got his start as a Navy corpsman in Vietnam, so sometimes depending on who needed the medic, he’d be with either the Marines or the Army. He said he preferred being on patrol with the Army; they were a lot easier to work on since they’d take his advice as to whether or not they needed the painkillers. This may differ nowadays with the all-volunteer forces, but back then the boys all came from the same draft pool. They were all just as likely to twitch at an inopportune time. The anesthetic made him more comfortable!

    In my next life, if I have to have my wisdom teeth broken into small bits with a chisel so they can be extracted, I am going to ask for one of those Men in Black flashy things to erase my memory. The shots meant there wasn’t any pain, but the memory of the SOUNDS live on.

  42. There was a possibly apocryphal story here in the UK about some old colonel who wanted to prove that he hadn’t grown soft, so he sawed his own leg off in the bath.

  43. Never thought I was tougher than a Marine! Lots of dental work over my life – soft teeth and drink soda -and I hate having my mouth numb so never get anesthetic for fillings. Turns out that all that dental work injured the nerves and they just don’t react like they should. So maybe not so tough, just damaged….shouldn’t brag about it, but I still will.

  44. A dentist told me about a woman who meditated thru a complicated procedure. Her resistance to pain freaked HIM out.

    For those who have problems with epi – I always ask my dentist for “the old stuff”. It has no vasoconstrictor so it has to be topped up, but no chills or shakes. Yes, it would be nice if they remembered. As with the chicken and the pig at breakfast, they are interested, I’m commited.

  45. My dad is a dentist. He likes to tell a story about a fellow dentist that was using a skill saw for some house work. His two dogs were playing and bumped the back of his leg. He cut his first two fingers off his left hand (the thumb was ok). He rushed to get some ice hoping he could save the fingers. By the time he got back with the ice, he couldn’t find where the fingers went…his dogs ate them.

    Note: This is a random story with few obvious segues.

  46. I’ve had some random bit of dental work done without anesthetic, but mostly minor stuff. The only real pain endurance I’ve had to go through was childbirth – it sucks when you do the natural childbirth thing, only to have any possible endorphin high short circuited by medical emergency. It sucks even more when there’s no anesthesiologist to be had for your crash surgery. Moving wasn’t a problem though – You Don’t Move when somebody’s got a scalpel inside you.

    I did discover that my pain tolerance, already pretty high, sky-rocketed afterwards. I think it’s because my 10 on the 1-10 pain scale got moved so far up that nothing else really grabs my attention anymore.

  47. Don’t believe your dentist friend for a minute. The story just simply isn’t true. He gives it away when he mentions Marine officers and Parris Island. All the drill instructors, platoon commanders, and company commanders are the spit and polish Marines providing the best training of new recruits available. Now, some would argue that the San Diego Recruit Depot produces better Marines but that’s for another story. Her’s how I know the story is a tall tale. All Marines involved in training recruits spray scotchgard on the inside of their uniform shirts. They spray it especially heavy in the armpit area. This prevents sweat from seeping through. It has a psychological effect on the recruits. They never see the drill instructor sweat no matter how hard he works. So, back to the dentist story, he would have never seen the back of their shirts soaked with sweat. It wouldn’t have penetrated past the scotchgard. The story is a stretch of one’s imagination. Semper fi.

  48. I am a former Marine officer and I can tell you that like every other population you can name, there are as many different types of attitude to just about everything you can think of as there are Marine officers or enlisted personnel. This includes attitudes toward pain, politics, reading materials, etc. Same thing goes for the Navy, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, multinational military personnel, and yes, civilians I have met from all over the place.

    For the record I would absolutely NEVER ask to be operated on without anesthesia. Also, the craziest guy I met in the military was a Navy doctor, so consider the source of your story.

    The No Pain No Gain philosophy is silly in and of itself; I can’t see the point in suffering for the heck of it. Surprisingly for some people who have no military experience, I don’t think that sort of thing happens in the military as much as they think. Things aren’t usually made to suck for no reason; things are made to suck so you can perform a certain task to a certain standard at the end of a specified training period. For example, a unit might have to have a certain percentage of its personnel complete a march of a specified distance in a specified period of time carrying a specified quantity and type of equipment because there is a requirement for the unit to do so. The unit executes a training regimen of progressively longer marches carrying a progressively greater amount of weight. Doing the training sucks, there is just no other way to ensure that the standard is met. It REALLY sucks if the day the particular march is rainy, dry, too cold, too hot, or whatever but you can’t control these things so you learn to accept them. A lot of things suck in the military, but it usually isn’t for the reasons of No Pain No Gain.

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