Lance Corporal Justine Phillips woke at 7 AM. In the somewhat cramped barracks room, there wasn’t much space for her and her rackmate Lance Corporal Ronetta Minnow to move about. Once she roused out of her large green blanket from a rack that just needed the corners to be tightened a bit, Justine made a grim discovery. Ronetta had hanged herself. A scream expelled from Justine’s lungs like a train whistle.
Around the room, officers in ranks from second lieutenant to captain all sat in airline armchair seats. Most bitched about their wives and husbands. Some seemed to be right on the edge of sleep. Still others remained like eager Devil Dogs salivating over a steak, they awaited their orders for the upcoming mission. Second Lieutenant Kenan Lloyd grinned. He was about 5’9” and possessed oak colored skin.
Corporal Adam Cohen lead the two PFCs to a section of the shop which resembled a tiny library. It was like a nook with thick binders. Corporal Cohen picked up a binder.
At the smoke pit, Staff Sergeants Ariel Puzo, Samantha Caan, and Sergeant Frederico Ruiz enjoyed their last few moments of their smoking breaks. Suddenly, the hatch to the shop burst open like a flash grenade had exploded.
The warm weather of Hawaii was like a salve to the Marines who had just come home from deployment. Christmas decorations and lights strung on palm trees swaying in the breeze created a welcoming experience. The sergeants had formed an alliance while in a combat zone and had even gained the sincere respect of their junior Devil Dogs. Two sergeants in particular remained Ferdinand and Steele. Sergeant Ferdinand was damn near blue black. He had curly hair from his Hispanic side and razor bumps from his African-American side. Steele was a few shades lighter and completely African-American. He possessed no razor bumps. The former stood at about 5'8" and the latter walked around at 6' even.
Throws, kicks, and holds ruled the day at the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP) grounds. First Lieutenant John Jarwish, Sergeant Anna Clifton, and Corporal Benny Mullins all convened on this area replete with shredded up tire pieces. Corporal Mullins took over the proceedings. He ensured that each Marine folded his or her cammie blouse neatly just adjacent to where they would be practicing. After a round of stretching, the three of them looked forward to that day of advancement.