When I was in Basic Training at Fort Knox there was an incident that happened with a grenade that I will never forget.
Our whole batallion was practicing throwing grenades.
Being the Army, they had an exact plan for everything.
Cooks will tell you there is a recipe for boiling water. And there is!
We were taught to throw it in three easy steps following commands.
First – hold the grenade with pin on top – feet comfortably apart.
Second – Pull pin on grenade, simultaneously extend non-throwing arm towards direction of place you want to throw grenade, while rearing throwing arm back to throw.
Third – throw an overhand toss towards intended target.
As we finished our “practice” tosses, the “best grenade throwers,” were then picked out by the drill sergeants to undergo throwing live grenades.
One of them was a braggart.
Laughing and mocking the others for not being chosen.
We were led into a closed off section. It put one in mind of a recreation space. Yet the only leisure performed there was throwing grenades.
The whole place in the middle of the Fort Knox greenery was surrounded with bullet-proof glass that had thousands of nicks in it from grenade shrapnel.
The braggart was up first.
He smirked to all of us as we stood behind a huge bullet proofed glass area. Prior to being called by the Grenade Instructor who was positioned in front of a huge man-made berm. Informing the twenty or so recruits behind him, “I’ll show you how it is done.”
Upon the first command he grasped the grenade smartly and waited. On the second, he pulled the pin and he stretched his non-throwing hand out stiffly; with supreme confidence, and cocked his throwing hand back.
Upon bringing his throwing hand back the grenade had barely grazed his chest. Dislodging it from his grip just enough so it had fallen to the floor!
The Grenade Instructor swiftly grabbed the braggart and hurled him over the berm and went diving over it behind him.
After the explosion – grenades sound extremely loud in a closed environment – a curious effect had taken over the braggart.
He now wore a look of sullen defeat.
There was a round discernible splotch upon his khakis.
He had peed his pants!
On that day I decided never to become a braggart nor a Grenade Instructor.