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“1,2,3,4, 1 Sir”

“Legs Higher maggots!”

The sun is beating down on me

“1,2,3,4, 2 Sir”

“Prove to me that you aren’t weak!”

I can feel the rough concrete under my back

“1,2,3,4, 3 Sir”

“You will do 286 of these!”

I start to wonder why I signed up for this

“1,2,3,4, 4 Sir”

“286 Academy graduates have died in the line of duty”

“1,2,3,4, 5 Sir”

“You will do 286 flutter kicks to honor those men and women”

My legs start cramping up

“1,2,3,4, 6 Sir”

“Prove to me that you have the strength and resolve to die for your country”

I’m not even halfway done and I want to stop

“1,2,3,4, 7 Sir”

“Will you be a coward or will you step up to protect and serve”

“1,2,3,4, 8 Sir”

I no longer think my mind goes blank

We finish all 286 of them