Who the *!@# is Perkins?

It’s no shocker I spent over two decades in the active duty army. Being in a combat unit with the 18th Airborne Corps we trained hard, and a lot. The army used to enjoy having us do a 72 hour field training exercise where it was go-go-go nonstop. We averaged about an hour or two of sleep a day and conducted plenty of ‘combat’ exercises.

Anyone who has ever gone through sleep deprivation knows the weird starts to happen around day two. I was a young specialist at the time and was pulling my shift on the perimeter fighting positions. We were expecting an attack and it was dusk. The guy in the hole with me was a good kid named Isom. He got up to take a leak and came running back to the foxhole as fast as he could. Weapon gripped in both hands, gear and gas mask flopping as he ran.

He slid back into the hole- thankfully we were at Fort Bragg so it was all sand- got into a position to take aim and whispered, “holy sh*t here they come!” Being the good soldier I was I leaned forward and waited for the fight.

A few minutes passed and nothing happened. I looked at Isom like he was crazy and before I could say anything he looked at me with this confused look and asked, “Where the *@#! is Perkins?”

Huh? I can easily say I am almost 50 now and to this day I have never met or known anyone named Perkins. This episode happened back in the late 90s and I spent the rest of the guard shift trying to help him find Perkins. All I knew at the time was I was sleep deficient and starting to hallucinate. It was my duty to find our missing soldier. It was only after we got back to the barracks, slept and recovered, that I went to Isom and asked who Perkins was.

He looked at me again and said, “who?”

There has to be a moral in the story somewhere. Let me know where you find it.