PW on Welcome to Hell

May 16, 2012 — Print this Page

Marine Sgt. Patrick Turley adds to the list of written and cinematic efforts that describe the transformative experience of U.S. Marine Corps boot camp. Turley, who enlisted the day after 9/11, begins his narrative with in-processing at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego,where he meets his drill instructors, and ends with his graduation from boot camp in February 2002. In the three and a half months of training, Turley is challenged by inane and humiliating treatment,painful and exhausting physical tests, and rigorous combat training that culminates in the 54-hour endurance test. In addition, Turley also has the stress of his father’s untimely death, and a significant injury that threatens to keep him from graduating. The stars of Turley’s experience are the drill instructors, who terrorize, inspire, and, in the end,coach the recruits to success. This well-told and entertaining insider’s description of the deadly serious and also sometimes humorous process of making Marines will bring back memories to all former corps members and provide some understanding of their special quality to those who only occasionally glimpse them in an airport.

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