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Steve Hansen: My experience with bullying

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1 comment:

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 11:01 am on Wed, Sep 11, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2255

    Mr. Hansen, what you attempt to describe as “Army-Sanctioned ‘Bullying,’” was nothing more than “training.” Considering that as an Army officer during the height of the Vietnam War, chances are you would be in command of men whose very lives would be in your hands. A nice pat on the head when you did well or a little scolding when you failed during this training could not have prepared you for your responsibilities as a Commissioned Officer in the United States Army.

    As an enlisted member of the United States Air Force during relative peace around the globe (at least as far as the United States was concerned), I too recognized that the best way for me to make it through the six-week Basic Training was to simply blend into the woodwork. Like you, I had Sergeant Soper (name not changed as there is no reason to protect him as he was doing his job) who hunted me down. Nose-to-nose and with every filthy word and phrase he could conjure, my Training Instructor did everything he could to bring my weaknesses out.

    While I concede that the Air Force then had the easiest training program for enlistees of all the military branches, it was still not easy. But I never once thought I was being bullied. I had already experienced that as a very young child in third grade when my mother deposited me at Girard College, a school for (at the time) poor, white, male fatherless boys. The Air Force had nothing on these men, women and other boys when it came to bullying. And they certainly didn’t limit themselves to just verbal abuse.

     

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