A couple weeks ago, I told the story of the soldier and the… personal item. I mentioned the amnesty room in that post, telling you it was a story for another day. I lied. It’s actually a collection of stories for several days.
Today is one of those days.
So the amnesty room… there were actually two in the main briefing room, and we had another that was portable (a big locked bin on wheels with a slot) that could be taken into one of the latrines when we had overlapping or extra-large groups. Anyway, after their inital briefings, the noobs would go into the amnesty room with their bags one at a time. And behind closed/locked doors, they would go through their bags. In each room was a trash can and a slot in the wall that led into a locked room, which was only accessible by the Military Police. Anything they weren’t allowed to keep in their bags but wasn’t illegal went in the trash. Anything that was illegal or a weapon went through the slot, never to be seen again.
Not long after I took charge of the IRB team—might have even been my first day—I wandered into one of the two amnesty rooms in my briefing room to check on the garbage can, seeing if it needed to be emptied. At that time, it was standard practice to check them after a few rounds of soldiers had gone through, a single round being as many as 100+ soldiers at a time. Only a single round had gone through at this point, but something—call it my spidey senses—told me to check. So I did. And nestled on top of a bed of food, porn, cigarettes, and other assorted items was a fucking brick of cocaine. I mean, who the hell thinks bring blow to basic training is a good idea? I stared at it for a good two minutes in utter shock before beat-feeting on out of there to get my boss, who we’ll call SSG C, a staff sergeant.
When I stuck my head in his office, he was deep into devouring a bucket of wings his wife had dropped off. But he dutifully followed me out to the anmesty room where I showed him my discovery. We stood there side by side, staring at it.
“Well, shit, Ruby,” he drawled. (That’s me… he always called me that because of my deep red hair, courtesy of Miss Clairol.) “Ain’t that about a bitch.”
That astute statement was followed by a decision that resulted in the two us locking down the briefing room temporarily while we each took a garbage can and went through it, looking for more ill-gotten gains. The brick of nose candy turned out to be just the beginning. In my can alone, I ended up finding a few packets of crack, another few of black tar heroin, some disco bisquits (ecstasy). a bunch of needles, a nickel bag of mary jane, and a set of ninja throwing stars. SSG C found more disco biscuits, a few needles, and a dime of weed. All of which we had to drop through the slot in the wall.
Fun fact… a brick of blow doesn’t fit through an opening the size of a mail slot. Super fun. Since we had no access to the room, we had to maintain control of it until we could get the MPs over to deal with it. After all, it was a sensitive item. Since the nature of his job was to be in, out, and everywhere, it was my job as his second to secure it until the MPs got there. And we had nowhere to secure it. No safes, no locking desks, nothing.
Now mind you, even while I was babysitting the nose candy, I had to continue giving speeches to incoming soldiers. And I couldn’t really do that with any authority if I was cradling the Lady Caine like a damn baby. It was too big for my cargo pockets, so I stuck it under my belt. For two and a half hours, I snuggled roughly $30k of snow to my belly.
I’ve never been so happy to see the MPs.
It’s interesting to note that ladi dadi everybody is tested for the spectrum of drugs before they ever leave the MEPS. Plus they are tested throughout the process of enlisting in the first place. So there is no way any of these jokers were using when they got there. And they are told that random drug testing is a thing. Which pretty much leads me to believe these idiots thought they’d bring some for distro and sale. Yeah, no.
The idiocy of some people…