by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Grapevine : October 2011
I woke up and saw the clock---5:02 A.M. I had to be in formation at 5:30. I think I had stopped drinking and gone to bed around 1 A.M. What a way to start a Mon- day, I thought as I stumbled into the bathroom. Usually I would take a quick shower after a night of heavy drinking, but not today. I didn't have time. I got dressed and ran out to the car and drove off to- ward the post. I arrived at the formation just in time. Within a cou- ple minutes, my platoon sergeant called me to the side. "How much did you drink last night?" she asked. "What do you mean?" I said. Responding in a hushed but stern voice, she told me that I reeked like a brewery. She said that if we went to the military police station at that very moment, a breath- alyzer would show that I was over the limit and be con- sidered drunk on duty. "So I am going to ask you one more time. How much did you drink last night?" she repeat- ed. "I really don't know, Sergeant. I can't remember." It was over. Years of hiding my drinking and staying off the blotter re- port had come to a sudden and crush- ing end. Fifteen years of my military career was slipping away from me! I would be kicked out and disgraced. As I stood there thinking of all the possible things that could happen, she looked at me and said, "Thank you for being honest. We'll talk about this later." I sobered up at work and at the end of the work day she called me into her office. "Shut the door and sit down, sergeant," she said. "What I am going to say is to stay in this room, do you understand?" Knowing that the hammer was about to drop, I agreed. But it wasn't the hammer that I was expecting. "I have suspected for a while that you may have been hid- ing your drinking, but until today I couldn't prove it. I am concerned that you may have a problem with alcohol. I would like you to report to the Army Substance Abuse Program. Also, as a member of AA, I would like to invite you to a meeting tonight with me." I was shocked! Where were the terrible consequences I had imagined? Where was the notification that I had violated the Uniform Code of Military Justice? Where was the axe to end my career? She could have done all of that 45