CFB Greenwood, Camp Wainright, Alberta was not what you would call a place that was set up for entertainment. There was a junior mess, where on the weekends, we recruits could go and have a drink. The other option was to go into town which sometimes was very dangerous: some of of people in town, after a few beers, tended to get in fights with us.
During the week though, you'd find some of us over in the building which housed the Quartermaster's office, supplies, and the drill instructors breakroom. Holding Platoon, where you were kept if you had flunked out of your platoon or were waiting to be charged for an infraction was upstairs. After saying this, I will finally tell you that the occurrence happened in the small TV room on the first floor.
I think I was the first fellow in that room on that particular evening. I'd been flicking around the channels, of which we had a small choice, when I happened upon Julie Andrews shrieking, err, singing "The Sound of Music", at the beginning of the film of the same name. I have seen it many times so I figured one more time would not kill me. As I was watching it, a few of the other recruits came in.
Comments like, "Why are you watching this shit?", etc., were what I was bombarded with, at first. After I pointed out that there was nothing else on, some of the other recruits joined me in enjoying the movie. As time progressed, others entered and complained about our choice of viewing. They were usually told to "Shut up or leave!" Several stayed. It was fairly quiet as we watched the film.
Suddenly, a young fellow from our platoon, came in, muddy and bloody.
"Come on, you guys!" He yelled. "One of those British bastards just kicked the shit out of me! Let's go get 'im!"
At the time, there was a platoon of British Commandos on the base doing some training. It was quite clear that these gentlemen had probably seen battle and maybe had even killed. So we who were watching the film continued to do so and we suggested to our friend that he join us.
Of course, he was drunk and angry, beyond reason. After yelling at us some more, he disappeared into the night, allowing the rest of us to finish watching "The Sound of Music". The general consensus was that the recruit who had been beaten once already that night was probably going to have it done to him again. None of us there really wanted to test our mettle against battle-hardened Commandos, who probably knew many silent ways of killing a man and probably several noisy ones, too.
The recruit in question was still alive in the morning, so I guessed he'd slept off his desire for revenge. A few weeks later, the Englishmen were gone, and all we had to worry about then was getting smashed around by our fellow countrymen.
I suppose there is a morale to this story but I will be damned if I know what it is!
The preceding story is dedicated to Julie Andrews.