My sandals issued with the uniform I am told are wonderful for marching through a sandy terrain.

What no one told me was that the sand has its own laws and infiltrates through the woollen socks causing wounds that are not only painful but are liable to become septic.


One old sweat advised me to rub alcohol in to my feet that would harden up my skin and sand would no longer bother me. Another old sweat told me to wash my feet and rub in plenty of soap not to wipe my wet feet but let them dry with the soap causing a layer that would help to protect my feet from that blasted sand.


The next piece of well meant advice was to fill a bowl with salty water and wash my feet in the salt water. This too would harden the skin. I was told that the fisticuff fighters in the old days always soaked the fists in salt water to harden the skin around the knuckles.


The best advice came from the Sergeant Chef. Johnny wear boots they are heavy but at least no sand can get to your feet. The Sergeant Chefs advice was the best that I was given. The next journey was to take me to Viet Nam, Heat and damp were the next two factors that we young recruits had to face.


Yes that was the start of a new life as a soldner in the French Foreign Legion.

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allets's picture

Salty Old Soak

I'm off to soak my knuckles. Never know when a fistacuffs will break my way. Enjoyable and informative - thank you, Mr. Bern - Just Bein' Stella