Tipping the Tank

Tipping the Tank

A Story by Debbie Barry
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A group of teenage Air Cadets have an adventure at summer camp. Fiction, based on actual events.

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Tipping the Tank

 

I was seventeen years old, attending my first encampment as a cadet member of the Air Cadets.  I had the opportunity to drive the big Army tanks at Green Mountain Training Camp in northern Vermont.  I was excited that morning, and could hardly eat my breakfast in my hurry to get to the range.  It should have been one of my proudest moments, but events did not play out as I had expected them to do.  It was just as well that I didn’t have much in my stomach after all.  I didn’t mean to do anything wrong, but I panicked under stress.  As a result of one afternoon’s misadventure, ours was the last group of cadets that was allowed to drive the tanks. 

It was the end of June, and it was hot, even at the Canadian border.  The air was thick with humidity, and hummed with the buzzing drone of mosquitoes, which flew in lazy loops overhead, until zip, ping one done down to plunge its proboscis into an unprotected bit of sweaty flesh to suck the salty blood.  Sweat soaked our olive-drab uniforms in the afternoon sunshine.  Although the camp was surrounded by thick forests of maples, oaks, birches, and pines, with plenty on tangled, leafy underbrush.  There was little shade near the white-washed, cinder-block barracks, mess hall, and classroom buildings, which stood stark sentinels around the flat, empty, grassy quad.  Despite the heat, our group of over a hundred teenagers was in high spirits.  Allowed to fall out of formation for a few minutes, we laughed and chatted, while the soldiers in charge of the tanks divided us into groups, with just a few cadets in each tank. 

“Fairbanks, Jones, Nilsen, Larson, Farquhar, tank four!” the staff sergeant with the clipboard barked.  “Fairbanks’ll drive.”

I was thrilled that my friends, Sarah Jones, Todd Nilsen, Natalie Larson, and Jared Farquhar, were in the tank that I was driving.  Sarah, Natalie, and I had been inseparable whenever we got to go to the same events, ever since we met at a weekend training camp about a year before.  Sarah was a small, cute, sensible girl.            Her long, straight, brown hair was pulled back in a smooth bun, tucked up under the back of the dark blue baseball cap every cadet wore.  Her light, hazel eyes danced with motes of gold and green light.  Natalie was very different from Sarah.  Tall and curvy, she had naturally-curly, fiery red hair, which absolutely refused to stay twisted up in the knot at the back of her head, and trailed tendrils down her neck and on either side of her face.  Her wide eyes reflected the rich azure of the summer sky, and a sprinkling of freckles was scattered across her nose and cheeks.  Todd, already tall, with a man’s massive build, but with a round, pale, cherubic face, was my boyfriend; we had been dating since the same weekend camp where I’d met Sarah and Natalie.  His thin, straw-gold hair fell over his forehead in light banks, above eyes the color of faded denim.  Jared was Natalie’s boyfriend this week.  At six feet, he was an inch or two shorter than Todd, but lacked Todd’s sturdy build, being willowy and graceful.  His shock of dark chestnut hair and his rich, melted-chocolate eyes were set off by his café au lait skin.

“Yeah!” Todd shouted.

“Cool!” Sarah said, grinning and straightening her cap.

“Yay!” Natalie squealed, making Jared wince; he just smiled from behind her shoulder, his eyes shining.

“Di!  You’re driving!”  Sarah said.  “Lucky!”

“Thanks, Sarah!”  I knew I was beaming.

I was driving!  I still get chills when I remember being one of the cadets chosen to drive the tanks.  I had been in Air Cadets for a little over a year, and I shivered in awed excitement at the idea of actually driving the tank. 

Around us, the staff sergeant kept barking names, and cadets sorted themselves in groups.  It looked like no one was being teamed with anyone from their home units.  I saw Jeff and Tony, from my unit, go off toward tanks one and two.  Jeff was close to my age, and he was tall and thin, like Jared, but more wiry than willowy.  The large nose protruding below his wavy, dark hair always made me think of Klinger, from M*A*S*H.  Tony was barely 13, and hadn’t had a growth spurt yet.  He was almost the smallest cadet at the camp.  Although he was small, he was spunky, and was always getting into trouble.  His older brother, Carl, caught my eye, and we shared a quick laugh across the dusty staging area.  I wondered, briefly, whether their dad, our unit commander, might have had something to do with me being put with my best friend and my boyfriend; I thought it was more likely that Carl, as a cadet leader, might have done it for me.  As I considered this, my friends and I walked over to tank four.

“Fairbanks?” a well-chiseled, sun-bronzed corporal, whose nametag read “GRIMES,” snapped, when we were about two yards away.

“Here, Corporal!” I replied, excitedly.

“Ever drive a tank?” he asked, dubiously looking me up and down.

“No, Corporal.”

He rolled his eyes, shook his head, and adjusted his camouflage BDU cap.

“C’mon,” he growled.  “Yer up front.  Rest o’ y’ get inside.”

I climbed awkwardly into the cramped driver’s seat of the tank, dropping down into the seat to find a bewildering array of levers where I had expected to find pedals and a steering wheel.  I was terrified and exhilarated! 

“Put on yet headset,” Grimes ordered, climbing into a second compartment.  “Not that way!” he added, sounding irritated.  “Turn yer cap ‘round’r y’ll never see anythin’.”

Obediently, I turned my dark blue cap so the adjusting strap and mesh back were over my forehead, and the bill was down over my neck.  I fumbled with the headset, and finally got it situated over the cap.  I flipped the silver toggle switch on the board in front of me when Grimes pointed to it, and the radio headset crackled to life.

The rest of the group dropped through the hatch at the top of the tank, into the dark, confining body of the machine, landing with heavy thuds of booted feet on solid steel. 

“We got a open channel b’tween us, so’s I can tellya what t’ do,” Grimes’ voice crackled in my ear muff-like headphones.  “Don’ touch any buttons unless I tell y’ to.”

“Yes, Corporal.”

“Say, ‘Roger,’ ‘r ‘Copy,’” he corrected.

“Roger.”

He quickly ran through the various levers, identifying, among others, the accelerator and the brake.

“Those’re all y’ really need t’ know,” he said.

I heard thumps, bangs, and muffled voices behind me, but I couldn’t tell what my friends were doing or saying.  Instead, I watched as tank one rolled ponderously out of line.  Jeff was driving, his head stuck up out of the driver’s compartment on its long, turtle-like neck, his blue ball cap worn as far back on his head as it would go.  His wide eyes stared, and his already-wide mouth spread across his face in an enormous grin.  The tank picked up speed, its wide tread belts biting into the hard-packed dirt of the staging area, leaving a trail behand it.  Someone in the waiting crowd of cadets cheered.

A minute or so later, tank two rolled out.  I had to look twice to believe what I saw.  His own eyes barely peeking out of the tank, Tony was in the driver’s seat.  Even without seeing his mouth, I knew it was curled up in his trademark, mischievous grin.  In my imagination, I heard Carl and their father groan.  There was going to be trouble.

When tank three pulled out, Grimes crackled back into my ears, and I started paying attention.  I later learned that he had spent those minutes on another radio channel, giving my friends and audio tour of the interior of the tank.  Now, he guided me with voice commands to start driving the tank around the dirt track.

Driving the tank was easier than I expected.  I had never driven anything but a riding lawn mower, unless flying a Cessna counted, but all I had to do was squeeze the handle and pull back the accelerator handle to make the tank move forward.  A yoke, not unlike the one in the Cessna, let me turn the tank right or left.  My nerves calmed, and I began to relax.  All was going well, as I drove confidently on the flat, dirt track. 

As we went around the long, sweeping curve at the back of the track, I noticed one of the tanks crashing through the underbrush, bulling its way through small trees, as it created a whole new path.  I heard angry shouts from soldiers running toward the hole in the trees.

“Tony!” I thought, laughing to myself.  I later learned that my first guess was right, and that Tony had decided it would be more fun to see what the tank could do against trees.

“Pick up the pace,” Grimes snapped in my headset.

The distraction had caused me to slow down, and I quickly refocused, resuming a comfortable driving speed.

The sun was hot on my exposed face, and I felt the tips of my ears burning.  My uniform clung to me like a sweaty, sticky, second skin, and I felt the sweat pool in the blousing of my pant legs at the tops of my boots; I augmented the worn draw strings in the hems of my trousers with elastic blousing bands, so they were snugly gathered around me legs.  I felt the raucous rumble of the tank all around me, as much as I heard it, with its rattling, creaking, bumping, grinding, and groaning.  Without the headset, I would never have heard Grimes over the constant noise.  I smelled hot metal and rubber, fuel, oil, and sweat.  It would have made me ill, under other circumstances, but the whole experience, taken as a single thing, was exhilarating.

Then, we came to a good-sized hill, on the far side of the course, and the trouble began. 

For the most part, Grimes was just letting me drive.  He only said anything if he needed to, and he didn’t say anything about this hill.  It looked really high, and pretty steep, but it wasn’t a mountain, like the rounded, green peaks that surrounded the camp, beyond the woods.  Since Grimes was quiet, I didn’t worry.  I started to guide the tank toward the hill, and Grimes stopped being quiet.

“Get up more speed,” he shouted at me.  “If y’ don’ go faster, we won’ make it over th’ hill!”

“Roger!”  I pulled back further on the accelerator lever, the engine rumbled, and we picked up speed.

“More speed!” Grimes’ voice crackled insistently into my headset.

I pulled harder, and we started moving faster.  The pace wasn’t so comfortable now, and I started feeling nervous.  The dirt track was going by too fast to see individual rocks in the dirt now, and I heard the rattle of pebbles being thrown up against the tank by the spinning treads.  The air rushed past my face, making me squint, and drying the sweat-soaked t-shirt to my body, under my uniform blouse.

“More speed! Faster! Faster!” Grimes shouted, sounding angry and frustrated.

I was flustered under the verbal barrage, but I pulled back even harder, pulling the lever as far as it would go.

“I’m trying,” he shouted, in desperation, as the trees at the edge of the track flashed by, as though we were zipping down a highway.

I gave the tank more and more gas, and we rumbled upward and upward.  I hadn’t noticed when we actually started up the long, steep incline.  Now, I realized that, even though the tank was going fast, it was straining, and slowing.

“Y’ need more speed t’ get over th’ top!” Grimes shouted.  My ears rang, and my heart thudded in my chest.  I could barely breathe.

Suddenly, we reached the apex of the hill. 

My heart missed a beat. 

With horror, I realized that this was not the rolling sort of hill I was accustomed to, but a huge pyramid of earth.  The tank roared over the crest of the hill.  It balanced, for just a moment, on the tiny strip of dirt at the top.  Then, as I clung to the accelerator level, my arm cramped from pulling, the tank plunged down the other side, no longer under my control. 

“Slow it down!” Grimes barked.

I stared at the levers.  I couldn’t remember where the break was.

“Let off the gas!” Grimes sounded furious.

“Oh,” I thought.  “Right.”  I let off the accelerator lever.

It was too late for letting off the gas to save us.  Ever obedient to gravity, the tank continued to accelerate, as it hurtled down the hill. 

“Slow it down!” Grimes frantically yelled at me.    

“How?” I shouted back.

The tank continued its headlong, downward rush.

“Brakes!  Brakes!” he shrieked.

The ground rushed up at me, as I tried frantically to stop our headlong plunge!  The surrounding woods passed as a blur at the edges of my vision, as the Army tank hurtled forward on spinning tracks.  My ears rang with Grimes’ shouts, and my vision was filled with the gray expanse of Vermont bedrock. 

Someone was screaming.

“Stop th’ tank!” Grimes’ shout sounded over and over in the headphones that covered my ears.  “Stop th’ tank!  Yer goin’ too fast!”

I searched in vain for the brake. 

“Where is it?” I yelled.

The array of levers before me in the cramped space of the tank was incomprehensible.  I reached for one, and then pulled back my hand, afraid of making the wrong choice, and making the tank go even faster. 

“Brake!” Grimes barked.

I panicked! 

I moved levers as fast as I could, not knowing which lever I needed, screaming into my microphone. 

“I don’t know how!” 

I had the terrible realization that, while I knew how to make the tank go, I had no idea to make it stop. 

An incongruous ripple of reason intruded on my frantic mind. “Do you remember Sir Isaac Newton?” it whispered.  “He said that a body in motion tends to stay in motion.”

The air whipped my face, my stomach clenched with sudden nausea.

“Brakes!” Grimes shouted.

“Unless the body is acted upon by an outside force,” the maddeningly reasonable, little voice whispered.

I had no idea which lever was the brake.  I was frighteningly sure that the tank was going to stay in motion.

The ground rushed upward to meet me. 

“We’re goin’ too fast!” I thought.  Panic gripped me, as the blur of earth in front of me took on definition.  For a moment, I could see each rock and pebble in vivid detail. 

“Bra…” Grimes’s scream began.

Then we were acted upon. 

Rather, we acted upon something much bigger than we were. 

Either way, we stopped. 

Suddenly. 

Jarringly. 

THUD! CRASH!  Rattle, bang, whoomph!

For just a moment, my world froze.  I could hear nothing, and the world stopped moving. 

I drew in a breath, suddenly aware that I’d stopped moving.  In the same moment, I realized that I’d been screaming, and I swallowed hard, to stop the noise coming from my throat.

The tank stood on its nose, with its tracks spinning idly in the air.  I was dazed from the abrupt cessation of motion.  I leaned forward, out of the driver’s hatch, saw the rock a few feet in front of me, an involuntarily emptied the contents of my stomach all over it.

Blerg! Splatter!

I heard a lot of terrified screaming, most of it in my headset and some of it in the steel compartment behind me. 

At the bottom of the steep hill was a large, exposed piece of bedrock.  It was this expanse of native granite that had stopped our headlong plunge.  Seconds passed, or perhaps it was minutes, all in a blur of sound and motion. 

“Get yer butt outta that tank!” Grimes shouted in my face, yanking the headset off my ears, and dropping it in the compartment.  “Unbuckle th’ harness,” he growled.  I pressed the button the release the safety harness I’d put on when I’d first taken my place in the driver’s seat.  He grabbed my shoulders, and jerked me out of the tank; he made sure I was on my feet, and then let go, with a look of disgust.  We were both standing in my puke.

Above us, the top hatch of the tank opened.  Todd handed Sarah down to Grimes.  As soon as he let her go, we fell into each other’s arms for a quick, fierce hug.

“Ohmagod, ohmagod, ohmagod!” Natalie babbled, mascara streaking her cheeks, as Tod passed her down to Grimes.

“At ease, Cadet!” Grimes barked.

Natalie gulped.  “Yessir!”

“I’m not a ‘sir,’” he growled.

Todd helped Jared down next, but Jared didn’t need Grimes’ help; he scrambled down the erstwhile top of the tank on his own.  Todd followed him, jumping just clear of the muck.

A great many soldiers ran across the driving course.  As my friends and I stood out of the way, they tipped the tank back onto its treads.  No one spoke to us, even to ask whether we were okay.  Quietly, Sarah helped Natalie clean off her face.  Todd stood close to me, but, even under the circumstances, we knew better than to touch each other in public.  Jared stood close to Natalie, too, and I saw the strain on his handsome face.

It took a while, but the tank was finally righted, and the soldiers determined that it was largely undamaged.

“Ever’body in,” Grimes growled.

I started to follow the others into the main compartment.

“Where’dja think yer goin’?” Grimes growled at me, looking thoroughly disgusted.

“In the tank, Corporal,” I replied, meekly, thoroughly mortified.

“No way,” he said, more gently.  “Gotta finish th’ mission.  Get in yer seat.”

I looked into his eyes, and saw a flash of quickly-stifled amusement.  I smiled my gratitude.

“Roger!” I replied, climbing into the driver’s seat.  I was immensely grateful that the sourness was only in my mouth, not in my nose, and that I didn’t vomit inside the tank.

In minutes, we were under way again, and I drove the tank very slowly around the rest of the level, dirt track, to the parking area.  In the aftermath of my personal disaster, I felt the sweat of panic cool on my clammy skin, inside my clinging t-shirt.  I was humiliated.  My face glowed scarlet from more than just the sun. 

As though one adventure wouldn’t suffice for the day, the soldiers shuffled us into an Armored Personnel Carrier for another trip around the track.  They kept us in the same groups, and Grimes led us to APV seven.

“Not you, Fairbanks,” Grimes said, with a quirk of one eyebrow.  “You done enough fer one day.  Jones!”

“Yes, Corporal?” Sarah replied, looking startled.

“Let’s see if you can do better’n Fairbanks.  Show ‘em not all lady drivers’re disasters.”  His eyes flashed amusement again.

“Oh!  Yes, Corporal!” Sarah replied, brightening.

“You can do it,” I told her.”

“‘Nuff talkin’!  Let’s go!” Grimes barked.

Sarah took her place in the driver’s compartment, and the rest of us piled into the back.  The door closed with a thud; I’d expected more of a clang.  Inside, the APC was just a solid box, with a bench down what I thought of as the passenger side, and a dim, yellow dome light.  There were no seat belts, no radios, and no equipment of any kind.  We sat shoulder-to-shoulder on the hard, vinyl-covered bench, in the close, windowless, gunmetal-grey compartment.  Jared was the closet to the front of the vehicle, followed by Natalie, Todd, and me. 

“Mmm, some alone time,” Natalie purred, rubbing her cheek on Jared’s shoulder.

“Uh, Nat?” he hesitated.

“Oh, c’mon,” she pouted.  “They said no public displays of affection.  This isn’ public.”  She puckered her lips.

Todd slipped his left hand into my right one, intertwining our fingers.  I smiled at him.

By the time I looked away, Natalie and Jared were kissing.  I turned back to Todd, and we followed suit, but we were careful to keep in light, and only kissed.  Natalie and Jared kept things light, too, but I had a feeling that was mostly thanks to Jared’s self-control.

I was vaguely aware of the APC’s movement up the hill, but the ponderous vehicle moved so smoothly that we hardly felt it in our steel cocoon. 

THUD! CRASH!  Rattle, bang, whoomph!

I was jarred to full awareness, when we were all thrown forward against the front wall, which had suddenly become the floor.  We landed in a pile, arms and legs tangled, as we all thrashed to right ourselves. 

“Ah-ieee!” Natalie screamed. 

“Whoa-oa-oa!” I screamed, at the same moment.

“Di!” Todd gasped, trying to stop my tumbling fall, but he was falling below me.

“Wumph! Ow!” Jared gasped, at the bottom of the pile.

“Get off!” Natalie fussed, trying to get out from under Tod, and wriggling off of Jared.

It all took only a few seconds, and then we were all struggling to untangle ourselves, and to stand up.  Todd pressed his hands against the ceiling and floor, which had become walls, and levered himself out of the pile.  He quickly reached down, and lifted me off of Natalie and Jared, helping me get my footing.  As soon as I could stand, he helped Natalie up, as well.  Natalie was overwrought, and she slapped at him, sobbing incoherently.  I grabbed her shoulders, and shook her.

“Natalie!  Nat!  Settle down; it’s Di!”

With several gulps and gasps, she pulled herself together.

“Oh, Di, what happened?”

“I dunno,” I said, hesitatingly.

“We did it again,” Jared said darkly, still on the floor, cradling his right arm.

Todd helped Jared to his feet.

“No way!” Natalie wailed, on the verge of fresh hysterics.

“Yeah, I think so,” Todd sighed.

Then the rear door of the APC opened above our heads.

“You kids’ve gotta be kiddin’!” Grimes exclaimed, angrily.

Sarah had repeated my accident on the rock at the bottom of the hill.  The armored personnel carrier stood on its nose, its tracks spinning in the air.  As a result, we had to climb out the rear door, like climbing out of a huge, squarish, tin can.  Tod and I boosted Natalie out first, since she was teetering on the edge of new hysterics.  The day had been way too much for her.  Todd and Jared wanted me to go next.

“No way, Jared,” I refused.  “Yer hurt, an’ yer goin’ out first.”

His face was stormy, but he was cradling his right arm, and his face was unusually pale.  He nodded, biting his lower lip, and let Todd and me boost him up to Grimes and another soldier.

“You next, Todd said, looking into my eyes.

“Okay,” I agreed.

He bent over, and lifted me onto his shoulders.  I steadied myself against the walls of the compartment, as he stood up again.  He was tall enough so my head and shoulders were outside the hatch when he reached his full height.  Grimes gripped my arm, I put one hand on his shoulder and the other on the doorframe, and he boosted me out.  I scrambled over the edge, out of the way, where another soldier helped me to the ground.  There was no gallantry in any of them, just business-like efficiency.

“Di! Are you okay?” Sarah asked.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” I replied, as Todd’s booted feet hit the rock beside me.

“Why didn’t’cha tell me about the hill?” she demanded.

“Didn’ have time,” I replied, looking her over.  “You okay?”

“Yeah,” she admitted.  “Jus’ freaked out.”

“Yeah,” I commiserated, and we exchanged an understanding look.

I glanced at the ground.  There were dried traces of my puke from earlier, but nothing fresh.  “Y’ didn’ lose yer breakfast,” I commented.

“Yeah,” she said, glancing down, with a shaky laugh.

“Cadets!  Outta th’ way!” Grimes snapped.

Todd, Sarah, and I quickly moved to the edge of the trees, where a medic was looking after Natalie and Jared.  Natalie looked shaken and pale, but had stopped crying; her face was streaked with mascara again.  I was more worried about Jared, who was grunting and gasping as the medic examined his arm.

“Gotta send this one up t’ University fer x-rays,” the medic said to a second soldier.

“Right,” the other replied, pulling out a radio.

CRASH! BANG! THUD!

Todd, Sarah, and I turned at the sound of the soldiers tipping the vehicle off the rock, onto its treads, which were no longer spinning.  I heard a couple of them laughing at the unlikely repetition of my accident, and I felt my face redden.

“Jones!” Grimes barked.  “Mount up!”

Sarah looked startled.

“Gotta finish the mission,” I told her, quietly.

She glanced at me in surprise, and then nodded understanding.  She hurried to resume the driver’s seat.

The medic helped Jared into the back of the APC, and the second soldier guided Natalie in after them.  Todd gave me a hand up, and then climbed inside.  Grimes latched the door.  Soon, I felt the vehicle moving forward again, rumbling over the dirt path.

Sarah drove back to the staging area, where Jared was loaded in the back of a waiting Jeep.  Shooting curious and worried glances our way, Chad, who was waiting near the Jeep, climbed in to ride with Jared; as the senior cadet, it was his responsibility.

Twice in one day, I hurtled helplessly toward the earth.  Twice, I emerged unharmed from the experience.  I was embarrassed by my failure to stop the tank.  Embarrassment and humiliation were overshadowed by the sense of pulsing vitality that came from surviving a life-threatening experience.  Even more, the sheer sense of teenage invulnerability, which was shaken during the crash, was reinforced by a new knowledge.

I crashed headlong into the earth " not once, but twice " and I walked away. 

It was an amazing experience.


© 2017 Debbie Barry



Author's Note

Debbie Barry
Please let me know if you catch any typos; it helps me. Initial reactions and constructive criticism appreciated.

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Featured Review

Oh my! Now THAT is an episode of teenaged angst I won't soon forget! I loved this story, tipping the tank once was enough, but doing it a second time, while in the throws of romance, priceless and I had to laugh. One thing was a little off for me here:
"It was the end of June, and it was hot, even at the Canadian border."

June along the Vermont/Quebec border would be hot. Quebec is normally around 25-30 C at that time of year. Maybe, it is an American thing, but believe it or not, we don't all live in igloo's lol.

Great story Debbie, thanks for the excitement and laughs!

Posted 6 Days Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Debbie Barry

6 Days Ago

Thanks, Karen! I'm really glad you enjoyed it!

This is a story I might not believe, .. read more
Karen Redburn

6 Days Ago

You have had some fun in your lifetime! No offense taken, it was just a strange comparison in my min.. read more
Debbie Barry

6 Days Ago

Thanks, Karen. It's all good. Sometimes, what sounds perfectly reasonable to sounds odd to another.. read more



Reviews

Oh my! Now THAT is an episode of teenaged angst I won't soon forget! I loved this story, tipping the tank once was enough, but doing it a second time, while in the throws of romance, priceless and I had to laugh. One thing was a little off for me here:
"It was the end of June, and it was hot, even at the Canadian border."

June along the Vermont/Quebec border would be hot. Quebec is normally around 25-30 C at that time of year. Maybe, it is an American thing, but believe it or not, we don't all live in igloo's lol.

Great story Debbie, thanks for the excitement and laughs!

Posted 6 Days Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Debbie Barry

6 Days Ago

Thanks, Karen! I'm really glad you enjoyed it!

This is a story I might not believe, .. read more
Karen Redburn

6 Days Ago

You have had some fun in your lifetime! No offense taken, it was just a strange comparison in my min.. read more
Debbie Barry

6 Days Ago

Thanks, Karen. It's all good. Sometimes, what sounds perfectly reasonable to sounds odd to another.. read more
Wow, what a wild story! Do you think Corporal Grimes might have begged to not be assigned that duty again? Knocking around like that, it must be a miracle that no one was injured. Something I find extra-amazing is the fact that all the crashing, embarrassment and puking couldn't prevent a little romance. Love will find a way--oh, yeah! This one's very well-written and highly entertaining, Debbie.

Posted 1 Week Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Debbie Barry

1 Week Ago

Thanks, Samuel! I'm really glad you enjoyed it! I had a great time writing the story. Crashing th.. read more
This was funny! The thought of crashing a tank is wild. I wonder if crashing tanks is done often? I really liked this story.

Posted 2 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Debbie Barry

2 Weeks Ago

Crashing a tank was a lot better story than either of my crashing a car stories! It was awful at th.. read more
What an experience for teenagers to have. If I hadn't read your story, I wouldn't have thought it possible. Great story, Debbie!


Posted 2 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Debbie Barry

2 Weeks Ago

Thanks, Wendy! Yes, driving a tank, and crashing it, was incredible. I doubt it was really as dram.. read more
Wow! This is hilarious in a Stand By Me sort of way! The writing was very fluid and descriptive and I thought you did a good job at painting the characters of each person distinctly! I found the main character super relatable and it was easy to jump into her shoes!

Posted 2 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Debbie Barry

2 Weeks Ago

Thnks, Sarah! I'm really glad you enjoyed it! I had fun writing it, which is key for me. Plus, th.. read more
Sarah Wilson

2 Weeks Ago

No problem and that is awesome!

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Added on November 26, 2017
Last Updated on November 26, 2017
Tags: story, teenager, air cadets, summer camp, army, tank, armored personnel carrier, driving, coming of age, friends

Author

Debbie Barry
Debbie Barry

Clarkston, MI



About
I live with my husband in southeastern Michigan with our two cats, Mister and Goblin. We enjoy exploring history through French and Indian War re-enactment and through medieval re-enactment in the So.. more..

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