It may not have been fun for the new recruits being harassed, belittled and injured daily but my friends and I thought it was the best thing ever.

Fort Bliss has seen many changes over the years. Some with little to no effect on the area, some with a major impact and a bunch in between.

One of those changes had to do with what is known as "basic training".

Losing this role didn't have too big of an impact on the area as new recruits didn't have family members with them, usually weren't here for more than a couple of months and were seldom given the chance to leave the base.

While we lost some drill instructors and other related personnel, it was a small hit when "basic" was moved to Fort Sill.

My friends and I felt it though when we lost our playground.

Female Marines Participate In Marine Combat Training At Camp LeJeune
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The obstacle course that the new recruits, reluctantly, had to run was fun for us.

The old course is now a military housing area, east of Dyer, south of Vulcan and north of the bridge that spans Dyer near Chapin High School.

Granted, we didn't have DI's yelling at us, little sleep and 100 other things to do that day.

I can see why it was something they didn't exactly look forward to.

Mind you, they were becoming America's finest.  We looked more like this...

The obstacle course, ("proving ground", "confidence course", whatever.), was not fenced in and was easily accessible to anyone.

After hours, the army didn't really pay any attention to the course so we pretty much had it to ourselves.

We even rode our dirt bikes along the course.

Bundeswehr Holds Annual Exercises At Munster
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The MP's would occasionally spot us and run us off or we'd see them coming and run away on our own.

When they actually caught us, they took our names and phone numbers down to call our parents but they never did.

If they had, most of our folks wouldn't have cared. They were happy we were doing healthy stuff as opposed to the other "hobbies" we adolescents were discovering.

No cell phones then so I don't have any pics but I did find this Facebook page and video online.

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