Monday, December 5, 2011

Where's a Gas Chamber When You Need It.

In the Military we all get Gas Chamber training in Boot Camp. The first time you encounter it you don't know what to expect. I also learned that I had to do it more than fact many more times. You see for troops trained in the field for CBR (Chemical, Biological and Nuclear) hazards, we had to go through it with all our MOPP (mission orientated protective posture) gear at least every 2 years as well as training in the field every year. 

 The gas which was used was CS gas and believe me it was potent stuff.  I can't say I enjoyed it but in over 21 years I did not fear it. I did notice one interesting thing about CS gas, It WILL cure a head cold or any other sinus problem you may have, that I PROMISE. Now it is not a fun cure but I assure you it will drain your sinus all the way to you toenails. You will blow more snot, flem and mucus out of your system than you thought possible and it wont take days to get over it. One good deep breath of gas and you whole system will feel like it will turn inside out, you will gag and cough till you think you spit your lungs out. It burns your eyes and they drip with tears, your nose will run and long drips will reach all the way to the ground, and it lasts about 15 minutes.
Many times I had gone through this training in the winter when I had a cold and or flu like symptoms and it worked miracles.

I thought about it this last week as I have been battling this cough and cold how I wish I could go through a gas chamber one more time, I know that sound extreme to some but (and maybe disturbing to others) but for about 15 minuets of distress and it would be over. I could have a cold shower clean off (never use hot water after doing this, another story) and feel 100% again. Trust me it works.

 Maybe I will open up a resort one day to cure the cold and flu. Wonder how many people would trust me.


  1. Duke, dear buddy - thanks for reminding me of week 7 in Basic Training. during our first 6 weeks in Basic, the platoons ahead of each platoon torture each other about week 7 - there is quite a build-up to it and you never know what it is until they put you in full NBCW gear and jog you across the base (it was July for me!) and then they introduce you to the gas hut. we go through it several times a day during that week and then one last time after our 14km forced march that ends with the obstacle course AND the gas hut. and that is just our Basic Training - i was in a non-combat platoon but we still all had to go through the same training in Basic. combat trades do even more gawd-awful stuff in their respective trades training.

    anyway - all that being said - i haven't had a cold/flu in years and forgot how awful they made you feel and how hard it is to beat it if you are rundown. i haven't felt 100% for over 2 weeks now, getting better finally - but ya, if you gave me the option of a run through the gas hut, stop, take my mask off, salute the door and say my SIN number, rank and name - then rush out as fast as i can, fall down in the grass barfing my face off, crying like a baby - if i could choose that over a cold/flu - i'd do it.

    you should really look into opening a spa!!!

    your friend,

  2. Kymber's comment made me smile! My husband had shared his experiences in basic with the chamber and I understood~or so I thought, as to what this entailed. My son went through basic and he was given a dvd of his I was given a glimpse of what he went through(as well as his younger siblings), and I confess it was shocking. My son and husband laughed together about this experience and we all laughed at those that struggled the hardest-but my laughter was hollow. I thought a bit about how we refined our young men and women into soldiers and was truly impressed!

    Your post made me veer off a bit in thought~but also made me smile.

    Have a great week!

  3. Went through the gas chambers various times in NBC training in the 1960's. None were near as bad as boot camp when we had to recite name and serial number before putting masks on. If someone screwed up we had to start over again. One guy did and was the recipient of a blanket party during the night.

  4. They'd keep a tank of water outside the door, I'd dive UNDER the tank when're correct, it'll cure whatever ails you, quick.

  5. Kymber, thanks for the memories, It is unpleasant but afterward you feel so clear and can breathe so good.
    Humble wife, glad you enjoyed it.
    John, I have so many stories about gas training I could write a series of blogs about it.
    Stephen, Cold water was good, Hot water opened up your pores and was torture.

  6. wow! i can't believe that they gave you guys a tank of water. we had what was in our canteens!

    awesome post Duke!

  7. I always love the gas chamber, dont know why there was so much hate towards it. I know it sucked but it didn't hurt and you might as well know what kind of things to expect.

  8. Kymber, I don't remember a water tank in Basic some places we had a water faucet or we used canteens. I do know if you made it to a shower don't use hot water.
    Max, It wasn't so bad, sometimes it was as bad afterward with the gas getting into your clothing. And another point, don't shave right before going in.

  9. Duke, I know it won't be the same by a long shot, but make a pot of really hot chili--it helps, temporarily. Or, if you don't want to wait on the chili, take a tablespoon of Tobasco sauce every quarter or half hour (or whenever your sinuses stop running).

  10. Heroditus Huxley, Thanks for the tip, some chili would be good right now.