As I was sitting down with another Marine a couple of weeks ago enjoying a burrito and a Coke, I was trying to think of ways to make a strip out of Camp Pendleton. The idea escaped me, there wasn’t really anything inherently funny about Camp Pendleton–it’s actually a really nice base, in a really nice location, and a great place to be stationed. Then he brought up those “boot shuttles,” and it was a good starting point. I started thinking of ways I could turn those shuttles into a funny strip, but nothing seemed to come to mind. Then it hit me: the shuttles themselves are the punchline.
I recall the “Sea Breeze” shuttles of Camp Pendleton from when I was there for SOI* (School of Infantry). On Friday evenings these guys would be lined up outside of the 52 Area PX, waiting for the little boots to come strolling out with their backpacks and fresh high-and-tights for a weekend on the town! Charging a modest flat rate to go to either San Diego or Oceanside, it actually wasn’t a bad deal if you had enough guys with you to split the bill.
*You’ll hear POG’s refer to this as MCT (Marine “Combat” Training) and ITB (Infantry Training Batallion). Grunts never call SOI “ITB” when referring to their time there.
At designated drop-off points you can always find a Sea Breeze shuttle with open doors, either with boots going in or boots going out. The Sea Breeze shuttles have a variety of nick-names, from the Shame Train to the Boot Bus; but none of that really matters when you’re given your first weekend liberty aboard the 52 Area. You’re a student, you’re still treated like shit every day, and the Sea Breeze is a ticket to a new place. The boot weekends usually suck, because you’re stuck with your libo-buddy and you’re probably too young to drink. On a random note, my libo-buddy lost his liberty privileges because he lost his flak on a hump (no idea how). I approached my Platoon Sergeant about it and he told me I could just sign out with my (at the time) girlfriend for that weekend. I didn’t know if he only meant that weekend, but I ended up signing out with her every weekend after that and spending all my weekends in Los Angeles.
Much better choice.