Gas! Gas! Gas!
There are some troops who can go through the whole Gas Hut experience with no ill effects. I was not one of them.
Part of the our Gas training was "hold breath, mask on, breathe in hard to check seal.".
I came to regret the "breathe in hard" part.
Into the hut we went, and made ready.
"Gas! Gas! Gas!"
Hold breath! Mask on! Breathe in hard and ... my straps were just a bit too loose. In practice, that problem was not really noticeable. With CS gas fogging the hut, I noticed. Having your lungs turn inside out with a gas mask on is not fun.
The instructor (regular force) saw me in distress and hustled me out.
He pulled on the my mask, announced "Too loose!", removed it and tightened up the straps. "In you go!" and back into the hut I went.
"Gas! Gas! Gas!" and I repeat the remasking, with the same level of effectiveness as before, meaning "none". Second lungful of CS.
That same instructor hustled me out once again, removed my mask and again tightened the straps, this time to as tight as possible.
Once more into the breach.
Same "Gas! Gas! Gas!"
Same masking drill.
Same result. My third lungful of CS.
Instructor swore, a lot as he pulled me out to fresh air.
Once again, he pulled my mask off, but this time examined every part of it, looking for damage. At the last, he unscrewed the canister and shook it. I do not remember the details, but what he heard (or didn't hear) disturbed him.
He compared my canister to his, and declaimed. "There's nothing in here!"
Great, now I knew why all those viscous liquids were oozing from my facial orifices.
"Am I done Sergeant?"
"No effing way. Mine works, you'll use it. Fourth time lucky!"
I did, it worked. Finally.
For the rest of the day though, I shed CS residue wherever I went, which became my first experience with social distancing.
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