Dutch I am… Sort Of

Many people ask me where my name Dutch (Jones) came from. Most realize I wasn’t born with the name Dutch, although that would have been cool. It happened a long time ago, in a far away place… actually New Jersey. I was stationed at Fort Dix for my basic training for the Army, I was eighteen. One morning at 4am, while out on bivouac (Army version of camping), all 200 of us were busy digging foxholes, (a hole big enough for a solider to hide in during combat). A drill sergeant approached me and a fellow solider from behind, (scared the crap out of us!), and started yelling at us about something we were doing wrong, or we weren’t digging fast enough, kind of a blur today. They, the drill sergeants, pretty much yell about everything; whether you’re doing it right, fast enough or you reach the Army’s benchmark for passing, you still get yelled at.

Anyway, it was pitch black out, even with his flashlight the sergeant couldn’t see us well. He pointed his flashlight at me, “Dutch… what the hell are you doing?” he demanded. Of course I didn’t answer, any answer would have meant doing dishes or pealing potatoes (yes they really do that), for weeks. I just kept digging. The sergeant huffed then turned and walked away. “Why’d he call you Dutch?” my foxhole buddy asked me. “No idea,” was my reply. I can’t explain it, maybe he thought I was someone else, maybe he thought I was from the Netherlands… no clue. But, from that day on, all of my fellow soldiers only referred to me as ‘Dutch’.

(That’s me with the feather, I hate feathers!)

Also can’t explain how it went beyond the confines of Fort Dix. I thought once I was done with basic training and moved on, the nickname would stay in Jersey. Nope. It  spread all the way home to my friends and even my family. So Dutch it was, from then on. Truth is, I like the name, it fits me. Unfortunately I don’t know who that drill sergeant was so I can thank him!