Bugging Out: An Army Memoir (1954) tells how the author dropped out
of Boston College after three years to marry, then volunteered for
the Army draft to qualify for the G.I. Bill of rights on his return
to college. He was not prepared for the emotional torture that Army
life would inflict on his previously free spirit. Demoralized by
cruel superiors during infantry basic training, and lonely for his
pregnant wife, he is caught between duty and self-preservation.
Reluctantly, he turns to "bugging out" mentally and physically
while functioning as a military misfit. With wit and irony,
O'Connell uses candid dialogue with authentic Army language and
vivid descriptions to relate how he dealt with the military
assaults on his independent personality. The author's "battle of
wits" shows one young man coping with the Army's challenges to his
sanity, and offers scenes reflecting outrage, despair, and
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