“I served in the Romanian army in the 1980’s. We did field exercises most times and especially during the summer. We had to dig holes and sometimes in gas masks.
My partner helped me dig the hole with our shovels. The sun was going down so we could not see so well. The hole was about 3/4 my height so we were almost done. I start to pat the sides to make them hard so it doesn’t cave in when we sit in it.
I’m patting the side of the hole with my shovel when I feel a soft patch. I stabbed it with the shovel and it felt very soft. I stabbed it again and I see dirt all up my arm. The gas mask makes it hard to see so I put my face to my arm.
I said to my friend, ‘This dirt is moving.’ He looks closer at me and then starts to hit me with his shovel. I said, ‘What the f*ck are you hitting me for!?’ Then I felt the dirt move on my neck. It wasn’t dirt.
It was hundreds of baby spiders.
I started to scream and scream but it was muffled because of the mask. Other soldiers came over to see what was happening and they all started hitting me with their shovels too to get them off.
By the time I get naked and all of the spiders off I’m all bloody and bruised. I put my clothes back on and kill the rest of the spiders. ‘I fu*king hate the army.’ is what I said all night long.”
– Private Apostol Stoian. Romanian Army. 1980’s
This story was documented by Battles and Beers (TM) Every soldier has a story, and every story deserves to be told.