New skills acquired and kept.
As much as Bob must have hated it at the time, now he reminisces rather fondly of the time straight out of school and home when times suddenly turned tough. Yes, the army and all its drills and skills aren't what many school leavers would expect.
Not to put Bob on the spot or put spots on him, it was quite a while ago that he had this toughening up experience. From a cozy home to sharing a dorm, having to make one's bed and running miles with a full kit on one's back would be a shock to anyone's system.
I love Bob telling me of the time when he volunteered to be the Michelin man in order to get an extra portion of milk and cigarettes. You know, the padded man who runs ( actually waddles is more like it ) while dogs are chasing him...even dogs need to be trained somehow.
There are doubtless many skills my husband learnt and trained for but for me the best is his superior knowledge of how to remove creases from garments. Yes, he learnt to iron clothes because he had to. Army style ironing is much different from Biggi style ironing. Creases are perpendicular, creases are exact and more importantly, creases are there!
Not wanting to be a terrible wife, I leave the ironing platform to Bob and even as I write, he is standing happily behind me at the ironing board, enjoying himself. I think it is the symmetry that he likes and I wouldn't be surprised to hear him ask for more stuff to iron, or at least I am hoping that he will...