Sunday, August 19, 2012

Weeks 2-4

The second week of Basic Training, everyone seemed to get into the groove of it all. We were able to have Sundays off from being trained and we were able to attend church. Church was what everyone looked forward to!
We also had our first camping trip an over nighter. We marched with our Ruck sacks 3 miles. Once we got to our destination we were given 10 minutes to set up camp and get in formation. My tent that was issued to me was BROKEN. The tent pole would not click. So I whipped out my bandaids and did quite the little patch work, it held for the night :)
We accomplished Land Navigation and Night Navigation in Battle Buddy teams. I was the first one back from plotting and discovering all my points!
When we got back from camping, we had mail time again. I recieved a box from Brian! It had a head lamp and a new towel and some writing supplies. My Drill sergeant too my head lamp and towel and said she wanted them. I was very upset! I cried that night because they were a gift from Brian and I wasnt allowed to have it. Reyes- my pal cheered me up, she is a pretty funny girl.

Week 3 we had ANOTHER PT test. This time it was the 2-2-2, 2 minutes of situps, pushups and a 2 mile run. I ran it in 13:40, did 63 pushups and 84 sit ups for an overal pt score of 336 on the extended scale. That was the highest PT score in our company, and because of this- My drill sergeants allowed me to have ice cream, and coffee at meal times, but of course, I politely declined because I was trying to watch my figure. Our platoon started calling me " Ross the Boss" .
We also went to the range weeks 3 and 4. Ugh.. I got so tired of going to the range!! Its over 100 degrees and we are in full battle rattle!! (helmet, vest, and flik with weapon, elbow/knee pads and gloves) We were taught to shoot our M-16 in every possible position you can think of shooting. 

Basic Combat Training Week One

Wow, where do I begin with this.. I guess I should start with week 1, day one.

June 1, 2012- From Reception, we load the big white buses... destination- Basic Training Alpha Company. We are greeted by our drill sergeants before the bus takes off. They yelled and cussed at us telling us to keep our heads down on our bags. After what seemed to be an hour bus ride, we arrived at Building 11000.. Alpha Company. We were pushed off the bus as the Drill Sergeants made us hold our luggage above our heads and run to formation. The second we reached our formation area we were to drop all our things and get into the front leaning rest position. ( the pushup position) " Front Leaning Rest Position.. MOVE!!" Those 5 words became muscle memory in my head.. for all of 10 weeks of Basic training, I would hear those words in my sleep.  The second day, we were issued all of our gear and assigned bunks. this was the longest day of the cycle. 4 am wake up call wasnt your typical birds chirping either.. " get you asses out of bed NOW" was what came over the intercom. We all rushed down to formation in our PT's. It was the first day of our PT test. It is rated on a scale 300 being maximum points and anything above that is the extended scale. The 1-1-1 .. 1 minute of pushups, 1 minute of sit ups, one mile run. Pushups- I did 41, sit ups- I did 45, and ran a mile in 6:23 The Sergant major approached me that morning on the way to Breakfast and said he was very impressed and he hoped to see me keep pushing for the AFPT award for our company. That became an instant goal for me at that point.
When we reached the chow hall we were given 7 minutes to eat. The remainder of the day consisted of paperwork and death by power point, going over expectations. In between all this sitting, of course we got into trouble and got scuffed up alot. At the end of the day, everyone was drained as we climbed in our perfectly made bunks.. some didnt do a good enough job and their bunks were on the bay ground. If you had left your locker unlocked.. your personal belongings were EVERYWHERE!! All over the bay.
The next day we were allowed to call our home and let our families know we made it home safely. I didnt know which family membe to call we were only given 5 minutes. So I called sister. Kris answered right away. It was so good to hear families voices... I wanted to cry. I just wanted to be home so bad.. hearing the kids giggling in the background was hard. 
That day I had my first MRE- I had pork rib. You dont get a choice. they hand you an MRE and you haveto eat it . As I opened it up, I did a quick calorie count of the contents... 2400 calories... for one meal!! No way jose. I wasnt eatin it. I traded all my contents for peoples peanut butter, and sugar free juice packets.
That night was the first night we hard to start fire guard...  Lucky me- I had the 0200-0300 duty :( We haveto be in full uniform and sit at the desk in the bay for an hour and watch people sleep. The rules were- no sleeping, no personal time.

Week one was the hardest week for me. I got caught falling asleep in the lecture once and had to go to the back of the classroom and stay in the push-up position until I was given further instruction.
The First week was tough just getting settled in and meeting new soldiers. More of a culture shock than anything.
We did go to "Victory Tower" the first week and do obstacle courses. We were taught to repel down a 40 ft wall in the pouring down rain and did all sorts of rope climbs and fun stuff. This was the first day I started getting blisters from my new boots. But so was everyone else.

Week 1 was when I got my first letter from Brian :) and I became squad leader for my platoon as well.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Another day same ole....beep.. ( edited for young viewers)

I walk through the line in the chow hall, and as I look at the food underneath the glass window where the food is being served.. what do you see?  A large black woman wiping her sweat as she serves up the portions.  The army is so stern about using hand sanitizer to prevent sickness but a little detail they forgot .. the health department regulations. I have had diarrhea since day one here. I have chosen the salad bar for the remainder of my stay. I leave the chow hall hungry.. never full.

I did find small packets of peanutbutter at the end of the fruit line at breakfast. I take about 5 packets of those and stick them in my water pouch so I can snack on those in the barracks.
I had my first mre last night.. they have the nutrition label on the back so naturally.. I check it out being the health freak I am.. I traded out all my food for peanutbutter except the " roast beef" ( imitation of course) . The roast beef has nearly 1000mg of sodium in it!!!  Holy moly.!! No thank you!! 

Just some photos

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Reception week.

Wow.. what did I get myself into??  Was the thought after a sleepless 36 hours and minimal food. Assembly line after assembly line..standing... blood work... formation.. and just getting straight cussed at for looking in the drill sergeants direction.  The un known of everything is so scary and being completely out of your comfort is hard. But as the days gone by... I have already made a large group of great friends,  from all sorts of places!!  My buddy " lockheart" is from Oklahoma,  my bunk mate " Alejandre" is from sac town and "parks" is also from sac town but alot of friends from Kentucky e end o.e from Romania .  Seeing these people day by day... you build a comfort level. Even though we don't even know eachothers first names ( not used) we all have eachother through this.

Today we found out we don't ship till Tuesday... this at first was such a negative thing in my head ... but as the day goes by... it was actually a blessing.  I got the platoon together for some "in barracks " circuit training.  It was a good bonding experience for all of us and I was able to help out the group with their pushups and exercise tips .. my true passion....

I will write again later.. and tell everyone about the FOOD .. and stuff. :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

And I thought the DMV was bad...

Well today 4:30 am... WAKE UP CALL! We were woken up and said to be at breakfast at 5am. We rushed to pack up all our things, and down to breakfast we went. Directly following breakfast, we loaded the bus and were taken to MEPS. Once we arrived, we went through assembly line after assembly line and ended finishing around 9:30am. Sounds great doesnt it?? NOPE! We sat in a room similar to the DMV until 3pm. Thats right.. 3pm!! No phones, no internet, no talking, no sleeping. Nothing to read, nothing to look at except a tv on one end of a wall that played "black hawk down" over and over and over again. Getting up to use the restroom sounded like a vacation!! Every once in a while the "Marines" personnel would open the door and yell at all the future soldiers " SIT UP STRAIGHT... OPEN YOUR EYES... PRETENT TO ACT LIKE SOLDIERS!!" 

So all of you who impatiently wait at the DMV... just remember, its a cake walk compared to waiting on the military!  "Hurry up and wait" is the classic military slogan... and now I get why!

Anyway.. we ship out tomorrow 4:30am. Some how... beyond my control, I was selected to be the "group leader" and I have to be incharge of getting everyones tickets, make sure everyone is on the bus, make sure everyone stays together etc. Sounds like a babysitting job... too many 18 year old boys with fowl mouths and ZERO respect. This should be interesting... most have already failed to follow orders, even just puting their name and rank at the top of a piece of paper...

Tomorrow we go from Sacramento to L.A. at 7:30am, there is a layover until 10:30 in L.A. .. Then we fly to Atlanta georgia, we arrive about 5:30pm their time, the we BUS!!Yes.. I said Bus... to South Carolina ..

I will keep everyone posted! Hope everyone is doing well.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

2 days left in the only place I have ever known.

Monday... that is 2 days away from when I leave Grants Pass.

Grants Pass is such a beautiful town, everyting about it I know and love. It will be hard to leave here on Monday. These last couple weeks have really opened my eyes. I have really spent one on one time with my sister. Her and I , being so close in age.( and very different personalities). have never had a real connection until now. We have always loved eachother, but knowing I am leaving soon, we both have been in a little extra effort to create wonderful memories. With our lives on different paths- hers with building a family and full time school, and mine- full time school and exercise... we havent had alot of spare time to just laugh together. Moving in with her was the best thing I could have done for both of us, but it sure will make it hard to leave.  My going away party was wonderful last night. So many people came that I love and it just showed me all the support I have in my life.

I am a little anxious, not really nervous. Alot of people have asked if I was nervous.. and I can honestly say that I am not nervous, I love a challenge and I want to be pushed. Anxious because I have been waiting 5 months for this day to come. Some are not supportive of this decision, but most are. People who really know my personality.. think I am a good fit for this sort of life style. I am eager to see what this is all about!!

Until next time....