Unhappy after I reported that I haven't been updated her blog much, she decided to write it out for me and have me post it. I've been demoted from Blog Caretaker to Blog transcriber. *sigh*
Here it is:
So, my husband says he doesn't know what to write on my blog. I am surprised since my letters to him have been long and detailed. [Editor's note: Not as long or detailed as she thinks. Lots of repetition.] That's all right [sic], I will catch you up.
Aug. 10th was a d difficult day -- saying goodbye to my very best friend [Editor's note: She means me.] and knowing there were going to be long pauses between talking and hearing from each other. [Editor's note: Talking is her job, hearing is supposed to be my job.]
Aug. 11th I was at MEPS bright and early. My body fat ended up being 37% so I had to do the ARMS test. It basically tests your cardio endurance. I had to step up and down on a 12" box for 5 minutes at the pace of a metronome. Then I had 60 seconds to rest before I had to do pushups [sic]. I only had to do 4 but I did five just in case. :)
I then proceeded to go thru the rest of my processing, even swearing in again. We left for the airport at 1pm and proceeded to sit there for 6 hours waiting for the buses that would take us to Basic Training.
Aug. 12 -- We arrived at Ft. Jackson around midnight. We were marched all over the reception area where they issued linens (for beds we didn't to sleep in for 42 hours...), physical training uniforms, canteens, etc. It was an incredibly LONG DAY!
Aug. 13-18 -- We spent a week marching, standing, sitting, standing, marching, sitting, etc. There was paperwork to be done, information to be processed, and all that stuff that takes forever even when NOT in the Army.
Aug. 19 -- Today is the bus to Basic Training. After having us drink down a quart of water they loaded us on buses. They had us put our heads down on our bags. It was a REALLY long ride -- especially because I had to pee SO BAD! Fortunately for me, several kind souls let me cut in line to the latrine. If they hadn't let me I would have peed myself. [Editor's note: I wouldn't have been this graphic.] It was an auspicious start. One of the Drill Sergeants immediately came up to me, two inches from my face and started yelling -- telling me to "go home grandma -- you should be headed for retirement not this adventure. You'll never make it." I just grinned and said, "I'll make it, Drill Sergeant!" He said, "We will see." And that gave me just that much more motivation to push myself farther than I thought I could go. And then I would push some more.
Aug. 20-Sept. 9 -- Red Phase -- this is the hardest part of Basic Training. Adjusting to a strict military life is not even the hardest. A typical day starts at 4:30 am or so. We do some kind of PT, and military movement drills, agility group runds, and 30/60's. This is followed by stretching (not near enough -- I have to do a lot on my own).
Then we usually have 10=15 minutes to change into our ACU's and form up on the Drill Pad for chow. Breakfast! After breakfast, we have classes and drills and marching practice and standing practice and waiting practice. There there is chow again. And more of the same in the afternoon.
Then chow again.
Then briefings by the Drill Sergeants -- mail call and any other business.
Personal time starts at 19:40 and we have to be back on the drill pad for hydration formation at 20:30.
We do hip flexor exercises and then it is lights out at 21:00.
Drill Sergeants are constantly yelling and the stress is high. Lots of adrenaline rushes though. :)
While some platoons were not allowed a phone call during Red Phase, our platoon was -- fortunately! Overall, I don't think it was that bad mentally. However, I have never done anything this physical, for this long of a time in my life.
Highlights of the Red Phase include:
I accomplished these things mostly with a rolled ankle. But I am pushing through it.
- Victory Tower (see David's letter for details). [Editor's note: Um... I guess I'll post Victory Tower details next week when I'm back home and can find the letter.]
- The road march to the field training exercise. All the tactical and then the road march home.
- The road march to the Fit to Win obstacle course -- which my platoon won and took the banner for.
- The road march to the gas chamber (pretty bad, but not as bad as I had hyped it up to be -- just a nasty snotty nose. :) ) And the march home. The barracks never looked SO GOOD!
We are now in White Phase. And we are getting ready to qualify with our weapon, the M16A2 rifle. SWEET!!
I made it through the first 3 weeks!! :)