Are you there straddlers? It’s me, your Soldier. I know, it has been a WHILE, but I hope you’ll forgive me…
If you’re not a dog person…
It has been quite a ride. I’m in South Korea now, after a two month luxury stay in Fort Jackson, South Carolina, for basic training and a sweet moldy escape in Fort Meade, Maryland, for advanced individual training (AIT). At DINFOS here today (inside joke for any public affairs specialists out there).
During my first week of school at the Defense Information School, I was made aware of a little rule that states writing (or really anything that provides enjoyment) was a no-go. I know that doesn’t cover me for the other months I’ve been incognito, but this will: military journalism sort of sucks the joy out of writing for me.
But Stella just got her groove back folks.
So where does that put us? On another first date, awkwardly looking over the scattered letters of a menu?
I miss basic training. I never in a million years anticipated that crawling around in sand with 25-30 lbs of awkward protective gear attached to my sweating-out-of-god-knows-where body would be so fun. It was like losing myself.
There were no feelings about my ex-girlfriend, or trying to Process life. I woke up at 3:45 a.m., jumped down from my bunk and got ready. Breakfast was the best part of the day, because breakfast food. I ate like I was starving because in most cases, we had 10 minutes or less to shove all the food in our mouthholes. And the best reading material I had while going to the bathroom was the graffiti on the port-o-john walls. Which was fucking choice.
I miss my wolf pack, rucking, repelling, and my Drill Sergeants, in that order.
Sundays were for “personal reflection” which in our eyes meant trying to sleep without getting caught, and playing with each other’s hair.
I miss lying in a hasty firing position and tilting my helmet just right so I could take a nap and look like I was doing a really good job at soldiering and the nights we all spent in tents under a South Carolina sky.
I miss contraband, kumbayahs, and those very few and far between moments where I felt like there was nothing that could stop us.
I say we/us a lot. But that’s just what basic training teaches you. When it comes down to it, if it comes down to it, pushing everything else aside and becoming a We/Us can be the difference between life and limb.
Basic training conquered my fear of the unknown and gave me confidence, and Fierceness. :)
I’ve made some lifelong friends, done a whole lot of push ups and managed it all in the comfort of my boxer briefs.
Then AIT happened. More on that next time!
feature image via LIFE magazine
Based on that cute collage of photos, it looks like people are supportive of you =) Glad to see a piece from you again!
You claim to have posted a picture of a dog, but that is clearly an alien. How do you explain this?
While I can neither confirm or deny the alien-ness of the creature you are referring to, we are awaiting more details from our subject matter expert on this issue before releasing any further information.
Woohoo! Can’t wait for the next installment
Glad you survived basic and AIT! And I’m also glad to see you writing again for AS. Stay safe in Korea!
Hey, great to hear. Losing yourself is the best thing about TRADOC: all problems can (and must) be solved by either headbutting them with the full brunt of your energies right nownownownownow or else setting your jaw and waiting for them to end on their own. I’m glad you were able to get so much out of it and have a good experience. I hope it stays that way.
I fondly remember basic training in Orlando Fla. Also remembering A-school in Pensacola. The comradery of my fellow sailors and the fun times we shared both on and off the boat. Make the most of your time take it all in and enjoy it and most of all keep all your friends near and dear safe and close by
Your life is literally my life six years ago and it’s insane. I was a 46Q and went to Ft. Jackson followed by Ft. Meade! I felt like I was in a video game at basic and I still can’t believe I made it out alive sometimes. Then came that strange, strange world of picas and rules of thirds and fourty rounds and mess halls and Navy lady crushes. I look back on my military days with incredible fondness and people think I’m crazy. I’m sure you understand.
OH THE NOSTALGIA!
Puppies are adorable, and I love dogs. At the same time, dogs need much much more attention than even the cuddliest of kitties do, especially when they are aging, lonely chihuahuas. This makes raising babies (and wearing tights that snag on everything) very difficult. My next pet will be a kitten, and my daughter will chase it around the house until it finds a good hiding spot, most likely out of her reach. It will be orange, and I’ll name it Tangerine. Back-up names include: Lady Claw-Paw, Simba, and Sophie the Sunflower Cat (Sophie for short). None of these things are easy words to teach to babies, and I may have to update my list later with some one syllable names.