24 Hours

Mailed blog – written by Julian

16 Jan 11

Today I thank God for 24 hours.  Usually you hear people say, “If only I had more time in the day.”  Here people are just glad the drill sergeants can’t add time to the day.  That and they need to take us to chow and feed us three times a day and put us to bed by 2100 (usually).  Hallelujah for that!

I knew it would happen, and last night it did.  Remember how I said yesterday was a good day?  Well it was a bad night.  Every so often our drill sergeants need to pull staff guard, which is their version of fire guard (which I’ve mentioned before).  When our DS is up, two of us help her in 2  hour shifts throughout the night.  It is part of the fire guard duty to wake up those who have staff guard, 30 minutes prior to their shift starting.  Well, we didn’t get woken up until the DS called up and asked us where we were.   The girls on fire guard forgot about the whole waking us up part.  We arrived for our shift 30 minutes late at 0030.  The DS was not happy.  Two hours later at 0230 we were relieved by the next two girls.  We briefed them and headed back to our bay.  Fifteen minutes later, just as we were getting back in bed, we got called back to the staff duty station.  We had never served staff duty before and apparently we were not properly relieved of our shift.   If the DS was upset before, she was downright mad now.   It’s a huge no-no to leave your post before properly relieved.  So we threw our full uniforms back on (layers, undergarments, and boots — all per code) and went back.  She punished us by making us come back with each shift for the rest of the night, at 0400 and 0600.  Each time we had to change in and out of our full uniform, as you’re not authorized to sleep in your ACU’s, only your PT clothes.  Needless to say, we only got about 3 hours of sleep in short little 45 minute intervals.   Bad Night.

Today was Sunday though, and despite the bad night it was a beautiful day outside and we made it through.  We are getting ready for our first FTX, which in civilian terms is a camping trip.  On Sundays they give us a huge list of things that need to get done from 0830 to 1200.  They say we can go to church, but if it were them, they’d stay and take care of their work.  It’s a bummer they discourage us from going.  So, I tried to get my work done and 10 minutes before church line up I was really starting to stress out.  PVT Moler saw this and she helped me pull it together.  The two of us made it out just in time for formation.  I was so thankful for her help, if it weren’t for that I wouldn’t have gone to church

Moler is from Connecticut and she’s new to God.  She’s always wanted to have a relationship with Him and thinks this a great time to start that up.  Even going as far as wanting to get baptized here!  How exciting!  I hope and pray that I can be a good friend to her and have all the right things to say.  God sure works in awesome ways.  He put the two of us together for a reason.  Please keep her and her faith journey in your prayers.

The service was nice.  We sang some praise songs that really filled my heart.  Surprisingly, my favorite part was the benediction.  It’s always my favorite part back home, such peaceful words to start out your week.  Even though it was a Christian non-denominational service, they used the same benediction as back home.  Hearing it just brought tears to my eyes.  Hopefully as the weeks go by, more people will attend.  You can get your work done and go worship.  It’s all about priorities.

Well, that’s a long entry considering I’m going on such little sleep from our “bad night.” Oh, on another note, they ran out of things for us to do tonight so they smoked us for an hour for no other reason than the fact that we are “sorry privates.”  We were in full uniforms and packed into a tiny room, shoulder to shoulder, 171 of us.  I was soaked through and through.  So really, GOOD NIGHT!

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