Mailed blog – written by Julian

19 Jan 11

If anyone thought South Carolina would be warmer this time of year, wrong-o!  Last night and yesterday was spent out in the field.  We learned some really neat skills; how to respond to direct and indirect enemy fire, how to move in a tactical formation through a wooded area, and how to perform at a security check point.  Lots of low crawls and time spent face down in the ground.  By the end of the day we were all soaking wet and filthy dirty. 

We ate all our meals outside for two days.  They alternate between “Hot-A’s”, meals brought out to us from the DFAC (dining facility), and MRE’s  We are learning real fast which are the good ones.  They’re really not bad.  Of course if candy comes in the package we have to hand it over.  Sweets are a No-Go!

Once the sun went down the temperature dropped to about 35 degrees and we were sent to our tents.  It was so ridiculously cold.  The tents we have are tiny one person tents that just lay  horizontal, so you can’t even sit up.  Getting dressed for guard duty (yes, we still do that out in the field) and in the morning was super tricky.  Also adding to the trickiness is that we can ony use red lens flashlights, which are very dull (so the enemy can’t see us), and everything is done with a weapon slung on our back.  Wake up was at 0500 and we packed up everything in the dark.  Thank God there was a full moon out, it was the only light we had!  The march back was brutal.  We were all freezing and the hills were really steep at some points

Physically I’m holding up pretty good though.  We take our first full PT test in a couple of days.  I’ve been practicing push ups and sit ups at night and should have no problem passing.  My feet are good too.  No blisters just numb toes, which I guess is normal.

Today was kind of a low day.  We were all just so tired, cold and hungry.  It wears on you after a while.  That, and we haven’t gotten any mail yet!  Hopefully tomorrow though, as some letters are slowly trickling in.

I think of my support system often.  Love ya all!

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