Mailed blog – written by Julian
23 Jan 11
By nature, nothing is ever a drill sergeants fault. Ever. They don’t eat, they don’t sleep, heck they’re like military monks dedicated to lives of Army holiness. On th surface they’re all hard and stoic, but deep down they’re people too. Doing what they do because they love their country. But, they do no wrong. About six times a day, however, something happens like this, “Privates, you have about one minute to line up on the PT field.” “Privates!! What are you doing? Line up on the DRILL PAD, the DRILL PAD!” or this, “Privates line up on the drill pad wearing your Gortex (winter) jackets.” “Privates, what are you all wearing? Do you think it’s COLD out?! You haven’t SEEN cold until you’re in the mountains of Afghanistan. And by the way you’re all lookin now, none of you will make it to that point in your military career.” Needless to say, we’re constantly adjusting to the changing tides of instructions. I’m mostly amused by this military quirk. This weekend has been pretty low key. It’s still cold out but we never get to wear our Gortex jackets anymore because they think it makes us weak. True, true. Yesterday we took our first full PT test. Two minutes of push-ups, and a two miles run. I scored a 59 in pushups, a 49 in sit ups, and a 64 on my run. Alas, we need 50 in each category so I failed my PT test by ONE sit up. I was really upset. My final count was 16 pushups, 35 sit ups, and my run was completed in 20:00 flat. Not bad, at least I know I’ll pass next time for sure. Still….ONE sit up!!! 😦 As a side note, who would have ever thought my run score would have been the highest of the three?
Also yesterday was our first trip to the PX store since we got here. It was like Christmas! We all bought hair gel and toiletries galore. Now that we had the opportunity to buy the appropriate products, our hair will be held to a much higher standard. I still wish I had cut my hair shorter. It’s really a pain trying to get it in a pony tail every morning. At the PX before we checked out our baskets were inspected by a drill sergeant to make sure we weren’t buying any contraband. When it came my turn, the DS goes, “Are you freakin kidding my private?” I’m thinking, great what did I do wrong? “Have you been here the whole time? Are you really in Alpha Company? Are you a spy, private? How did you go un-noticed for two whole weeks?” I told him that’s the way I prefer to keep it and he said I was smart for that. Still though, he thinks I’m a spy now and he looks at me goofy.
Last night we got smoked as a platoon by our DS, DS Smiley who I mentioned awhile ago. But before the smoked us, he went in his office and cranked some heavy metal, which was pretty cool of him. He made us do this exercise that goes, “on your belly, on your back, on your feet!” He was saying it so fast, that while it was physically strenuous, we couldn’t help but chuckle. When he decided we were done we just laid on our backs, listening to music and shot the breeze with him for about 20 minutes. The last event of yesterday was our combat Lifesaver written exam. I passed! It wasn’t too hard thought. Now during our field exercised (camping trips) we’ll take our book knowledge and carry it out. The good thing about this training is that they go over and over thing. This stuff is getting implanted in our brains.
Today was church, bay maintenance, weapons cleaning, and grounds keeping. Pretty good day, not so good morning. My rank on my hat was broken and hanging crooked. The senior drill sergeant saw it, tore my hat off my head and ripped the rank pin right off the hat. At least I can take those things with a grain of salt. Don’t get me wrong though, he was not happy and it will never happen again. MY bad, MY fault!
Church again was really refreshing and got me ready for the week. Hopefully this week goes as fast as last week, my friend PVT Moler, the one who helped me last week and wants to get baptized, well this week she was the one thinking she didn’t have time to go to church. Her weapon sling was broke and she had no idea how she’d get it fixed before lunch chow. I said, “Moler, God is so awesome. He does great things. He’s got your back, everything with your sling is gonna work out.” Then I made her, and our friend PVT King, read Matthew 6:25, the section on worrying, and all three of us felt better. And what do you know? When we got back there was a brand new sling that was extra sitting at the front desk in our bay. I winked at Moler and told her that’s no coincidence. With that, it’s time I get some rest. Tomorrow we have our first group run. The DS’s told us at least 50% of us will fall out halfway through. I might be worried, but as Matthew 6 says, “Who of you can add an hour to the day by worrying?” Worrying is a waste of energy. So for now, I’ll just be glad there’s only 24 hours in a day. This too shall pass, God has my back, and I’m going to be so much stronger in the end.
P.S. still no mail! It better all be in the mail and just taking forever. At this point I don’t care if I have to do 50 pushups for each letter. I want to hear from you guys!! OHHH! and I heard the Super Bowl is the Bears vs Packers. Is that True?! If so, someone better record that for me. How super sad I’m missing that!
(Note from Pam: We have informed Julian we beat the Bears to become NFC Champions – and now we will play the Steelers in the Super Bowl 2011! — She is still very sad to miss this moment in history! and says GOOOOOO PACKERS!)