Flashback Fridays: Army Basic Training, Part 3

30 September 2000
0900 hrs

My dizziness is really bad today.  I can’t go on sick call because there is no sick call on the weekends.  I’ll go Monday if it’s not better.  This is so hard.  I just have to go through.  There’s nothing else to do – I can’t quit or drop out.  I will get through this.  I may be miserable, but I’ll get through.  I really can’t walk straight.  It’s not good.  It’s noticeable to other girls in my platoon.  I know it’s because I’m so tired.  I’ve been up since 0300 hrs because of fireguard.  I wish I could just sleep for 12 hours straight.

1430 hrs

I hope we ship out next week.  I feel so gross and ugly.  I can’t wait until this is all over.  I hope I can get 7 hours of sleep tonight.

They forgot to check our TB tests within 72 hours, so now we have to redo the tests.  Today we had a briefing on health insurance.  I’m so glad to have some free time today.  My throat is sore, I hope it doesn’t turn into anything.  I feel so sorry for everyone else, they have to go to AIT (Advanced Individual Training) after BCT for 9-27 weeks.

1 October
1330 hrs

I’m so tired.  I can barely write.  I have a cold in addition to my dizziness now.  Needless to say, even though lights out was at 2030 hrs, I didn’t get much sleep.  The sergeant on duty yesterday was really horrid.  A major bitch.  If I get someone like her in basic, I don’t think I’ll make it.

I’m doing Battalion duty at the moment.  My body feels battered and bruised.  If the PT test were tomorrow, I would fail.  I hate it here.  I loathe and despise it here.  I just need to bitch a little and I’ll be fine.

2000 hrs

I’m sitting here outside in formation.  At first, lights out was supposed to have been at 1930 hrs, which would have been great.  Now we’ll be lucky if we get to shower before 2100 hrs lights out.  Damn, I wanted some sleep.  I must get better.  Last night, the mean sergeant overturned our metal trashcans right after I fell asleep and woke everyone up.  The platoon across the hall was supposed to take the trash out and didn’t.  We were woken up at 0430 hrs.  These days are so long.  The only thing keeping me going is that I can’t quit.  I sat around a lot today and felt like shit.

2 October 2000
0439 hrs

Formation is in 20 minutes.  I slept okay, but was very congested, and I got those cold sweats you get when you’re sick.  I can’t begin to tell you how gross I feel.  Today we get our BCGs and a battery of shots.  I’m doing okay.  Just tired of waiting around for BCT to start.

2300 hrs

Today was a slow day.  First, we were supposed to get our shots, but because they screwed up our TB tests, we had to do those again.  Shots were moved to Wednesday.  After that, I went down to optometry to get these absolutely lovely glasses.  Not.  I look so hideous!  They’re giving me a headache and they keep sliding down my nose.  I went back to PAB and did some more paperwork, then shined my boots and sat around. I went to sick call hoping to take care of this damn dizziness.  I feel like total crap.  My throat is killing me.  I’ve just about had it with J***.  She signed us both up for fireguard from 2300 to 0100 hrs tonight while I was at sick call.  And now that we’re out in the hall, she’s lying down and sleeping.  I just want to ship out and get away from everyone here.  Please let the next 10 weeks fly by…  Everyone here is so young and immature.  I can’t take it anymore, and I’m so sick of bad grammar!  I wish there were another band person here.  I want to go home!  I’m in a mood where I hate everyone.  I’m going to try to calm down.  And I’m not even going to think about our bitch of a PG V***.  She’s only done fireguard once, and I’ve done it 3 times.  Other girls have even done it 4 times now!

The doctor was extremely unhelpful.  He gave me more Meclizine, which I already know doesn’t really work for me.  My big toe is completely numb.  I shouldn’t be so negative.  It’s so hard to focus on the positive when there really isn’t any.  At least not at this particular moment.  I’m tired, my whole body aches, and my sinuses are extremely congested.  I WANT SLEEP!

I learned how to tell today if you’re dehydrated.  Take your pulse lying down, then stand up for 3 minutes and take it again.  If the difference is more than 20, you’re dehydrated.  My pulse was exactly the same.

I was out stone cold when I was woken up for duty.  I hope I can fall asleep again.  I have to memorize all that stupid crap in the smart book.  I can’t wait until the year 2001, because that will mean I’m not in BCT anymore!  When I return, I’m going to take 3 hour showers and sleep for 20 days straight.  20 more minutes now until I can sleep for 3 hours.  That should make a grand total of 4 ½ for the night, providing I fall asleep right away.

4 October 2000
0645 hrs

I’m still sick – my throat is in agony and I’m exhausted.  The dizziness is about the same.  R*** suggested that I drink hot water with honey in it, and that’s helping some.  I want sleep!  Pain is weakness leaving the body.  Pain is weakness leaving the body.  Pain is weakness leaving the body.  (My new mantra)

I’ve never been so tired for so long in my life.  The night before last, I had fireguard duty.  Yesterday after breakfast we were left alone all morning, so I got about 3 more hours of sleep.  That helped a little.

After lunch, we went back for the rest of our clothes – 2 winter BDU jackets, long underwear, short-sleeved PT t-shirts, and I traded my large sweatpants in for mediums.

I can’t keep my eyes open!  I’m so sick of 0400 hrs!  I’m having very weird dreams here.

Last night, we were sitting in formation forever.  Then, at 2015 hrs (remember, lights out is 2100 hrs), they told us to get upstairs and pack our whole duffel bags with all of our military-issued items and get back down with it ASAP.  We all ran upstairs, packed like maniacs, and went back down.  Then we had 20 minutes to shower and get ready for bed.  J*** and I still had stuff in the dryer that was a little damp.

So, you wonder if the packing of the duffels is significant…  YES!  Today we ship out… for Forward Deployment.  Guess what Forward Deployment is.  It’s another waiting place.  At least it’s progress of some sort.  We’ll start basic in one more week.  *sigh*  The people who got in last night will be starting basic with us next week, too.  How frustrating!

I did actually get a shower last night, but I was up with my flashlight reorganizing things late into the night.  0400 hrs came far too quickly.  After I brushed my teeth and tried to get my hair under control (it was standing straight up), I decided to pack my civvie (civilian) bag.  Just call it excellent instincts…  Sure enough, at 0425 hrs we got a wake-up call, saying to be in formation at 0445 hrs with all of our bags packed.  Right now, we’re supposed to be getting shots, but I think we’ve been forgotten.  I’m going to try to sleep right now.

1100 hrs

My throat hurts badly again.  I hope we go to chow soon so I can get some more hot water and honey.  We got our shots.  I was hoping we’d get a shot of penicillin, but we didn’t.  The shots weren’t too bad – 2 in each arm.  A lot of people freaked out and almost fainted.  Wimps!

Right now we’re sitting around with our bags.  We stenciled our name and Social Security number on our duffel, and then checked all of our records to make sure everything was alright.  2 of our girls had a reaction to the TB test, so they have to go to the hospital to get that checked on .  B***, the girl who wants to go home so badly, is apparently pregnant and ecstatic about it, as it means she gets to go home.

I need to polish my boots, they look crappy.  I wish my throat didn’t hurt and I wasn’t dizzy.  Then everything would be fine.

E*** didn’t pass the PT test; we just found out.  I shouldn’t be glad, but I am because now there’s no chance I’ll be stuck in her platoon for basic.

1920 hrs

Well, I’m now at Forward Deployment.  Fun, fun, fun.  It seems more like what I can expect in basic, at least somewhat.  After lunch, we went back to our bags and sat around for a long time.  Then, around 1430 hrs, we were ordered to carry our duffels over to a truck and load them on.  A bit later, we had to carry our civvie bags over to another area to wait for the bus.  A lot of females were really struggling, because we couldn’t carry anything on our shoulders or backs.  I was very glad that I had packed lightly.

So the buses finally arrived, and we got crowded on with all of our bags.  It was about a 5 minute ride, and extremely bumpy.  We got here and piled off the bus and lugged our civvie bags up 3 flights of stairs.  These rooms are smaller, I’m in one with S*** and K***.

It feels like there’s a huge blister on the bottom of my toe, but it’s just my toe going numb.  Things are a bit harder and stricter here, but I guess that will get me more ready for basic.

A drill sergeant let us ask questions for a while, and of course there were a lot of really stupid ones.  We went to dinner, and it was a quite different experience – no talking, eat fast, and get out.  Tomorrow morning we start PT at 0600 hrs.

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