Flashback Fridays: Army Basic Training, Part 7

13 October 2000
1050 hrs

It’s N***’s birthday today, the poor thing.  I’ll probably be crying on mine.  This sucks.  You can’t even scratch your face without getting into trouble for it.  Self-discipline.  I will be highly disciplined.  Or insane.  But I can do this.  Our first PT test is tomorrow.  I’m not looking forward to running 2 miles.  I’m in a class on environmentalism right now, and it is so boring.  Did I mention that squad leaders eat last?  So we have the least time to eat.  *sigh*  There’s a male in our platoon who’s from Landover who says he’s seen me shopping at our Safeway!  How weird!  My squad’s not too bad.  There are a few who already think I’m a bitch and one who seems to have a slight crush on me.

Most people here are so young.  A***, one of my roommates, is 32, and a decent R&B singer.  She said she’s made a couple of albums.  You’d think I’d hit it off with her, but she’s really annoying and always freaking out about every little rule.

They turn out the lights to help make everyone sleepy in these classes.  Blah, blah, blah.  Bastards.  These drill sergeants are amazing!  They can’t be human.  They’re getting less sleep than we are, how can they have so much energy?  I don’t understand it.  There’s so much screaming here.  I figure I’m doing well since I haven’t been dropped individually yet.  63 more days.

I can’t remember what else we did yesterday.  DS L*** showed us how to arrange our wall lockers but didn’t give us time to do them.  *growl*  Sleepy, sleepy.

Okay, I’m awake now for at least the next 5 minutes.  R*** and I ran to the latrine.  That’s another thing – never ever call it a bathroom or restroom.

We had a class on PT this morning and then a demonstration.  It’s insane.  We have to switch positions for sit-ups and push-ups so quickly that it’s an aerobic workout in and of itself!  My back is killing me from these desks.  And my ears hurt from these awful glasses.

14 October 2000
0420 hrs

This sucks I hate it I hate it I hate it.  I’m so STRESSED right now after about 2-1/2 hours of sleep, 30 seconds to shower last night, and my locker a mess.  There is NO TIME at all to do ANYTHING.  I’m going insane.  No worrying, though, I know I’ll be fine in the end.  I had CQ duty last night from 0100-0300 hrs, so that’s why I slept so little.  I feel ill.  The first 2 weeks are the hardest, I know that.  I’ve got to run.

0915 hrs

  • This letter will be in bullet form because I’m in class again, and I want it to look like I’m taking notes.
  • I’m so sore and hungry; the PT test sucked this morning.
  • You won’t believe what happened.
  • 2 miles was 6 laps around this big field, and the DS tracking me claimed I didn’t do my 3rd lap, even though I called out my run number to him 3 times.
  • So I had to run 7 f*cking laps which not only exhausted me, but gave me a jacked-up run time of 25’30”.  I started crying the last few laps.
  • It was so unfair!
  • It totally sucked, but at least it will look like I improved a LOT by the next test!
  • I did 10 correct push-ups and 43 sit-ups.
  • The DS counting my sit-ups kept looking away and not paying attention, so I think I actually did around 10 more.
  • They didn’t give us any time to stretch after the run, and we haven’t eaten!!!
  • Can you believe it?  Jerks.  We had 5 minutes to run upstairs, change into BDUs, and get to the classroom.
  • God, I’m so hungry.  Dinner was at 1700 hrs yesterday.
  • I’m not as depressed as my last entry sounds, don’t worry.
  • Last night just really sucked, that’s all.  We weren’t given any time to get ready for bed.  I didn’t even get to brush my teeth.  I fell asleep around 2200 hrs, woke up at 0040 hrs for CQ duty, cleaned the drill sergeant’s latrine and did laundry, and slept again from 0330 to 0400 hrs.  Horrible night!
  • I hate going to bed because it means I have to wake up again soon.
  • I got a nice compliment yesterday.  A female from 3rd squad told me that she thought I was doing a great job as squad leader and she wished hers was as good!
  • I still screw up column left and column right.  I just need practice.
  • DS H*** worked on some basic D & C with us yesterday.  He seems pretty cool.  He sat down and talked straight to us for about half an hour and answered our questions.
  • Our platoon is jacked up, but we’ll hopefully get better.
  • How weird – I just heard what the Sergeant Major running this class actually asked.  He asked how many of the females were married, and then how many of us used to beat our husbands.  What the hell is this class on?
  • My legs hurt because I haven’t stretched.
  • I think I may go to church tomorrow to get some time to myself.
  • Must have food.  Soon!
  • I got to know this girl M*** last night on CQ duty.  She seems nice but is very depressed.  People seem to have a habit of pouring out their life stories to me.
  • Getting sleepy.  I think I did pretty well this morning considering I only got 3 hours of sleep, was majorly stressed last night and this morning, and had to run an extra lap.
  • I’m really proud that I didn’t stop and walk at all for the whole 7 laps this morning.
  • Hunger.  Sleepiness.  The invisible monkey is all over me, pushing me down in my chair, making my head nod, pulling my eyelids closed.
  • Drooping, help.  Can’t     stay     awake
  • Stray pen marks all over the page are from sleepiness
  • Attitude is altitude
  • Did I tell you about Dead Fred?  He’s a life-size dummy that you have to drag around for 24 hours if you approach a DS without a buddy.
  • I just got back from the latrine with M***.  I hope she’ll be okay.  She’s not doing well; she’s very depressed and wants to go home.  Her husband is a Marine, and they’ve been together since she was 13.  Last year, she found out that he’d cheated on her constantly for the last 5 years.  They’ve been separated, but it’s still really hard on her.
  • I’m going to feel so strong when I get out of here.
  • LTC C***, our battalion commander, is giving a 1-1/2 hour class on Army core values.  *snore*

1400 hrs – Military Customs and Courtesies

  • Oh, death!  I’m in a 3 hour class on the above subject, the lights are out, and we just ate a rushed lunch.
  • Not to mention the heat, miniscule amount of sleep last night, and the strenuous PT test!
  • I just went to the latrine and it was so nice and cool back there.  It makes the heat in the classroom seem even worse.
  • Want to hear something stupid?  After stuffing lunch into our bodies in record time, the DS marched us back to the barracks and served us a cold breakfast that had been sitting around all morning.  This is because they are required by law to give us 3 square meals a day.
  • I really hope we get some time today to work on our wall lockers.  It would help my mental state.
  • Sleepy, sleepy, sleepy me.  It’s only been 40 minutes and I’m dying!  Wake up, wake up, wake up.
  • Ugh it’s so hot.  Now we’re into a class on proper wear of the uniform.  Didn’t I have all of these in Forward Deployment?
  • We just had a break and got smoked on a hill.  Ever done push-ups with your arms downhill from your legs?  It’s no fun.
  • I can’t keep my eyes open.  This is terrible.
  • Cruel and unusual punishment.
  • I just splashed water on my face in the latrine, which didn’t really help that much.
  • Stop monkey!  He won’t leave me alone, he’s all over me, pushing me down.  Evil bastard monkey!
  • Dying, dying, sleep.  I need sleep.  Misery.  Must.  Open.  Eyes.

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