When you have so much on your mind it all starts smashing together. That’s a boggled mind that I have a lot.
I have to be honest. I have not written lately because I have been preoccupied with well…..life….mentally and physically and emotionally. I start to write and then I get going with a project or playing with the baby, or something shiny on Amazon or watch a movie with the fiancé instead. You know….life! 🙂
So we left off last blog when I left for basic training. It was end of May, 2005 when I left for Ft. LeonardWood Missouri. It was only the third time I had been on a trip on a plane so it was kind of exciting and I was very nervous too because I wasn’t sure what to expect at all.
The first week or so was in processing. Lots and lots of marching, cadences, reading the soldiers hand book, sitting, waiting, stand up, wait in line, eat, sleep and repeat. OH! I almost forgot, PT (physical training) every morning at the ass crack of dawn! Good thing I was young and in shape at that time. I would NOT survive that part of life at my age now.
After in processing for a week or so, we all loaded up our bags, and crammed into a cattle truck. Yes, like the ones to herd cattle. One big green duffel bag on my front and one on my back. We were traveling to our destination and it was a really hot day, so you can imagine how a cattle truck smelled with 20 plus bodies packed tight and sweating a lot. YUP! DELICIOUS!
The truck finally stopped. COMMENCE FIERCE YELLING!
“Get your fucking ass off that truck private!”
“Move your fat ass!”
“Line up, HURRY UP LET’S GO!”
“Both bags in front of you!” “Dress right dress to the soldier in front of you and the right of you!”
“Are you eyeing me shit head?”
“I thought I told you to look me in my eyes?” “Why aren’t you looking at me in the eyes?” “You better stop looking at me!”
So many demands all at once while running to your spot to stand at attention until everyone else arrived. My heart was pounding and I felt like I was in a movie. But it was definitely real.
Meanwhile, I was sweating from places I NEVER knew of that day. My heart raced and I followed the directions of the Drill Sergeants (DS). I had a good knowledge at this point of what to do and what not to do. Stay in line, eyes forward, and breathe quietly. Got it, too easy. Or so I thought.
“Look what we have here!!”
“We have a female who decided she needed her nails done for this special occasion!” “Private, do you need nail clippers?” She was to the left of me. I wanted to look so bad, but I dare not move or else I would be next. My eyes and head stayed forward.
She says “No I do not, my nails are fine.” Well the DS had a different idea about her nails. DS said “Well princess, here in the ARMY we have regulations and according to AR 670-1, you are out of regulation with those long ass nose picking nails!” “So let me ask you again, do you need nail clippers?” Well let me tell you what, she clipped those nails off so quick.
It seemed like hours we stood in this hot sun while everyone was coming in and lining up and taking commands from the “tower.” Once we were done being screamed at, we were told to bring our bags inside, now mind you EVERYTHING was rushed. Like not now but RIGHT NOW they wanted you in and out of that building and they sure as hell timed us. We got smoked already so imagine again, 50 plus soldiers with two bags each running up the stairs to place them in a room. ALL OF THE BAGS ARE THE SAME COLOR. Lots of us were confused and disoriented and probably dehydrated so our common sense wasn’t in effect at this point. But we ran in and ran out so fast! That was day one. Holy Shit! My mind was blown at this life for me.
The days started to blend together. We had PT every morning, breakfast chow, classes, lunch, classes and then dinner. The last meal of the night. No snacks in between. Lights out at 2200 hours. And fire guard every night was rotated. I definitely paid someone to do it for me one time and to shine my shoes a few times. That just tells you how old I am by the fact I had to shine my shoes in basic training. Don’t do the math hahaha.
Finally we got to have our first phone call! It was at least four weeks since I last spoke to my family. I called home on the payphone, using a phone card and I was timed. It rang! I was so excited to hear anyone’s voice! It rang and rang and rang. “Times up!” I slammed down the phone and had to go to the end of the line. As I stood there this huge lump filled my throat and tears were falling down my face as I stared beyond the building in front of me. But you bet your sweet ass I didn’t make a sound. I just cried there in silence. All I wanted was to talk to my family and give them my address and no one answered me…. no one. Anger immediately filled me up inside as I tried to fight back the tears. The last person was done and we marched back to the barracks. I didn’t have any clue when we would be able to go back to those phones so I decided to write a letter instead and give my Dad my address. I really missed him.
Have you ever listened to the song “Letters from home” by John Michael Montgomery? Well go listen to it. He nailed it on the head for me. From Basic training to when I went to war. It always makes me cry.
Here’s the link to the YouTube video of the song. https://youtu.be/X75sVw0xH2c
As always, thank you for your patience, thank you for the read! Don’t forget to subscribe!
Also, if you have a dollar to spare, please consider donating to my Brother in arms SSG James Pastor. His house was flooded and he has massive damage to his house and needs repairs beyond his wallet size. Anything will help. Thank you in advance! https://www.gofundme.com/f/ssg-pastor-disaster-fund&rcid=r01-156651807699-0effa33a92d942be&pc=ot_co_campmgmt_m