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Basic Training: Week 9

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June 05

It's the first chance I've had to write in a while. They say the weeks before graduation are really chill, but this week has been crazy for me. Honestly, it's been harder than Red Phase. More work and less sleep. I'm like a zombie. A really emotional zombie.

At first it was a really good week, because we got to go to a concert celebrating Fort Jackson's birthday. Everyone got to go, even trainees in Red Phase. (Can you imagine?) There was PIZZA and CANDY, a live band, a drill team, and fireworks! Durant, Eversmann, Fales and I ended up jumping up and down near the front of the crowd near the stage with the live band. It's one of those times I'll never forget. For us, it was a graduation celebration. We watched the fireworks at the end of the night, in formation, and said, "I cant believe we made it." Everyone's spirits were high.

Then back to real life. Things got crazy. Eversmann, the two males, and I were constantly training for the …

Basic Training: Week 8

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May 26

I forgot to tell you that we did combatives. That was so fun. It is like MMA. I can't stop fighting Durant and Eversmann now. I wait until they're in their bunks or getting something out of their lockers and then............ I strike.

Today is Sunday and I wanted to go to my church so I could get a blessing for the Forge. I am really worried about my back because it hurts all the time now, and we are leaving tonight at midnight.

Briley and Eversmann came with me. Eversmann and I both got blessings. Briley really liked the service and had a lot of questions. So did Durant when we got home. Her dad is a Baptist pastor, mine is an LDS bishop, so we talk about religion quite a bit. This time we talked a looooong time and in the end she said, "This is actually really cool! I understand the basis of your beliefs." Finally explained it not like a conspiracy theory, I guess.

May 30

We just got back from the Forge. It was so long and so hot. Every day was over 100 degre…

Basic Training: Week 7

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May 19

Today I talked Durant and Briley (the booger guy... We ended up being friends after all) into going to the Islamic church with me. Some of the other girls from our bay were being so snotty about it. They said it was wrong of us to go. One girl said, "Do what you want then, but I worship Jesus Christ." She said it in such a way like she was better than us, it made me feel a little less proud of being a Christian myself.

For me,going to the Islamic service was a cultural and educational experience. It was really interesting. It wasn't a typical mosque service; since there's so many non-Muslims who attend, they let everyone ask questions and they answered them. I have a lot to think about. I think everyone should go so they understand Islam better.

To bug Eversmann, Durant and I are pretending we are converting to Islam since we liked it so much. She is so mad, she's not even speaking to us. I know it's a dumb joke, but Durant and I are dumb joke speciali…

Basic Training: Week 6

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May 15

Senior drill sergeants quotes from this week:

"Hold your arm up. It's your arm! You grew it! If you don't want it, cut it off!"
It escalated so quickly...

"It's going to be a beautiful, gorgeous, f---ing day. Whatever."
Tried so hard to say something positive. 😂

The things you find funny in Basic Training.

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This week we did the Anvil. It was a 7-mile march, then we slept in the woods for 2 nights. The first night we just slept on the ground under the stars, but the second night we had to make a lean-to out of a tarp.

Seven miles doesn't sound like a lot, but it is with a full rucksack on your back. My back was hurting so much I wanted to cry. (And I never cry.) The whole time I was just praying for it to end. I kept thinking, Why couldn't I have just been boy crazy and married straight out of high school like all my friends? I could be packing diaper bags right now instead of rucksacks. Instead I had to go and join the frea…

Basic Training: Week 5

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May 05

Here I am, another Sunday down. I didn't go to church today because I was tired of being in my OCP uniform all morning for duty week. (Duty week is when it's your platoon's turn to do all the behind-the-scenes work to make things run smoothly, like serving in the cafeteria, putting together the ice sheet coolers every day, loading up trucks with MREs, filling the water buffalo, etc.)

OCPs just magnify the heat. I think I am actually developing a phobia of the heat. I've never sweat so much in my life. Every morning I dread marching and doing PT in the heat. My whole stomach is in knots just thinking about it. I think I low-key get heat stroke every day.

The beginning of this week went really well. We had a lot of fun, silly times and the female drill sergeant from 2nd platoon who loves to harass me quit or got fired or something, so I've pretty much dropped off the drill sergeants' radar. Which is nice.

We spent most every day at the range this week. At …

Basic Training: Week 4

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Disclaimer: There are times at Basic when you find yourself regretting your decision to join the military. This was one of those times. 

Looking back now, if I had the chance to go back and do it again, I would still join the Army. I feel like I have learned too much and developed too much as a person to give it all up for the difficult times. I wish that someone had told me that in Basic: that it would all be worth it. 

As it was, the drill sergeants seemed to hate their lives as much as we did. They had a warped, depressing sense of humor that had already begun rubbing off on us by the time I wrote this entry. 

So without further ado...

April 28

It's always on a Sunday. Because besides fireguard duty, that's really the only time we have to think about stuff.

Last night at 2am Durant and I sat in the bathroom in our uniforms (her on her way out of fireguard, me on my way in), looked in the mirror and saw two dirty, tired soldiers, and said, "How did we get here?"



My rec…

Basic Training: Week 3

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April 21

I got my first gun wound.

Yeah, we were doing push-ups in formation because someone messed up, and someone kicked my gun into my hand and cut it up.

I forgive Maybell, of course. I love my weapon so much. I don't know, I've just really bonded with her.

Today there was another fight. It's always the same people and the same issues, and everyone else taking sides. It's so dumb.

I heard one of the girls yelling in the bathroom, from across the bay. I think I've yelled that loudly once in my entire life and I actually passed out. I couldn't see her, but you know her veins were popping out of her head.

She tried to attack Eversmann! Howe caught her last second. She punched a wall instead. It wasn't like me and Durant playing. It was really bad.

Afterwards, the bay was full of that tense silence after something bad happens. The girls from the other female bay walked in to pick me up for church and said, "Wow, your bay is so peaceful!" I died.

Y…