Basic Training: Week 2

Mail Time

Just to give you a snapshot of life here:

Mail time. We have to do push-ups to get our mail. Fifteen per letter. They say it will go up each week. One girl got 8 letters. I am glad I don't get letters. (Yet.)

We all have to stand perfectly still at the Position of Attention. When you get a letter, they call you up to get it. Then when you come, they throw it in the opposite direction. If you get too close, they ninja throw it at you. One girl gets a paper cut on her face. "Your bad," The drill sergeant says.

Then he asks who didn't get a letter. A few of us raise our hands and he says, "Guess what? That's because nobody loves you." Depending on what your insecurities are, he'll say, "Probably because of your pot gut," or "your comb-over" or "you're a failure to your kids". Then we all do push-ups because someone itched their nose. Close curtain.

April 13

I had a small hope that the male soldiers would be more fun to hang out with than the females. (Less drama, at least.) But today I stood next to a guy in formation who I've never even met and he kept asking me to look in his nose to see if there was a booger. So there goes that theory out the window.

Today was good though. Basic Training is everything I hoped for and more. It's such an adventure and such a challenge. Dumb boys are just one of the challenges.

Today we did Land Navigation. We got in groups of 4 and had to navigate a map with a compass and a protractor to find all these different points. It was fun and my group got done very first. It was like a  giant scavenger hunt.

We also got to hang out today. Even though technically we were practicing weapon maneuvers and quizzing each other on warrior ethos (because make every minute productive, remember?), it counted as hanging out. At least we could talk.

I also got to shave my legs for the first time in weeks today, so yeah. I'm a new woman! They're not so strict about shower drills anymore. They don't stand in there and time us, that is. But (comma) they usually release us from final formation just a couple minutes before light's out. So a lot of us shower after light's out, and the person on fireguard runs in and tells us if the light in the hallway is on so we can jump into bed before a drill sergeant walks in.

Tomorrow is the first Sunday we get to go to church. (The first 72 hours at BCT you're under 24/7 supervision, so we couldn't go to church that first Sunday.) We passed around a roster for churches but I was the only one for LDS (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints). I'm not allowed to go alone so I don't know what I will do.

Durant asked me what the Book of Mormon is about and when I told her, she just said, "Do you like Zelda? I feel like you're the type of person who would be super into Zelda."

So, cool. My religion is like a nerdy, made-up world. 😑 Everyone has a lot of questions about it but nobody wants to go with me.

April 14

Crap hit the fan today. It all started with a misplaced roll of toilet paper. It escalated so quickly. All of the tensions that have been building between the girls in our bay this week suddenly erupted. It was like diarrhea of the soul.

Girls were yelling at each other all at the same time, nobody listening, about all the things they hate about each other. For a while I sat in the middle and watched, because if I have to suffer from all the drama, the least I deserve is a show.

But then I got tired of it so I went into the laundry room, where a couple girls were doing Bible study together. The dynamic couldn't have been more different. I declared it a peace zone. Then all the fighting girls wanted peace so they came in, and brought their drama with them. There is no such thing as peace in a war zone.

I went to the LDS church today. It was really a struggle to get there, but I dragged along this non-practicing LDS guy as a battle buddy, and there ended up being 2 other girls from our company there. (Which is good because I'm totally not allowed to battle buddy with just a guy.)

It was good to be in sacrament meeting (the main meeting, like communion), but I couldn't really relate with the teachers during the second hour. They sat there and talked about how to get your kids involved in daily scripture study and why we wear dresses to church, as all of us soldiers sat their in our uniforms... Away from our families... Then we missed lunch and had to have MREs when we got back. Maybe next time we'll just go to sacrament meeting.

Everyone is kind of making fun of my religion. Asking about my "sister wives" and stuff (which we don't have). During our unofficial bay Bible study they asked me to explain my religion, and when I finished, they said, "So basically your religion in based on a conspiracy theory?"

Not sure how I served almost 2 years as a religious missionary and somehow managed to explain my religion as a conspiracy theory... Whatever.

People really love me and they say they'll never forget me because I'm the happiest person they know. So who knows... Maybe this whole conspiracy thing is working out for me. They might even want to be my sister wife soon. (JK)

April 17 

On Monday we did Victory Tower. It's a 40-ft. wall you rappel from with only a rope as a harness. It's a graduation requirement. It sounds like maybe it'd be fun, and it was, once I got over the ledge. But I was so scared at first, I just stood at the top and said, "Drill Sergeant, I'm going to die!" He just called me special-ed and yelled at me to jump before he pushed me. (He really did push some people over!)

There is also some rope courses and a net wall you have to climb there. All in all, pretty fun. Better than regular PT.

Today we went through the gas chamber. It sounds like some weird Nazi thing, and it was. We all filed there silently and did as we were told, because we knew we had to. They squished us into the gas chamber- a shed with black cinder block walls inside- and started the gas. We had gas masks on at first, and we were lined up against the wall, shoulder to shoulder. Durant and I were so scared, we held hands behind our backs.

The drill sergeants made us do all these exercises, like high knees running, until we were out of breath. Then they made us take off the masks and just stand there forever, choking and dry heaving.

Before we took off the masks, the other girls were clawing at their necks and saying it stung. I couldn't feel a thing, so I thought, "Sweet. I'm immune." The drill sergeants had said earlier that every once in a while, someone actually is immune. I honestly didn't expect to feel anything when I took off the mask.

But man, it was bad. Luckily, my body actually wouldn't let me breathe, so I was just choking and my eyes were streaming tears. When I got out, I did this massive, involuntary belch, right as a stupid video camera they hired to document our training experience zoomed up on my face. But Eversmann, she instantly lost her entire voice from the chamber. She had to go to the hospital.

Durant has been going on lately about how someone keeps stealing her toilet paper. (We’re not allowed to keep TP in the bathroom. We’re each issued a roll at the beginning of the week that we keep in our lockers.) Tonight she woke up because she knocked her hand on something as she was reaching into her assault bag to put her toilet paper in there. People, she has been hiding her toilet paper from herself in her sleep and only knows where it is when she's sleeping.

A lot of people here have been sleepwalking, even people who have never done it before. There's always interesting stories from fireguard. Probably just a lack of sleep combined with stress.

Oh yeah, and it turns out, Durant didn't hit her head. She actually is just a crazy psycho. But we are good friends, mostly.

Except tonight. We got in a fight about fireguard duties and were at each other's throats. Howe had to tear us apart. We were kind of playing, but mostly not. I told her to meet me behind the dumpster tomorrow morning. She told me to meet her in the laundry room tonight. I probably shouldn't 'cause I'll get kicked out of the Army. But dang, it's tempting to beat the crap out of her.

April 20

Yesterday we did Fit to Win and team-building activities in the woods. Fit to Win is like a crazy obstacle course. It really was fun. You have to jump over walls, roll under logs, climb ropes, low-crawl under barbed wire, etc. Our team won.

But our platoon did NOT win at team building activities. ("Second Platoon is drama platoon." Everybody knows it.) Everyone in our platoon just argued the whole time, and we always got drowned in lava or eaten by sharks.

We had our first heat casualty, or "heat cat". They had to ice sheet him (which means strip him down and cover him in frozen sheets) and an ambulance took him away. They said they expect it will be the first of many.

We also had our first tornado warning. I've never had a tornado warning before! But no tornado. :-\

We did our PT tests. I got the best score in our platoon, I think even out of the guys. Suddenly it's like everyone in our company knows my name. The drill sergeant said they will assign a platoon leader based on PT scores, but I hope not, because this platoon is a sinking ship and I don't want to be at the helm of it.

I don't think I will be the platoon leader though, because the drill sergeants still have a special place for me in their hearts, which are made up of hate and malice. I will just be lucky if I graduate. They are out to get me.

At least I'm not Durant though, who accidentally called "Male on the floor!" today when a female drill sergeant walked in. 😂

Eversmann told me today that Durant was watching me do some stupid dead cockroach exercise drill across the tire-chip pit and said, "I love Bravehart. She is really my best friend." Aww.


It's funny 'cause all we ever do is fight. When Eversmann told me that, Durant got all embarrassed and said, "F*** you, b****. I was lying."  💓

But every night Garrison and Durant come lay on my bunk and we talk about everything. (You should see how fast they fly into their own beds when a drill sergeant comes in!) I really could use more sleep but I like our little rendezvous, and besides, one of us always has to be up for fireguard anyway. 😥


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