Monday, September 22, 2008

Annotations of a Soldier #2

September 14th-15th 2008

"...Things have let up here since the day of smoke. Getting nutri-grain bars regularly, not much if any smoke(knock on wood) and it seems like we're heading out of Red Phase. All good points, at least in my book.

Went to chapel again today and it was pretty good. I still struggle with wanting more out of a service and needing to just love God for making anything possible and having the opportunity to praise him and be with others. Tobin and I are going to the bible study at 1530 though, so we'll see how that is.

Monday evening now, long day. Up at 0400 for a PT test. Got 218 out of 300. I could have done better and am kinda disappointed in myself, but 218 is pretty good. 180 is all you need to graduate. Then we went to do land navigation and oh my gosh that was fun! Walking around this huge forest finding posts by using map coordination, had MREs on us for chow so we could stop whenever we wanted and have lunch, was really fun, like a good day of hiking. I got the penne pasta and it was pretty good. Got a lemon poppy seed pound cake in it and that was so good. Traded the last bite for a chocolate dairy shake, and got the insta-coffee mix from someone who didn't want it, mixed it all up and had a delicious improv Mocha Milkshake. Blew starbucks out of the water. Once we finished the land nav we sat around for a while, and then the hurricane slammed down. Hurricane rain and lightning is AWESOME! We were supposed to stay and do night land nav. but we had to come inside because of the lightning. Tomorrow we do grenades, should be fun, and we get MREs again. Wednesday will be the gas chamber, which I'm really excited for actually, haha..."

September 17th 2008

"...Yesterday was grenades, which are ridiculously powerful. There was a sergeant there who talked to me for a long time and wished me luck at Selection and seemed really honest about it. It was very encouraging. My squad is Duty Squad this week, which basically entails packing up all the equipment for the day in a truck, riding out to the training area, unloading it all, then you wait for the company to show up. Today was nice for that. Rolled out and put together a bunch of test grenades and opened all the real ones' containers, then got to sit around and eat our MREs for about an hour with the morning mist and sunrise filtering through the forest.

Today we're doing the gas chamber, I'm excited, even though it's probably going to suck more than anything else we've done and will do here, haha..."

September 18th 2008

"...Alright, so let me tell you about the suckiest but very exciting experience of CS Gas in the Chamber. CS Gas is an incapacitating nerve gas, used frequently(It's stronger than tear gas) and uh, yeah. My group was the first to go. You go in with your mask on in a group of 30, and they already have the gas going. You can feel it burning on your neck kinda, it's not that bad at that point. Once every one's in and ready they go up to each person and have you pull your mask off and say your last name and social. That didn't hurt till I put my mask back on, and it wasn't too bad just some burning in the throat. Then the suck begins. They have you take your mask off, put your helmet on, and hold up your rifle and mask. Man, I took that mask off and it was the worst throat burn, couldn't see, coughing, snotting, spitting bleh ever. You had to stand there like that until everyone was ready. It was great because my side of the room had to take their masks off first, and all you could hear from the other side was this terrified "Holy @#!!?+" as they watched us immediately start coughing and wheezing and yelling, a few people puking. I started to laugh but that ended quickly once I realised laughing made it worse. After that we had to walk outside and do a few laps around the training area still holding up your rifle and all. They took pictures and laughed at us, it was fun.

Today we took the Red Phase test and Land Nav test. Did good on land nav but haven't gotten the phase test results back yet. Should be tomorrow. Almost white phase, it's so close..."