Friday, October 3, 2008

Annotations of a Soldier #3

September 21st 2008

"...We are officially out of Red Phase and in White Phase now. The Drill Sergeants are relaxing their grip the slightest bit, we can pick what entrees we want at chow, get chocolate milk, should have a pass coming up soon. The phase one testing was easy, and I've had some great MR Es. Really, I guess not much has happened since the last letter. Though we do have a "mission" smokey thing going on. Our platoon leader fell asleep with his weapon disassembled, and a Drill Sergeant came in and stole the firing pin. He came back later and told us that in the sandbox(the huge pit of sand inside our 1/4 mile track) he had buried an envelope with instructions in it and we need to find it. He also said that the fastest anyone has ever found it was in two days.

Talked with Tobin a lot about our lives, girls, dreams, was a good time. I was made team leader by our squad leader on Saturday, which is a position I wanted to end up with. Not much responsibility, still an NCO and getting to make sure your team is squared away. So lets go over some of my buddies here. Best bud here is Tobin. He's 24, possibly has a kid on the way, from New Jersey(awesome accent, haha) and just a good guy. We also have Peplow who I think I introduced in a previous letter. There's Rues, our Squad Leader, who's pretty similar to me when it comes to thought processes and the life. Mueller is another, and he's a cool cat, again, very similar interests and views on things. And of course there's Walters who I've spoken of before. Otherwise there are just acquaintances. We're rucking tomorrow, 4 miles. Looking forward to it.

Oh, we got to cheer on a company marching in from the last big field training exercise (lasts a whole week as they went up to Honour Hill to get pinned with the Infantry crossed rifles, and it was really cool. Can't wait to be there, only another 10 weeks! Getting so tired here with Squad Fireguard and getting up at 0430 every morning (the other Platoons usually sleep until 0500 or 0600.) "

September 22nd 2008

"...Today was the 4 mile ruck march with was actually like 6 and way too easy, and fun. Then we went to this range to do our scope adjustments today and a platoon of rifles firing is LOUD. The first round of firing I didn't have my ear plugs in (they hadn't told us to yet so I had been waiting then they started us and I didn't have a chance to put them in) and wow. I have permanently lost hearing I'm sure. It's 12 hours later and my ears are still ringing and muffled. But shooting is fun. Hard, but fun. It's all we're doing for the next two weeks I think. Though on Saturday I guess they're doing a make-up ruck march for the folks that fell out and they asked if I"D WANT to go along to help motivate. So that will be fun. Love the ruckin..."

September 25th-27th 2008

"...I'm doing alright I guess. There are a few good souls here, mainly Tobin and Rues. We've all kinda grouped together well, made a good support group. Peplow was a part of it too but he's since left. And we're kept fairly busy here.

All day all I think about is home, hanging onto it as tightly as possible. I don't want people to expect me to have changed. To be different, I wont be.

...Had to go to the range and shoot for a few hours... Fireguard right now on Saturday morning(0200, bleh). Yesterday we went to the range again, shot decently, then came back. All our sheets had been removed and tied into a giant ball(like a rubber band ball) Was really impressive. Think we're doing the same thing today; bleh. Yeah, shooting is kinda fun while doing it, but it's not exciting to remember or anything. I know God's helping me with it, cause there are some shots I don't know how I got..."

September 29th-30th 2008

"...Alright, so this is hilarious. Mueller, this guy in our platoon who's pretty cool made a four sided die and played D&D today, haha! It was hilarious. Sorry, just had to mention that..."

September 29th-30th(I think)
"...There hasn't been much training going on other than basic marksmanship. We've gotten some small classes on room clearing(SWAT kind of stuff but better, pretty fun) and an initial class on radio communications. I've decided that I want to try to get assigned being a communications Sergeant in SF. Decided that I find that job a lot more interesting than the others, and is more practical then weapons or engineering sergeant. Especially if I do end up getting into Astronomy and use radio telescopes. I'll already have a bit of an understanding of that. Coming up shortly we'll be doing some overnight training exercises and things will get more interesting. Marksmanship just isn't that interesting to talk about.

Today(Wednesday now) we actually did something other than marksmanship! We got to go back to the electronic simulation range and do a kind of identifying hostile targets thing. Basically a movie played on the screen and whenever a possible hostile was around your group had to perform ?????? technique and all and eliminate them. Kinda fun, but we went dead last, had to clean the room, and had about 5 minutes to eat our MR Es. So anyways, we get back and move out to the sand pit to have a pugil stich?? tournament(like american gladiators or something, amtgard almost with some wrestling thrown in) and I made it to our platoon's middle-weight finals! I didn't get to fight in the finals because we were running out of time and he picked the other two guys to fight and said the winner of that bout would be our representative*shrug* Lame, but oh well. At least I am undefeated, haha. So after that we took a break then came back out for the company tournament, which was great. Our lightweight got beat the first fight, our middle-weight got beat in the final fight, and our heavy-weight won the last fight. Good times. Then later on we got kinda smoked(it was smoke, but maybe like, just the smoke from the match smoke.) It wasn't really for any reason and other platoons were getting it as well, so scheduled smoke says me. Just had to run up and down a long set of stairs, then pick up a big ruck and do it for a while, then ruck for awhile and that was it. Nothing too bad..."