Here is another letter from Amanda giving us insight on life as a soldier at Army Basic Training.
Letter Five Dated July 27, 2012 ~ Summarized
(Notes in parentheses are mine.)
(If you recall, I sent a care-package to Amanda, but it crossed paths with her letter asking us to send her some things . . . face wash, conditioner, etc. She sent this letter after she received the care-package.)
Hey Hey Rental Units!
Holy smokes! What an amazing freaking care-package. Mom, if you weren’t writing a novel (which I’m still impressed brought me to tears and am anxious to read again), a writing tips book, and a blog, I’d say start a care-package company. You, no joke, thought of everything without me saying anything. Listen to this. I got like a million flippin’ ant bites in the field on Wednesday night and you somehow knew to send aloe wipes.
(Hmm . . . Care-package business. Interesting idea.)
Some stuff I can’t have until the end, like medicine or reading material. I thought we could have meds, but nope. I’m pretty sure they are concerned about suicide.
(I sent aspirin, antihistamine, and cough drops. Gosh, I didn’t think about the Army being concerned about the high-suicide-rate with our soldiers.)
We can’t have anything sharp either . . . not even razors or tweezers. Well, the razor thing is partially because shaving our legs is not a necessity. We were supposed to get razor privileges here on Saturday, but this dumbass girl screwed it up. Let me explain . . .
If you remember from the website, there are three phases of Basic Combat Training (BCT): Red, White, and Blue. On-line, it seems like it is just a cute way to explain BCT to civilians, but here, it is a huge deal when you change from one phase to the next. It is a reward and signifies our progress, like “oh hey, you are starting to get it, you are working as a team, and you’re disciplined and physically and mentally tough.” It also means we get to make a phone call, the yelling decreases, and the freedoms increase.
We are not even close to being able to phase yet. Why? One girl was dumb enough to ask a new female Drill Instructor if we could have razor privileges, even though our Senior Drill Instructor already said “NO,” and told us how to earn them. That was the last straw for the Drill Instructor, so nope, no phasing for us for a while and no razors for the next seven weeks. Fantastic. I look like a gorilla.
Our Instructors are both really cool and the hardest Sergeants here. They have higher standards for us than the other Drill Instructors. I know I make it seem like my platoon is all-jacked-up, but relatively speaking, we’re not.
The Senior Drill Instructor inspected our barracks while we were at physical training and, oh man, that did not go well one bit. I stood up and took the blame. I’m “Bay Boss” and making sure the Bay is clean is one of my jobs. I’ve just been overwhelmed and it was my last concern. NOT ANYMORE!
I spent all my free time developing a chore-chart like we are in f**king second grade. I need some gold-star stickers. I thought everyone would be pissed at me, but most people said it was everyone’s fault, and thanked me for taking the blunt of the heat. In fact, we did peer evaluations today and I was in the top five of every list, and mostly ranked #1. You see, my Senior Drill Sergeant didn’t really know who I was before, but after today, with him reading my name out loud 29 times as #1, he knows who I am now!
(That’s our girl!)
We were out in the field Wednesday and Thursday. It was pretty cool. A lot of sitting on dirt in classes though, in the million-degree weather. Of course, no rain today to cool things off. I was excited to sleep outside, but the woods keep the heat and humidity in like crazy. Because it was so hot, I didn’t sleep inside the sleeping bag, hence, the ant bites.
(Amanda’s idea of “cool” and my idea of “cool” are two different things.)
People here are from everywhere, but my friends, the two girls and a few guys, all happen to be from California believe it or not! My friend Rebecca is from Southern California and yes, she is in my Bay and platoon, thank God!
Thank you so much for your love and support. I miss you!
P.S. Sloppy handwriting . . . it is way past my bedtime! It is 22:15 and I’m exhausted!
(I’m exhausted from just reading her letter!)