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For those just tuning in, our daughter entered the Army at the beginning of July. She is stationed at Fort Jackson, South Carolina for ten weeks of Army Basic Training. Sharing Amanda’s letters with you is a privilege.

The second letter in this post is from Amanda’s friend Rebecca . . . her fellow soldier at Basic. I sent Rebecca a letter and care-package after learning from Amanda that the dear girl was the only one in their Platoon who hadn’t received a letter from home.

Letter Nine Dated August 12, 2012

(Notes in parentheses are mine.)

Mamacita y Papa Coyle!

It is crazy how much places like this make you appreciate your family. With your family you can be completely pissed off at someone one second, and then the next you’re perfectly fine and ready to move on. Here, people hold grudges. Someone told me today that they are still mad at me about something I said to her a week and a half ago. She’s the voodoo freak. Not sure if I told you or my sisters about her.

(Nope, wasn’t us. Can’t wait to hear about the “voodoo freak.”)

Regardless, I really miss my family. When we first got here, the Drill Sergeant said it was okay for us to have personal photos. I thought, “Why do we need photos? We’re only here for ten weeks. And yet, a couple weeks in, and I asked you to send photos. I think part of the reason I wanted pictures is to show people I’m not as ugly in real life as I am now! Ha ha!

(I’m sure they can see through the dust, sweat, and grime, honey.)

Army combat helmets

Amanda’s stylish headwear. Army combat helmets (Photo credit: The U.S. Army)

But really, thank you for being so supportive. It means so much to me and keeps me going when I hate it here. Our phone call rejuvenated me. Thank God too, because this up-coming week is going to be long. We have Advanced Rifle Marksmanship (ARM), which means firing in “Full Battle Rattle” . . . that includes our bulletproof vest, our load-bearing vest, and our Kevlar helmet.

 

(Ha! “Full Battle Rattle.” Maybe the Army does have a sense of humor.)

We are also learning Individual Movement Techniques (IMT – the Army loves acronyms). That is the low-crawl, high-crawl, and 3- to 5-second buddy rush. It is how to move when you are under fire. I’ve done this a lot before and it is cool for, like two minutes, because you feel like you are in the movies. But then, and very quickly, you are filthy, exhausted, and getting yelled at to get down. It is frustrating because no one is actually shooting at you, so it seems pointless and you start hating life.

We will also be doing the low-crawl under barbed wire at night with live-fire overhead. That is going to be intense.

Mom, I wasn’t able to log-on to your blog last night. I really wanted to, but between the phone call to guys, and to Jill and Paige (Amanda’s sisters), it took up our two-hours of phone privileges. Paige said I’m famous though, so I’m anxious to read it!

Okay, bed time!! Long week ahead. Your support means the world to me! Thank you for it all!!

Love, Amanda

~~~~~

Thank you note from Rebecca for the care-package I sent.

Dear Mrs. Coyle,

Thank you so much for the creating a sure beautiful and amazing daughter. I have no idea how I would have gotten this far without her. She keeps our whole Platoon running smoothly (especially the females). Thank you for the care-package. I appreciate your kind heart. Now I can see where Amanda gets it. I have no idea what was up with my parents. I guess they just got a late start on writing letters. I hope I get to meet you soon. Again, thank you so much for everything.

~ Rebecca

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