Sunday, February 19, 2006

First Full Week of Training


We finally earned our "square-away" time. I skipped church today so I could do some laundry (my boot socks smell nasty), but it's full right now. I have been doing pretty well... although, I've got some sort of head cold the last couple of days...but it seems to be breaking up now.

It's interesting...we actually do PT (Physical Training) about 4 times a week for approx. 1.5 hours or so. Right now, it's 1.5 mile runs, but we're supposed to be increasing it soon. Even with all the training I did [last year], this is still tough stuff.

To answer your question about the fitness level of the other recruits; it varies a lot. Some are in great shape, and many are not. In fact, of the 60 or so that were in my group for receiving, 12 failed the IFT (Initial Fitness Test) and were dropped into the PT Platoon [where they will have to stay until they can meet the requirements to begin Basic Training].

...It's hard to believe it's already been a week. I guess the schedule just makes it go fast. Oh, you can tell everyone that I haven't seen any brain washing, yet. :)

...The Senior Drill Instructor has been saying that if we di well at graded events, he'll give us 5-10 minute phone calls home. We have initial drill (marching stuff) coming next week or so. So I will keep you posted on the possibility.

My rack mate [bunk mate] is a nice guy from Mexico. He's pretty funny. I'm glad I have a good rack mate...there are some guys who have already raised the ire of the platoon (80 of us). One fight broke out last night, but it comes with the territory.

We had 82 [in our platoon] at first, but one kid dropped from an "upper respiratory" infection, which was weird because he went to Medical for his knee. The other kid is in limbo and will probably be dropped eventually (he's been doing his he claims to have ADHD).

I am not overly impressed with my haircut [shaved bald]. That mole on my head sticks out. It's funny to see how many people have uneven hair lines... I can't wait to get my "high and tight" [traditional Marine haircut].

I've been trying to figure out if an incident between the DIs was scripted or a real fight. Two DIs started going nuts on us while the senior drill instructor was trying to teach drill. The SDI acted like he was getting fed up and after SSGT Pantino laid into another recruit, he yelled at them and told them to go home. caused the whole platoon to really work together to impress the SDI...especially, because of all the extra privilages we got that night. It is amazing how the situations they put us in move and progress into what they want.

You'd be impressed with how fast I can eat and get dressed now. Oh, I've lost 5lbs. in the first week. Some of it is water weight, but the activity is a weight-killer.

If I wasn't so nervous the first night, it would have been funny. Instead of the big bus you see [on documentaries about Marine Boot Camp], we got an 18-passenger van...and stuffed with probably 25 people inside. Even though the yellow footprints were kinda downplayed (or at least less than expected), I can show you the exact spot I stood.

I did discover the recruits don't say "Oo-rah!"I got quarterdecked [In trouble] for it. It's amazing how many push ups they can make you do...and that it's usually my back that gives out before my arms.

My DI seems to be tougher than many of the others. I do know The Pantino does have his Parawings [parachute training]...which makes me think that he was Force Recon at some point or another. This will be good as they push physical fitness really hard. My IFT [Initial Fitness Test: 1 1/2 mile run in at least 13:30 min., at least 3 pull ups, and at least 45 crunches in 2 min.] was 11:40 1 1/2 mile run, 9 pull ups, and 109 crunches. I've had a hard time maxing put my pull ups and crunches as I am always tired. I do know progress will be made.

...It's kinda funny, I almost feel as I am talking to you right now. It might be becasue I miss you so much. I saw a lot of family around Wednesday through Friday becasue of a company that graduated. I'm already thinking about my first meal (that's not inhaled at the speed of sound) and a big glass of Coke. But mostly, I keep replaying getting to see you again. A picture only goes so far as a miss your presence. You keep me motivated, Love. I plan on doing my best to make you proud.

Friday, February 10, 2006

First Letter Home


Just writing a quick letter so I can double check when I can mail it (a regular mail time has not been set up yet).
I'm doing well. Even with my extra physical prep, it's still pretty tough. I'm doing well and have been under the drill instructor's radar for the most part-except the senior drill instructor, who picked my name pretty quick.
We've been issued our M16s and I've had fun with that. Doing lot's of drill. Drill Instructor Garcia does most of that. Actually, you might find the on the MCRD Homepage: DI Taylo, DI Garcia, DI Pantino, DI Brown. They all yell a lot, but if you keep your bearing and answer their questions, they usually go to someone else.
I will write you soon.

Love you,

Letters from a Marine Recruit

I will periodically be posting letters and other information from Aaron while he is at Basic Training.