Oh, I Could Hide ‘Neath The Wings of The Bluebird As She Sings.

Another excerpt from Giggles, coming to you all the way from the Middle East.

Welcome to the land of living day dreams.
9:50 A.M. The desert sun bares down hard from straight above.
Hatches open, feet up, radio on; monitoring the radio for calls that don’t come, waiting for fire missions that won’t happen.
I close my eyes, not to disappear, but to reappear: in the driver’s seat of an old familiar car sitting outside an old familiar home. Peaceful October air passes through open windows. What starlight escapes the city lights gazes through to illuminate an old familiar bond.  My bare foot sticking out the open window catches a cool breeze and sends a chill up my calf. One hand resting on her thigh, the other lazily on my own, gripping a slow burning cigarette.
I close my eyes when she opens hers, and open mine when she closes hers–a child’s game for the wicked tired and the over worked. We make romantic exchanges with our eyes but very little is said out loud.
I look at her with loving eyes, leaning my head back on my seat.
“Hey Heidi… Try to smoke a whole cigarette with your eyes closed. Tell me when you get scared.”
She looks at me a little strange and I smile and lean my head back further, letting myself slide down deeper into that old familiar place. A long smile fades into a peaceful dream, and I rest.

Published in: on July 12, 2010 at 4:42 pm  Comments (3)  

Pieces of Me

Just an excerpt Nick asked me to post:

I do not fear that which I cannot see, but for that which I cannot touch. For that which I can see decieves me. That which I can hear lies to me, but that which I can grip with my own two hands I can control. And if it slips and I lose control my influence sends it spinning in the direction I intended.

Published in: on February 7, 2010 at 3:03 am  Comments (3)  

8th Rule: If This Is Your First Night At Fight Club, You Have To Fight.

Dear All,
I am bruised, battered and completely content with my situation. Well, at least I am today. My emotions change like the weather down here in Georgia. Two days of combatives have destroyed my muscles, bruised my arms, and left my lower back raw. And so far, nothing has been more enjoyable.
After being on break for 18 days, most of the men are singing the same tune, “They should have never let us go home”. We have had more people quit, 5 more I believe. (They don’t go home until about week 12. They just sit on the sides and refuse to train.) Most of us seem to be feeling deeply more in touch with everyone at home. And in many ways, this just makes Basic training harder. The men who do the best are the ones who have no ties. Nothing they are waiting for, except to start their career, and in their minds, probably their life. But those of us who have deep connections with home would not trade it for the world. Every lonely night is worth the unproportional amount of time we get at home with loved ones.
Right now I have first fire guard on Saturday night. I can look forward to an unsolid 8 hours of sleep and a relaxed Sunday of cleaning the bay, possibly finishing this letter, or writing others, studying combatives drills for Monday, and a possible nap on my “Pussy Pad” (The mat that comes with our sleeping bag and use for sit-ups on the linoleum). Sundays are nice like that.
In some act of strange kindness, the drill sgts. actually brought mail for those that had it. It was a strange occurence because normally there is no mail on weekends. The only stipulation they put on it was that we had to do push ups for it. Which of course anyone gladly did. Unfortunately, I was not graced with a letter yet. And for some reason I had a lot of my buddies come up to me and tell me “It’s okay, man. I’m sure you will get more letters. Once they start rolling in, you’ll probably get them every day.” I guess I look like a sorry sack with my fresh, swollen up black eye.
Today, after 9 hours of combatives, most of which was spent rolling (start from the knees, can’t come to the feet, slaps to the face allowed, and full on punches to the body. Wrestle for submission). I had done extremely well the whole few days. Undefeated for three days. Today I fought four opponents in a row, going for almost 20 minutes straight, submitting all of them. I was feeling absolutely exhausted. My stomach had begun convulsing at random intervals threatening to paint the mat with my lunch.
exasperated and content with myself, we were brought into our normal final circle which we end the day which we end the day with, and instead of final instruction, they announced that we would have a company tournament, in which one gu from each platoon would fight until a winner could be decided. (Two fights each placing the guy who won twice 1st, the guy who lost to 1st, 2nd, and the 3rd and 4th being the person who lost both fights). We were all excited, if nothing else, we would at least get a good show.
Each platoon was to pick their best fighter and who was fresh enough to go two more rounds. I voted for our platoon guide, a beastly football playing, wrestling background guy with the strength of a gorilla! My platoon soon began to throw out a few possible names, but the most common name was “Chandler!” “Oh, put Chandler in there, I know he can do it.”
There was a sense of complete faith about why they wanted me to fight. I had spent the weeks before we left showing the guys the little Jui Jitsu and grappling that I knew in the bay at night, and having contests to pass the time, and the guys loved  it. There will always be something impressive about a person’s ability to dominate a fight, and I was able to teach this. And always, if nothing else, it passed the time.
I tried to persist that I was extremely fatigued and might not be the best choice. But by vote of hands, Majority Rule had put me in the ring. Now, I would like to say that I was completely confident, my normal self, not nervous to be in front of a crowd, but there is something different here. Normally if you are competing as a team, you are in front of the crowd together, win or lose, you’re a team, or you may perform in front of a crowd by yourself and, success or failure, it’s only for yourself. In this tournament I was fighting for the honor of my platoon, but would stand alone against my opponents.
All eyes on us, Drill Sgt. as a referee, we came to the middle of the circle of people sitting, creating a makeshift ring. Starting from our knees I was looking into he face of my first opponent. He looked nervous and it began  to level the plain. After all, we were both humans competing for our respective reasons. And we both felt fear, excitement, and adrenaline flowing down to the bottom of our feet and the tips of our fingers. Before we knew it, we were clinched. Arms out, shoulders in, we locked our strength against each other.
It began very much as I expected. I pulled him into guard and began aggressively attempting to trap an arm, or take the back, working towards submitting my opponent. Knowing we can strike within the limits of closed fist to the body and slaps to the face, we used our hits to distract and disorient…that is until we got backed up too close to the outer ring of privates.
“Stop! Stop! Start over in the middle!” The drill sgt. began commanding us to being ourselves back to the middle to reset our position. We were dangerously close to the crowd, limbs flying, positions still flipping back and forth. I could clearly clearly hear the referee trying to separate us, but my opponent was in a frenzy. I wasn’t going to let him up until I felt him relax from within my guard.
Finally, I felt his body relax and he was no longer pushing forward for position. I relaxed my guard and began to let him go. That’s when I saw it coming. From behind his right shoulder, I saw an open palm moving through the air. It was right above my face and I thought I saw the fingers close up and…Black. Wake up half second later…
Am I okay? Yeah, I am. I thought to myself as he began to stand up. “Hey, Drill Sgt! I’m pretty sure that was a closed fist!” Quickly he came back, “No, that was a slap, man.” I could hear the crowd already debating it. Drill Sgts in the background discussing it.
And to be completely honest, I will never know whether or not he hit me with a fist or a slap. And it doesn’t matter, I guess. I got a nice black eye for my troubles and I took fourth in the competition. What did the Drill sgt say about the hit? He looked me dead in the eyes and asked me, “Well, do you quit?” It’s moments like that in which you remember why you are doing what you’re doing. This wasn’t about me, my ego, this wasn’t my win. This was for first platoon. And the last thing I was going to do was quit.
Needless to say, I was almost distraught with my losses and worried about how the guys would feel. All that faith they had and I came in last.  But the worst I heard was someone point out that over 8 weeks the only contest first platoon had won was an eating contest. Which is true. And funny.
As you guys know, I am always looking for the lesson and the story here at basic training. Like a reporter, my ear to the ground. But like the greatest writers know, the best stories are the ones you are a part of.
Sometimes I feel like I am not paying close enough attention and missing the story, and other times I just have trouble concentrating. I want to use mental powers that I don’t have to pass the time. I am full of feelings of missing home, and worrying about what the future will bring, but always with an ear to the ground, looking for that story.

Private Chandler

Published in: on January 14, 2010 at 8:41 pm  Comments (4)  

“We All Have Orders, And We Have To Follow ‘Em. That Supersedes Everything, Including Your Mothers”

Dear All,
Today is Thanksgiving. I have been up since 3:45 a.m. for CQduty, basically mopping the floor of our drill sergeant’s office. On the plus side, my drill sergeant let me look at the TV when the forecast for Chicago came on.
But as much as I miss home, the forecast that I was more concerned with was the one for today’s activities here on Sandhill. None of us know quite what to expect, this being our first holiday. We rushed through morning PT (which was shorter and more intense than usual) and went to breakfast over an hour early. When we sat down, the drill sergeants sat on the other side and left us alone for the most part. It was almost eerie, and we dared not break a defact rule.
Breakfast is always good. Probably the best meal we are served. Except for that oatmeal I had this morning. It tasted like someone made it in an ashtray, while smoking, then a house caught fire and the only thing that was rescued was a pot of oatmeal that they found only fit for Privates.
When we were marching we got to sing cadences: “In her hair, she wore a yellow ribbon…And if you ask her, why the hell she wore it…She wore it for the soldier that was far, far away…” (It might be hard without getting the tune of it).
In general, people are starting to loosen up and admit the situation. Accept that we will dream, sweet dreams and wake up here and all we can do is make it fun. We harrass eachother; I tell my buddy Carroll from Oklahoma that when he talks too fast he sounds like a banjo inside a jug, inside his mouth. We are all good sports.
Those who don’t accept the situation are a sad sight. We have a total of nine people thus far in the company of 200+, drill sergeant says this is a small amount. I told my drill sergeant last night (during CQ) that the more people that quit the better–they are just making me look all the more tough. Drill sergeant smiled and turned away. I told him “Hey, honestly, drill sergeant, I came here to volunteer so others could choose not to.” He agreed. “And that includes those who get here and fin out that they don’t have what it takes.” To my surprise, drill sergeant agreed again, “some people need to do some serious soul searching and admit this is not for them,” he said.
It was interesting. It’s always a game for us. Drill sergeants push us all day, and when we can, we push them. We push for one more moment, a single glimpse of them beinf humans. It’s what we all want here, to remain being human. One way or another.


Published in: on December 2, 2009 at 8:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

She Wrote Me A Letter, Said She Couldn’t Live Without Me No More…

Before I came to my Basic Training, I would do everything in my power to “Pre-orient” myself with any information available. I read blogs of freshly graduated soldiers, Google image search “Ft. Benning”, “Sandhill”, “Basic Training”. Anything to break down that fear of the unknown. Now I find myself scraping together free time to write to people who want to know what I am doing. So I will take this time to attempt to describe my days thus far here at Sandhill, Basic Training, Ft. Benning, GA.
“First Call”, or getting woken up is usually 05:30 in the morning; much different from our first week in reception, when the drill sergeant woke us anywhere between 03:00-04:00. They would burst through the bay doors and start yelling, “Get out yo’ gotdang bunks and get yo’ dagone feet on the dagone flow!!” And we would all stand, red-eyed zombies, in front of our bunks. Standing straight at the position of attention. Straight back, chest out, feet at a 45 degree angle, thumbs down the seam of your pants, waiting to be given the time for “first formation”, thus determining the amount of time you have for your mandatory shave, brushing your teeth, getting in uniform, and of course, making your bunk.
Here at basic training, a few things changed in this morning routine. Now, the first night we were here, our drill sergeant snuck quietly into our bay after a peaceful six hours rest and blasted us with an air horn while screaming, “FIRE!! FIRE!! Fire drill…” We had to run out into the cold Georgia night in our shorts and T-shirts, flip flops and bald heads and stand in our “formations”. (Formations are pre-designated rows and columns we stand in at the all so silent position of attention. They then herded us back into the bay and put us back in bed only to wake us up an hour later to start day 1.
Yet, on a normal day, the responsibility of “first call” falls on the last shift of “fire guard”. Fire guard being the platoon’s duty to always keep two people awake and accountable for everyone at all times. Often I use this time for a mix of studying and writing letters. Unless you are lucky enough to have last shift, in which case you wake people up who asked for early wake up call. Once we wake up, from the time the lights come on to the time of first formation, we usually have 20 minutes to shave, brush teeth, get in first uniform and make sure our stuff is “squared away”.
At first formation, all four platoons in our company stand and play the quiet game. Usually we lose this game and hear “Open ranks, move”, which separates us, then “front lean and rest, go!” This lands us all in the push-up position and we “pay with pain”.
After first formation breaks, the whole company (about 200 guys) move to a sand pit where we start warm-up PT. It’s a series of low stress combined stretching and calisthenic exercises as a group. After warm-up we break down into individual platoons. My platoon, first platoon, either does push-up/sit-up improvement, which just means doing a shit load of each, or we do group ability runs. Group ability runs are awesome. I am in B group and they can run super fast. I really feel like I have made a lot of improvements on my 2 mile and one mile speed. We never run far, but we do run fast, which is good for me. I always ran far, but slow. On the other hand, I can’t for the life of me tell if I am improving on push-ups. We live in a constant state of perpetual soreness. Hopefully we have some amount of rest before our first PT test. Then I’ll just knock out like 50.
After PT, we have a platoon formation and then move back to the barracks. Occasionally after PT they let us shower. But usually, we are just given 10 minutes to switch our uniforms, then we have another formation outside for chow. We march to the “defact” (chow hall) and usually standing in line, we say our various “creeds” as a group, sing the Army song, and then move inside the defact and stand silently in line. (All of the above was done without talking). In line, and during our entire time in the chow hall, there are strict rules on the way you stand, the places you turn your feet, and how you get your food, and above all, ABOVE ALL, it must be done quickly.
We do have freedom of choice on what we eat but it is always the same options: chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken sausage, chicken french toast, chicken-cakes, rice with chicken chunks, over-cooked vegetables with a side of chicken. And always, a good amount of fresh fruit. But once you sit down, we have 7 minutes. Always just 7 minutes. 7 minutes, with your heels together, and if you’re caught without your heels together, you finish the rest of your meal standing up. You only eat with one hand visible. If you have two hands on the table, you finish your food with one hand in the air. And believe me, in week one, it was not uncommon to see a guy eating with his hand in the air like he has a question, bent over his food, legs locked straight up.
For first platoon, when we leave the defect, we do five pull-ups on the pull-up bars before we go back to the bay. When I came here I couldn’t do pull-ups, but now I can do one, and my buddies hold my feet for the other four. After everyone’s done, we then march back to the bay. After breakfast, the rest of my day can vary from more PT to classroom training, or lately we have been marching to different ranges on base to learn things like explosives, radios, nuclear-biological threats, IEDs and various things to come. And the ranges are often fun and make the day go by fast.
After the of training comes to an end, usually sometime around 19:00, we start to put our gear away and clean up. Sometimes have “classroom formation” which means we sit on the floor like kindergarteners about to be read a story and our drill sergeant reviews what we did for the day. And always the drill sergeants ask us if we have any questions, and we always do. And then they make fun of us and call us gay for like 20 minutes, but we all know it’s okay, cause we know what comes next. For most of us, it’s what we look forward to from first call…
“The Caloric-Augmantion” program…aka MILK AND COOKIES TIME! Okay, so they are not really cookies, they are Nutri-Grain bars, and the milk is strange and served in juice boxes and we only have 2 minutes to eat them, but in the end, when we have final formation and/or final smoking which usually takes us past 20:30 in which case we all put on summer PTs. Shorts and T-shirts until we get the word, “Commence shower operations.” At which time 56 guys get naked and try to pile into the shower, 8 shower heads.
The last thing is always mail call. We are either luck or lonely every night. For five minutes every night, we commence Language Arts. We read, or we write, or we think. Since I have been here, I have only ever slept on my back. I stare at the bottom of my bunk mate’s bed. I stare and I think and I miss. And I think till I dream…And that’s what a day is like here.

Published in: on November 28, 2009 at 4:26 am  Comments (2)  

…It’s A Thousand Pages, Give Or Take A Few, I’ll Be Writing More In A Week Or Two…

Dear All,
There is a common sound around these barracks, a noise we hear so often it is taking on an iridescent, cryptic emotion to it…a young man who can’t sing, barely hum in tune, and you hear them low and under their breath, sing the cadence that says what we are all feeling: “…and it won’t be looooooonng…’til I get on back home!”
Today is Sunday. For the first time in basic training this means a large amount of freedom. We clean, we do our laundry, we talk, we do sit-ups and push-ups, we square away our gear and we talk like Soldiers.
Common converstions of today: MONEY–who got paid and where they will spend it; The big Homecoming Christmas bash. A titty bar with old college chums. A gun and a large amount of ammo. Rent. Diapers. Motorcycles. New civilian clothes. DEBATES: What was the first sexual position ever performed. Chevys vs. Fords. Cars vs. Trucks. Gay vs. Straight. What race will mean in 20 years. 30 years. Murder vs. killing. Right vs. wrong. Writing vs. talking. And above all, men debate whether joining the Army was a good decision.
We got nine hours of sleep last night but still people hide in corners and take naps. Good soldiers are now studying, working ong weaknesses in their PT or taking apart their M-4’s.
“I used to date a beauty queen, now I’ve got my M-16!”
Everyone has written letters today. Receiving our first mail call reminded everyone that they miss home almost as much as home misses them.
“Used to drive a cadillac…with all my homies in the back!”


My Dear Family,
Today marks one week in Basic training. Little over two weeks here at Benning. It has been an intense ride, but I have already learned so many important things. Some the Army taught me, some life has shown me. For one, I know how it takes about a week exactly before my body adjusts to a new environment. For about seven days in a row I would wake up, here and I reception and feel shock realizing where I was.
Today I remembered why I came here. I was thinking much more clear than ever since I have been here.
Today was also one of the most eventful days for us. Today, we faced one of our biggest challenge here at basic–the gas chamber. Tear gas hurts like you wouldn’t believe. It feels like someone grabbed your lungs and rung them out like a wet towel. Snot pours out your nose. Our faces were coated in personal body fluids from nose to chin.
The two minutes after your vision clears up and you learn to breath again, it feels like it never happened…Oh, but that’s when they told me I had to go back in, guess I should have had the discipline to tighten my chin strap. Others dropped their gear completely and ran out of there. They had to go back in and get dressed. But I’m sure they will tell it like it was no big deal…every infantry man, a tough guy.

(Continuing on a later date)

Today has been much easier. (not the same today as the one on the front of the page). We did a little ability run. (A group run where there is an A,B,C,D group. A, being stellar runners, D being asthmatic obese National Guard soldiers). I was excited because I am in B group. It is my goal to make it to A group by the end.
I am happy to say that Basic Training has become much more physical.
We usually get up, do PT in the morning, then throughout the say, every “oops” equals five minutes of getting “smoked” (an exercise of Drill Sgt. Drie’s Choice.)
I feel like I have lost some weight and I look like it too, but my drill sgts. could care less, so we don’t get on the scale. They say if MEPS let us in, then end of story. “This isn’t Bally Total Fitness.”
Today I also got to make a phone call. I called a couple of phones that didn’t pick up, including Heidi’s. I left her a message. I miss her so much. Then I called Britt and talked to her for a long while. It was wonderful. I felt so connected to home. Every description, every plan for Christmas Break flashed images of beauty in my mind. I can’t wait. I come home on the 18th of December.
I love you guys.


Published in: on November 21, 2009 at 7:45 pm  Comments (1)  

…And Then While I’m Away, I’ll Write Home Every Day, And I’ll Send All My Lovin’ To You…

Dear All, (Mom, Frank< Emma, Britt, Nick, and Heidi)
Today it was confirmed that we will start real boot camp on Friday. it was so re-energizing. I was like I had forgotten why I did this until then. The sergeants started to tighten things up discipline-wise, and we got “smoked” three times today! I was thrilled! People probably think I’m stupid or something but I laugh and smile through those crazy exercises. Plus every night I get people to do PT in the barracks. Last night me and my buddy Scott and Stephen had a push-up marathon. Tonight I did 100 sit-ups in a row.
Today was pretty easy. Best of all, they decided to let us make pay phone cards if we had pay phone cards. I called Britt. I had been thinking about my sisters all day. I hope Emma is still doing good. Emma, get good grades and don’t break too many hearts. I’ll see you soon for Christmas. All of us look forward to two things: Christmas Exodus (Dec. 18th). And being able to receive mail. This will probably be the last letter I send before we get down there.
I miss everyone so much. This has been really hard. But I can’t wait to see letters from all of you. I have already sent out a few letters but Britt says she hasn’t seen any so I would assume they are slow sending them out. Obviously until I get letters back from different addresses I am sending them all to the only address I know by heart. Please make sure Heidi stops by at some point and gets hers. I write her a lot because I think about her so much. I have noticed that different things trigger me missing different people. When they gave us Swine Flu vaccination, basically they put a curly tail on us and a fake snout and tell us to snort, I got sick that night. Like really bad fever and I missed mom. My missing Britt comes in waves. I just want to hang out and tell stories about this place. I often get this feeling at the end of the night that I should help Emma with her Homework!

(There is a time lapse here…)

This is now day three in basic training…I put down this letter, I don’t know, a week ago and thought about it ever since. I miss you guys so much. Basic is so hard…physically, mentally and above all emotionally. I mean, it’s been two weeks and all the contact I have had has been short minute conversations. I can’t wait for letters from you guys.

PV2 Chandler

Published in: on November 17, 2009 at 7:30 pm  Comments (2)  

I’m Gonna Wrap Myself In Paper, I’m Gonna Dab Myself With Glue, Stick Some Stamps On Top of My head, I’m Gonna Mail Myself To You…

Here’s Nick’s Address so you can send him all the love and support you can before your hand cramps.


PV2 Chandler Nick
1st Platoon RN 124
Fox Co. 2-54 IN
8775 Albanse
Ft. Benning, GA


Thank you everyone for your support. =D

Published in: on November 9, 2009 at 3:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

…If I Get It All Down On Paper It’s No Longer Inside of Me, Threatening the Life It Belongs To…

Here they are. First Letters from Soldier Boy:

Dear All, (to include Mom, Frank, Emma, Britt, Nick, Weston, Declan and Heidi)
I am sacrificing a lot of personal hygiene to write this but I think that it is totally worth it. So when we got here it started off much like I expected. We were met off the bus by drill sergeants. Yelled at, briefed, and stripped of all personal liberties, the worst of which being sleep. I never knew how bad that could be. We just get herded around all day for what is called processing. Really just giving the Army our full lives in exchange for clothes that are generally uncomfortable and to my surprise tanny tighty briefies. (Heidi can translate). Shit is so crazy. Sorry if my letters are unorganized. I seriously can’t think straight. We slept an interrupted 4 hours of sleep in Army bunks straight out of a Vietnam war movie. I am top bunk🙂 I like it. Bird’s eye view and a six-foot drop. This place is nothing like I would have expected. It’s so hard and it’s only the reception part. Guys I came with that seemed so pumped are looking very hard for ways out. I kid you not we had someone go AWOL last night. (Tried to run away)…like ran.
I know I can make it but I tear up whenever I think of your guys. Especially Heidi. I miss Heidi more than I thought
I could. She is in my thoughts so often I can’t even describe it.  Britt I think about whenever I see people doing interesting social things. Nick I think about whenever I see guys doing PT, which we have done zero of today or any of the other days I have been here. I am pretty sure it’s Friday, but I honestly don’t know. Oh, and tell Britt I had
zero cavities. So I win.😛
This is the first night I have had any free time since we got here. Today they gave us what is called the Peanut Butter Shot. It’s a shot in the butt that feels like they implant 10 oz of peanut butter in your cheek! We are all rubbing our butts. Hold on…I’m gonna go brush teeth and wash my bald head. Then I’ll start a new page.

Omg…I came back and guys are sharing poetry. This place is so crazy (just the way it swings from tough to so funny to so emotional). The chow isn’t too bad. We go in there and it is the most strict ‘no talk don’t look around’ area.
Guys who recognize each other give just the faintest glances. I often dare to smile at Joe’s big ass when I see him. Just cause he looks like he hates it. We pile on whatever we want and then they put two cups on our plates. Clear drank and red drank. They say red drank keeps us from becoming erection the morning. Just to save the embarrassment. But I think it just might be powerade. (Seriously thought it was the first word ever said to me in the chow hall). “Hey man…pst!” Me all wide-eyed. “Hey, man. Drink that stuff it’s good for not thinking dirty thoughts!” (I cleaned that up a lot.) I am going lights out in 5 minutes so I love you guys. Think of me. You can’t write me yet though. Not ’til I’m “down range”. Two weeks at most. Oh, and I have a good for next letter.
Love, PVT Chandler, your son, brother or Boyfriend.
Dear all, started probably at 6 a.m…
Today has been the easiest day yet. We woke up and hour later than usual which was 4 a.m. Everyone was up and on time and we got together and marched to chow. Oh, and last night I did my first fire watch. They woke me up at 1:00 a.m. to guard a door where we sleep. It was kinda crappy but I still got to sleep real well. All the extra sleep seems to help with everyone’s attitudes. I base this on the guys are lying up a storm about how tough they are and running around the bay…
Picked back up at about 8:30. This place seems to like to relax us and almost make us feel like we can handle this, make us feel good, confident, like we have a purpose here…and then immediately strips it away from us. I fucking hate this so far. I am still optimistic that things will be more fun once we get “down range”.
Today we were told we would get our cellphones for 10 mins. to make phone calls. I prayed so hard for me to be able to call one phone and talk to multiple people. I worked to my amazement. I guess I should feel guilty for not going to church now cause my prayers were answered. I called Heidi’s phone and she was with Britt and Nick. It was so emotional for me. It was my third time crying here, always cause an experience like this teaches you how much you value your loved ones. I don’t think I will be able to do more than my three years. Everyone at home seems well from what I hear and that makes me happy. I have made close friends so far. After crying on the phone I met Cross. Cross is my age but looks about 12 years old in stature. He is small! We talked about who we called. He called his wife. I told him I called my future wife and talked to my sister who I am extremely close with. My other closest friend is Scott. Scott is quite the character. He just doesn’t look like he belongs and he freaked out on day one and was trying to find a way out. Which to my surprise is impossible. There is no quitting. Trust me, half the guys would quit given the opportunity. Scott told mr the reason he didn’t want to be most of all was because he missed
his girlfriend. It’s a fairly young relationship but he (wow, all the guys just admitted to getting choked up writing letters.
Picked back up Sunday morning…8 a.m.
To go along with all the swings in my emotions today is just awesome. I hope all Sundays are like this. First off, it was daylight savings so most of us got an extra hour of sleep. I actually didn’t cause I volunteered  for an extra fire watch shift. They always ask me, probably cause I wake up so easily. It’s weird how you can adapt to strange things like guys you don’t know coming up to your face, asking, “Are you Chandler?”
We learned how to make a bunk yesterday so now some guys are getting more shit from drill sergeants. Honestly, I have not been yelled at or corrected by a drill sergeant yet.
I woke up today and Scott told me something I found to be a milestone for us both. He said today was the first day
he woke up and didn’t feel like that “Where am I” feel. And he is right. Much like we predicted, we feel better now that we have some amount of routine.
Me and Scott are getting to be good buds. Everywhere we go on base we are supposed to have a “battle buddy”. Nobody does anything alone. Including taking a poop, which there has been a limited amount of: two reasons, actually. One, there is an extremely limited amount of toilet paper, and two, we all think there is something in the food.
Scott makes fun of me for writing so much about what I’m doing, but i like the idea that when you guys imagine what I’m doing, you’ll be here with me. Plus, it just makes me feel human to write about this, put into perspective.
Although so far it’s far from story worthy.
I got my full uniform, all except my boots. My group looks retarded cause we wear “ACUs” (Uniforms) with running shoes. Most of the time we wear ACUs now but occasionally and always when we sleep we wear the “PT Uniform”, shorts and a T-shirt. Oh, and no matter where we go or what we are doing, we wear a camel pack. A bag always
full of water. It is the closest thing to PT we get. Standing for hours ar a time and carrying those.
Published in: on November 7, 2009 at 6:48 am  Comments (5)  

I am Nick’s restless girlfriend.

There isn’t much I can say at this point, because I won’t speak for Nick, but I am here to announce that shortly, there will be letters.

I am Nick’s screaming, aching legs.

I am Nick’s cold sweat.

I am Nick’s sense of pride and accomplishment.

Come here if you want to know how he’s doing. What he’s doing. When he’s coming home, and what he’s thinking when thinking is all he can do that is his own.


Published in: on November 1, 2009 at 4:21 am  Comments (3)