…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.

(I LOVE MY HEIDI PIE)
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.
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Published in: on November 7, 2009 at 6:48 am  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I read your letters and I detect humility…Write me please if you need my address here it is:
    10000 S Maryland Pkwy
    #1145
    Las Vegas NV
    89183

    • Nick doesn’t really have the opportunity to write to a bunch of different places, so he addresses all letters home. I posted his address, so you should write him. He’s really appreciate it. =]

  2. I think it’s great that you are posting Nick’s letters so that we can all keep up with him. He has a very dedicated fan base 🙂 Keep em coming, Heidi.
    -Sara

  3. hiiiiedi.
    thanks girly goo. i like being able to go back an reread parts.

  4. Thanks Hiedi, I truly appreciate that you post this stuff. It sounds like Nick is starting to make the impression on his peers that I know he will. It’s amazing how some periods of time no matter how short they are in a life-time feel like a life-time in and of themselves. This I’m sure is one of those times. I think of Nick often and it’s great to read about how he’s doing.


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