HAPPY BIRTHDAY JIMMY-CAT!!!
I hope you have a great 3rd birthday! I'm sorry I couldn't be there in person with you, but know that I'm thinking about you on this special day. I look forward to the pictures (hint hint mom!) and I hope you get some cool toys. Watch "Cars" for me and here is an "Atomic Kiss" for you! Love, Dad
Sunday, September 7, 2008
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JIMMY-CAT!!!
Posted by Bethany at 12:16 PM
Howdy - I hope all is wekk and you are safe and having fun. Before I get going with this letter, I'll say 2 thing.
I wouldn't hold my breath on a phone call from me. By all means, keep the phone on you, just in case, but the other platoons in our company - and even other companies who I've talked with at church - all have received additional phone calls. Our particular drills don't seem to have personal sympathies in this way. But you never know. Also, I wouldn't figure it to be more than 3 mintues. It won't be much longer and we'll talk in person! Having said that, I'm always prepared for a phone call, as I have my phone card at easy access.
BTW, Ft. Knox is known for being a tough, strict BCT site. So those other women who got calls on Labor Day probably had husbands/boyfriends who were at Ft. Jackson. It is known as "Relaxin' Jackson". It is an easy site to go for BCT because it is COED training. BTW, what does DH/DB stand for? "DH" to me is designated hitter. Anyway, just curious - I figured it had something to do with husbands and boyfriends (It's Dear Husband or Dear Boyfriend).
Second point, I hope hope hope by now you have found that research for me & sent it. I only have 2 - maybe 2 1/2 weeks of possible paint time. Wtih the week of BIOVAC - that will only be a matter of days prior to graduation. So here is what I need (as of this day - saturday night) I have not received it from you if it is coming.
*All the Army Branch Insignias - Just their design - likely be black and white.
*A wolf, (2) poses, (A) lying down - prone - mainly a front view if possible (B) a side or front standing pose
*A pit bull (A) frontal - running if possible (B) close up of head - frontal
*A bull dog (A) frontal - running if possible (B) Close up of head - frontal
*The 3 sisters mountains from Melakwa side.
By now, I got the rest in some way or another. Sounds like it may be tough to do unless you have put together the scanner/printer to your computer. I guess you cold just get the research done up and sent to Fredy's and done in the form of a photo. But please, so I can finish these murals, do the research. I am at a standstill on what I can do now.
I'm glad to hear that church goes smoothly for you now with all the adults around. I appreciate the talk recap - That is nice. Tell Aunt Sue thanks for getting the kids church bags. That's real nice.
Onto some points from your letter - Wh wait. I'll tell you the mural of me is looking pretty good. I'll probably enclose the sketch so you can get an idea. Basically it is life size of me flexing and then 4 PT vinegettes with the discipline quote to suggest that PT is a great aid to discipline - anyway, hopefully you'll see it in person. Now onto your letters.
Glad to hear weekly scripture study is going well. Maybe you can read a highlight verse daily before school and discuss for a minute or tow before everyone has to go.
Red Phase - Yes, we're in White phase now for the last week or so, but the only difference now is a bit more "student leadership" with a platoon guide, still 4 Squad Leaders and then 2 Team Leaders per each squad. I'm one of the Team Leaders. I don't have a ton of responsibility, so that's nice. Frees me up to do these murals on the little spare time I have. Other than that, White Phase isn't much diffeent than Red Phase in my view. And Bue Phase is basically the FOB week and gear turn into heading into graduation.
Glad to hear about the house - that is great news and a great relief! Keep me posted.
Pics of the plane and such were cool - I'm sorry it was so tough for you.
Wow - 149.6! Outstanding! Keep it up - You're almost at your goal. Use some of the $250 separation pay (acutally they gave us $275) to buy yourself some new clothes. You need and deserve it!
Too bad about my computer. PLEASE back up the memory somehow. If we have to - send it to fan so he can retrieve it. He can then part it out and eventually rebuild something with. Also we have that new DVD drive. Have you put the DVR drive on Jake's yet? But I really need it backed up - way too much family history to lose!
Yes, the emails came through - thank you much! I figure I'll have some saved up for next Sunday. today I painted murals as it was "battlecross" Sunday - no church services - only bands and such.
Glad to hear your trip is reserved - and less than what you though it was going to be. BTW, it appears we'll have 10 hours for a pretty fair radius of area. I know we can go to Elizabethtown and another one in the area, but I don't know yet. Apparently, you should have a letter from the battallion or company soon. Please let me know what it says. Also share it with my mom and dad and my brothers. I plan on spending almost all that Family Day with you. Well see how it all shakes out. Yes, I miss you terrible - Wow! It is tough! Amazing how much we take for granted in life, eh?!!!
I'm sure you'll have a calling soon. I know that's frustrating, but I'm sure you'll be official soon - in some capacity.
Not sure who the other counselor is, but I know Bro XXXX is basically Anti-Scouting. At least the way it is organized currently. He is so much smarter than the General Authorities and National BSA Leadership. Anyway, I woudln't bet on that. Pack 777 is way a ton of fun, and a much better experience for Tom. But, I wish the Pack would start up again. I'm sure there hasn't been one since I left Chinook/Wacoma!
tell Joe I'm glad he has a new bike and helmet. That is cool. Don't let Eme use training wheels too much. She'll remember quick how to ride. Just remember how to off set the wheels so they aren't flush on the ground. She can do it!
Sonds like the power supply wen on the computer from your description. yeah, just send it to fan when you can - when money frees up a bit.
Actually, I think the longest we've been apart is 2 weeks - and never with no phone contact.
Wow! you are doing great on your WordArt. I'm very proud of what you are doing - making a little bit of cash while having so much fun doing something you are so good at. Keep going, baby girl!
Poor little Jimmy. His is the saddest story of them all, I think. He just doesn't understand. How I wish I could just hug him and let him know it's ok and that I'm still around. Please show him pics of me and let him know I'll be there soon and that I'm still around. Give him Atomic Kisses. Sing him my 3 bedtime songs. I'll be able to talk to him soon.
Nice Labor Day qoute - and of course, good WordArt!
I love you more than I can say or write...And the kids too! Take care, my sweetie, your devoted and loving husband and father, Brent.
Posted by Bethany at 8:29 AM
Saturday, September 6, 2008
We learned and fired the 203 Grenade launcher and the M182-AT4 (antitank) (normal infantry cary (36) 203Granades). Acutally, both were firing dummy rounds, but we got the idea. The 203 (just like in AA) is very similar to the experience in the game, except it is mounted on an M-16 for us. Good fun. And were getting paid for it! Of course, it is jub training, but it feels like a lot of fun at the moment. It reminds me of the quote from Col. Jeffers..."It's great fun now, boys, until we start stopping bullets." and as the author of the article noted, it made the hair on the back of his neck stand up. And while I didn't feel that way today, I surely looked around and realized that the majority of the nearly 200 will be engaged in combat soon. And surely, while there is much to learn and much discipline that needs improvement on most of these young men - you surely have to admire their pluck. We represent 1 out of 100 American men. Only 1% serve in the US Armed Foreces - and it makes me proud to know I'm counted with that group!
The BIOVAC went well. We slept on gravel with our PT mat. 1st time I've ever slept on gravle. It had rained the better part of the day yesterday. So i guess it was deemed that the dirt was just too muddy. But i got pretty good sleep. we didn't set up our "hooch" as there was nothing to bungee the ponch to. It misted most of the night. I stripped down to undershorts and stayed very warm in my sleeping bag. as our instructions said to do. My ACU's which were damp from cathing early rain and the day's exertion - I put them in my sleeping bag and the dampness was petty much gone - cool stuff!
Well, i'm out of paper and will stop for today likely. I do have a bit more paper I can use - we'll see. The time going well. we have 2 weeks much like today and then 1 week of FOB (short sleep) and then the last days of sept and early october to close up and clean up. I love you all so very much - your loving and devoted husband and father - Brent
Posted by Bethany at 12:09 PM
Friday, September 5, 2008
Well, we're at the big caliber rifles classes. They are very boring. Imagine 200 guys sitting shoulder to shoulder on covered bleachers with rain gear top, LBV, & IBA - it is quite crowded. Tough to say awake. But it should be a ton of fun shooting a 44 lb machine gun! The 50 cal. has been around since WWII. the other 2 rifles are the M-240 B and M-249 or "SAW" that we often use in America's Army game. we also fire the M-203 tomorrow, I believe. But the breifing classes are tough. Especially to keep 200 young men awake at the same time. If there is an issue with sleeping or dozing off, the whole company can be punished or "smoked". This is exercise until your muscles are "smoked" or pushed to fatigue. I'd much rather smoke myself!
I did have time last night to go outside and run on the PT area with just a few of the guys in the platoon. that was nice. I'm hoping to be able to get my AFPT scores to 90% in each category by the 12th. That is 65 Pushups, 68 Situps in 2 minutes, and then the 2 mile urn in 14:24. The run and sit ups I feel I can get. The Push ups, too, but they weill be a challenge to perform them cleanly. I'm generally doing 200 pushups a day to build the muscle memory. I do sets of 40 and try to get those very tight. Apparently, my form slips around 30 reps. As has been emphasized, PT Studs get the best assignments.
Well, ti is the back end of the day. After lunch (the day revolves around when and how much and how good our chow is, by the way) we got to shoot the 249 SAW (same ammo as M-16), 240B (.762 mm) and the .50 CAL - big machine gun- large ammo! Big bang! We also looked thru a night vision thermal scope. Pretty neat stuff. Oh, we also saw the claymore mine. It is real cool! Basically a "grape shot" effect. But it isn't used much in today's warefare. Bit Explosion!
Posted by Bethany at 12:00 PM
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Howdy! I hope all is well with you and kiddos. Are you hanging in there? things are not too rough at your parent's house, I hop. I think in many respects, you have the tougher "row to hoe". Hange in there - I have a deep, admiring respect of you, my queen! We are a great eternal partnership, and that only increases with time.
Well, sweetie, I just got through chow here at lunch and time on the BRM qualifying day. I made a go the first time!!! There are 3 levels (4 counting no-go): Marksman, Sharpshooter, and Expert. I was shooting well and thought I had Sharpshooter, but must have came up short. 23-28 is Marskman, 29-35 is Sharpshooter, and 36-40 is Expert. There was one guy in the compnay who hit 40-40!
So, I got a nice little medal for my dress class A uniform that wi'll be getting next week. Just a side note - The army just announced that in Winter 2010, there will be a new Class A uniform - back to the blue! And it will have a more Athletic cut to it instead of looking like a "civilian suit". I also heart all the services will have the same Class A. But I'm not sure about that. But there will be only one official A Uniform.
So qualifying was the last big hurdle to overcome to graduate. the only test left now is the AFPT, and I've already scored a 233. I'm looking to get over a 270 on the next one. That will get me the Presidential Fitness Award or something.
We have really only 2 more "standard" weeks of BCT. We have full week out at the FOB (forward operations base). To the time is clicking off. As the Drills say, BRM qualification is the pinacle. After that, it is a cruise to graduation and onto the "fun stuff" like shotting 50 cal and saws and seeing the AT4 - Tank killer.
I'm using all my extra time on the murlas. They look pretty good - all things considered. Hopefully you can take pics whne you get here. I have one logo copmlete, the "Army-discipline" mural about 1/3 of the way, and the american flag/branches murla drawn in, minus branch insignia. I hope you've sent the research by now, or otherwise I'm sutck. I also have fairly complete sketches for 2 more murals, but again, need research.
Posted by Bethany at 11:52 AM
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
I got 3 letters from you today and one from your mom. That was good! It sounds action packed. Much of this in your letters is duplicated in your emails.
Jake cannot play football without cleats. Please get him some ASAP. I can't run effectively on grass w/o cleats. I'm sure he is the same. Cheap ones from Walmart are just fine. You've probably already got them....
Tell Eme thanks for the pretty pictures. Tell her to keep it up.
I would think my calls will only come on a Saturday or Sunday. We're too busy elsewise.
I love the pictures. It was neat to see my big kid among those tiny bosy. Very neat. I like how Eme drew me with Camo! Very cute. I very much love looking at that pic of you with Joe and Jim in front of your folds house - black t-shirts. You look awesome!!! I can't wait to see you again. Wow - 150 - 202!!! Great job - keep going!
Again, absolutely confirmed, Oct 3rd is graduation, Family day is the 2nd. So, get here on the 1st that evening. You can get the room for the 1st and 2nd, checking out on the 3rd. Possibly we could be in the airpot at the same time! Well, get those tickes - make it happen (don't forget the rental car).
Please send me a pic of you! I'd like to see how you're looking. Also, send me one of Jake in his gear - maybe in action - Tom @ football or Scouts, Eme in her cheerleading gear. Also ,the two little boys. And on of them all!
Hang in there, sweetie ... we'll be together again as a family soon. There will be tough times and easy time. We're moving in the right direction!
By the way, I think how awesome you are each day! Say your prayers for help. Also, call on my dad - he'll be glad to help and listen.
Love you beyond words or storeis or any kind - your devoted husband and soldier - Brent
Posted by Bethany at 11:44 AM
I hope you're doing fine - I sure miss you and love you so very dearly! In the coming days it is going to get real busy. The days, as you noted, are slipping fast. There will be one week at the FOB (forward operations base - I believe) which will be a BIOVAC. I'm told we will get short sleep - much like we would in the field. It should be fun and challenging.
But that is a few weeks away. this week we qualify for BRM - the pinnacle of this training cycle, as our Drills have said. My rifle has been ID's as broken - it appears the tirgger spring is not engaging every time. Hence my issues. The company gunsmith was supposed to fix it today but he must still be enjoying Labor Day weekend. we got something of a break for Labor Day, by the way. It was much needed, combined with the break of Sunday and Monday.
Back to BRM. I believe once the rifle is fixed, I'll have no problems qualifying. But reguardless, keep me in your prayers that my eye sight picture will be clear, my grips and stock welds firm and my trigger squeeze smooth so that I will drop many targets. This is really the last large hurdle to overcome. The only other qualifier is the IV stick and of course the test. My AFPT score of 233 is well above Army Standard. As long as I stay healthy, all looks well.
The murals are coming along. I hope you have sent the research I have requested. I don't think I can count on DB because he just doesn't have the eye for it. and we are running out of time and he is stomped for time. I'll send the sketches to you when I can
I'll try to respond to your letters while I wait on the firing line today.
Jake in football - Awesome! how it pains me to know I can't see him in his first game, practices, etc. tell him to always go hard. as they taught us in high school, a mistake made at high speed is much better than being teneative about what you should do - where you should go. So always go hard, you will likely only run 10 yards or so anyway, so it isn't hard to go ard if you will it in your mind.
Also, keep your butt down and your head and shoulders elevated. this applies to your stance and when you go to tackle someone. Well, listen to your coaches, practice your stance and firing out at home for a few minutes each day and you'll do fine.
Tom in Flag Football 0 FUN! Again, I wishi I could see and be there to help. Enjoy it! It is really quite different from Real football - all in time. Have fun in Cub Scouts at pack 777. I doubt the ward will start it.
Eme in cheerleading - WOW! Have fun and cheer lots. I'm sure you'll have lots of friends and do well.
Neat to hear Solberg is spreading the word. And pretty cool you met the DE.
Sounds like you're gearing up to afford to be here. The cost is high, but I'm glad you're coming. Good job on your wordart. Outstanding! It will be goo to visit with you in person!
I'm sure you'll be used accordingly while there in the ward.
Yes, arrive on the 1st, get a hotel off base (you can't stay on base) and get a rental car. Then we'll hang out.
I do remember our time in nursery. That was probably my favorite calling in many ways. I guess it was because I got to serve with with you! But the children - they sure soaked up the gospel and reflected out the product - love. Particularly that of the Savior's love for us.
Yes, being at church on Sunday is such a blessing. I'd do near anything to get there. My feelings and sensitivities of the Spirit come back on line there. It is nothing liek a family ward, but it recharges the soul and allows us to feel the spirit. I also have met a few other guys who are going to OCS at the same time. So that is neat.
It is a long time to go without a hug, a kiss - just to see you and talk with you. It will be a nice visit. At least we'll be able to talk on the phone regularly and then I'll visit and Christmas (we'll have to pay for that, too - but we should get a military cut for that). And then you'll come out to the commissioning ceremony 0 and we can be with each other again! And then we should be able to go to our assignment and be together as a family. It will surely be sweet!
"Sacrifice bring for the the blessings of heaven..." we sang my favorite song at church Sunday. I lost it there. The sacrifice of being away from you all is sometimes very difficult. But I know that this sacrifice does bring forth the blessings from our father in Heaven. And I know that there are many blessings we don't recognize at this time.
That blog is a pretty neat idea. It will be easy for family to visit.
Hey, have you set up the other computers yet? In that way you can do things faster online. Also, I maybe able to have you send me the laptop for use at OCS. Not sure, something to think about.
I'm glad you all have fun at the airport. yea, I've been there. I didn't know you were afraid of airplanes! Anyway, glad you all had fun - even you!
Well, I'm not sure if you have sent that research, but please do! You can leave out the american flag, but please send the rest. I will need ti if I have any hope of completing the murals!
Babygirl, I love you more than my words can convey. And of course, each one of our children, too! I love and miss you. I look forward to my leave at Christmas. It will surley be good.
Take care - say hi to family and a "thanks" for allowing us to stay there! Love Brent
Posted by Bethany at 11:04 AM
Here is a news article that I found on the bus Sunday. My pals at church are in the 1/46th but Golf Company. this article is about them, but I thought it was just as much about me. thought it would be a good thing for the scrapbook.
Make sure you give the XXXXX a call and see how things are going. And a "thank you" card to them would be great.
Well, gotta run!
Love from your devoted husband! Brent
Posted by Bethany at 10:53 AM
Saturday, August 30, 2008
How are you doing babygirl?!! I hope all is weel and you are surviving life at your parents house. I know it is a sacrifice most especially on your part - having to make life adjustments after 12 years living in the established family setting that you and I developed. I admire your flexibility - espcially in the light of the fact that it isn't within your normal personality strenght! Hang in there sweetie pie - a few more months and we'll be starting on a new exciting and challenging part of life upon graduation of OCS!
I had an exciting day yesterday. we marched to a nearby site that has the computer rifle shooting range. I don't like it - I shot better on the real range, but I managed to qualify - just barely. Luckily, I do better in real shooting. And that is good because graduation hangs upon BRM certification! So please pray specifically for me on that point. Probably you won't receive this letter in time as we qualify on Wed, 03 Sep 08 - but hey, it's the thought that counts!
Anyway, there were a couple generals and a colonel, who are pretty high up on the line, who made an inspection. I was waiting in line to go in to shoot, when out came the 3 star general, a brigadier (one star) General and the Colonel. Attention was caled and they walked by to say hi to 5 young (well, except me!) recruits training at BCT. They said hi to each one of us (tough to really engage someone when standing at attention!). They asked how old we were (17, 18, 18, 18, 36!) What our MOS's were and such. They were pleased to hear I was going OCS. In fact, I got to talk to one of the generals - the brigader for a reasonably lenghtly amount of time. He asked what I had my degree in and hwere I went to school. It was a pretty neat experience and one that will probably be a while in repeating!
Our captain was nearby and after he shook hands with the generals (I actually spoke more with them than he did!) I get to speak with our captain, too, which I hadn't been able to do yet.
Oh, before I go on, I was in several pictures of the meet and greet in progress. It would be cool to have that pic! It was quite a rush, but very stressful.
Posted by Bethany at 10:44 AM
Thursday, August 28, 2008
I just received conformation from our Sr. Drill sgt Boer on the time. Family day is indeed 02 Oct and graduation is indeed 03 Oct. He also confirmed that on the 3rd of Oct, I will be heading directly to Benning (bussed to Louisville, flying to Benning). so plan to arrive on 01 Oct, check into your hotel, hang out till they release me, we'll hang out on the 2nd, you'll got back to the hotel, we'll do graduation probably in the AM of the 3rd, we'll get to take some pics for a few memories (they say 20 minutes). I'll load on the bus to the airport, and then off to Benning. Good news is I'll have my phone back by then. Hopefully I'll find somewhere to charge the phone at the airport!
Reserve a local hotel now before gone. I hould have serveral days in which I can talk freely prior to OCS starting. and I should be able to talk easily on the weekends. We'll see what the restrictions are.
I had a rough day yesterday. we were grouping yesterday and had to put not just 5 in a gourp, but it had to be dead center in 4 cm circle (about 2 inches). I got several groupings, but they weren't dead center. I finally got it , but it took me probably 60-70 rounds. Very frustrating.
Part of it was the M-16. It has been fired a great deal and beat up a great deal as well. There is a piece called the "seer" which is basically a trigger set to allow for an easier pull. But, occassionally, instead of just doing one pull, it would shoot 2 shots in close succession. So that 5 shot grouping was wasted. My rifle was adjusted at least 6 times. so the hitch was I wasn't getting back into the same steady position each time. Well, long story shot - I finally got it , but it was frustrating.
Now today is a different story. We are on one of the army's most prestigious firing ranges. It is a 30 million dollar course. It has the targets that pop up and down. So you shoot 20 rds supported on a sandbag (5 at 75 m, 10 at 175 M and 5 at 300 M) Well, that's a long way - 3 football fields (a yard is 3 ft and a meter is about 34 feet, I'm told). I shot first and did pretty good.
75 M 5/5 4/5
175 M 9/10 4/10 (ouch!)
300 M 3/5 2/5
That is a go to qualify overall for BRM (Basic Rifle Markship) which you need to graduate. You have to have 23/40. But the targets pop up more random than these here today. So have everyone pray that I'll continue toe shoot good!
My PT is doing well. we're not getting smoked as much so we can train in the evenings in the bay. we, as a company, haven't earned the WHITE phase, and ensuing privledges as we whould have at this point. But, I'm trying to do 200 good form pushups daily and my sit ups. In my PT test, which if I hadn't said it, was 3rd best in the platoon! My scores were:
43 Pushups - 66%
62 Sit Ups - 82%
14:56 Run - 81%
I think these % aren't accurate, but the numbers are.
There is an award for scores of 90 in each category. i'm gunning for that at the minimum. I can surley do (50) P/U's with good form. That ws a fluke the other day. I'm timing at 65 S/U in 2 minutes, but I can do more. I can do 70 in 2:15 or so. So, I just need to increase the speed. 76 is 100%. I need to hsave about 40 seconds off my run time to get to 90%. I can do that. Anyway, that is good too!
Well, keep the letters coming. This Sunday I won't be able to go to our church becuase we do a combined Christian service. So, I won't get any emails for 2 Sundays. so, please send letters until then exclusively.
Well, I better write Mom and Dad back.
PS. I got to give a guy in the platoon a blessing of comfort and I've handed out a Book of Mormon too!
PSS. We went to White Phase TODAY!!!!
Posted by Bethany at 1:56 PM
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
I hope you are all doing well. I wish I could hang out, but hey, I'm here to train to become a soldier...and that takes time.
Before I fortet, I have a large request. I should have asked for it last week, but I thought the Drill Sgt would have it for me by now. I need some research to finish some of the murals. Here is a list:
* An unfurled (flowing in the breeze) American flag. the field needs to be on the left and preferably it trails down to the right bottom. It should be "wavy".
*A picture of each main branch of the military insignia: IE - Aviation, Armor, Military Police, Artillery, ect. You can go to the army site for that if nothing else.
*A picture of a wolf - one laying down and one running.
*A picture of a pitbull dog - front view - one running & one standing like for a shot from a dog show.
*A picture of a bulldog - running, frontal
*A picture of a rottweiler - running
*Also on each of these species, if you can get one of them barring their teeth - that would be outstanding.
*And of course, the 3 sisters view from melakwa.
Well, that should complete the research for me to finish the murals. I'll send you the sketch work when I can. Again, hopefully you'll be able to see them in person. At minimum, bring the camera and I'll take pics of them. Thank you for doing that. I'm going to run out of time if I can't get cracking soon. If you can turn tail the same day you get this letter and pop it back to me, that would be outstanding! I won't have it for Sunday, but maybe I can start on Monday night if the mail gets here that fast. Just copy, paste and print, or I guess get 1 hour photos made if it's easier. Try not to get pics of black pitbulls or bulldogs. the rottweiler - you have no choice. the are black. But try to lighten the pic in order to get a good view of the anatomy. these need to be real pictures of these animals.
Sorry I have to ask you to do this, but to complete the task, I'm gonna need some outside help, as the Drills are too busy to do the research. they work 18 hour days - crazy stuff. I'm sure I'll have long days, but plenty of good time and flexibility from time to time as well.
Posted by Bethany at 1:47 PM
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
How is my Tom-Tom? Thanks for the letter. It sounds like you're having fun and doing well. Thanks much for writing me - it helps me do well here at BCT. You should see my uniform today - Kevler Helmet (ACH), body armor - very heavy - (IBA), elbow pads and knee pads , LBV (Load bearing best) and of course my M-16. We shot them today for the first time.
Take care of your little sister, Tom. She has 2 big brothers to take care of her - that is your job. I know it is kinda funny that she is afraid of such a little dog, but we all get afraid of certain thing.
And, would you like it if someone made fun of you for being afraid? Anyway, take care of you little sister.
Tom Tom, have fun in school and make lots of new friends. I hope you have some new frinds at church too. Keep writning me - I love you Tomahawk!
Posted by Bethany at 1:16 PM
Thank you so much for the pretty drawings and colorings - I realy apprecitate that from you! Please send me more when you can.
I hope you are having fun with Grandma Lyn, Papa Steve, and all the rest of family. I'm sure you're making new friends (as you are quite good at it!)
I hope you do well in 1st grade this year. I'm sure you will! Do your best, listen to your teacher, and you will do great!
I know your big brothers pick on you a lot, but you need to try and help them out. By doing that, eventually they'll stop and start being mature brothers.
I gotta go to be, but I love you very much! Super dad hugs! Love, Dad.
Posted by Bethany at 1:14 PM
It was so nice to get a letter from you! How are you liking Oregon and living at Grandma and Papa's house? I hope you are doing well. It sounds like you all are doing well.
Swimming up North fork (did you catch any crawdad's?), and the lake, and ATV'ing on the dunes with Papa, and hanging out with Aunt Sue, and such.
I hope you have some new friends at church. It won't be long and you'll be in school. Do your best and listen to your teachers instructions - all the time and you will do very well from the start, as you are a smart guy.
I hear you are waning to do football - that is awesome! it will help you be in good shape. It will be hard at times, but it will be mostly fun. I tell you, my practices in football in high school have helped me a great deal to be prepared for the army. Just remember - always keep your head up in the air when you tackle or block someone. The main way you do that is drop your butt down at the same time. and always go full speed - even if you're not sure where to go. Have fu nand play hard! I wish I was there to help you with it. Biship Mitchell was a good football player. ask him for some help.
You should see my unifor right now. Do you remember that Army Guy on my desk? That is how I pretty much look right now. The bullet - proof vest (well, maybe not totally bullet froof) the helmet, the LBV (load bearing vest), canteens & helmet (ACH - armor combat helmet) and of course, the ACU's (Army combat uniform) I also have on elbow and knee pads. we did our grouping work with the M-16 today. I got mine on the 1st time!
I hope you got my birthday card for you! Happy Birthday! Sorry I can't be there for it. I'm sure you'll have a good time!
Keep writing me a letter from time to time and let me know who you're doing. I do enjoy getting a letter from you.
Oh - please dont' make fun of your sister - especially when she's scared. You wouldn't like it if someone made fun of you when you were scared, would you?
Big brothers have to take are of little sisters - that is the job! And everyone always says when they see our picutre - ooohhh, I bet those brothers take care of her! So, do the best you can!
Keep having fun, do your best, say your prayers daily and read the scriptures daily, listen to Mom and all the other adults. Be kind to your brothers and sister. I love you very much! Take care, Love, Dad
Posted by Bethany at 12:57 PM
Well, we got an early start today and loaded our rucksacks (actually last night) and were on a 5k march. It is a fast pace. I'm sitting here waiting for chow, and it is first rays of dawn so I can barley see. I got a lot of mail last night! Yea! It is always a treat.
Well, I just got back from chow. Got some left overs from some other gouys who didn't want it. If there is extra food when we do these "meals on wheels" as I like to call it, i'll eat it because you don't get a great deal of food.
It was so good to get the mail! I'll try to remember your questions.
Yes, I have had the watch for the past week or so. THANK YOU!
Tell Jake that I'm real excited that he is trying to play football. Just tell him to play hard and listen to his coaches. He'll be on the line for sure.
As for purchasing stuff here, I could - but they don't hardly let us go to the PX. But, I don't expect to have you send me anything of size.
Having said that last statement, can you send me this size of notepad? Just 1 would hold me well for now. I'll buy more when i can get to the PX in the next few weeks.
As for graduation and starte date - it is 02 Oct to 03 Oct. Family day (the day, you definitely want to be at as we can hang out for 10 hours) is oct 2nd. Graduation is on Oct 3rd. Hopefully I won't leave right way. I'll try to find out becuause I think OCS report date is Oct 8th. But set the date. I'm glad you have the funds set aside.
Great job on cutting more weight - WOW! An all time low for you! I can't wait to see how great you look! I'm really proud of you!
It is great to hear that you are walking as a family. that will be great for everyon'es health and build unity. And exercise for you!
Well, I can't remember anything else from your letters off hand, so I'll tell you my day so far. Up at 4 am (acutally just before because someone work me up early). It is now 11 am and we have already marched 5k with loaded pack, ate "meals on wheels' received firinig instructions and the qualified for group, no shots. I did my 5 for 5 on the 1st time! that's pretty cool, eh? Many of these guys didn't. we did this as a company. the M-16 has basically the same caliber as a .22, but a little more of a kick. Not too bad to fire at all. Basically, the girth of the rifle is the forward hand grip. it keeps you from getting burnt, as the rifle heats up quite a bit apparently.
Looking back at your letters for more responses.
Yes, family day is the 2nd of october. Look to get in the area early. You'll probably want to travel the 1st, get a hotel for about 3 nights or so. tell you what. Let me talk to the Drills about it and OCS - That is what it boils down to. but it is the 2nd for family day. Graduation ceremony on the 3rd.
Yes, got the stamps - all set for a while.
Dow't figure on sending anything else on your end. thanks for all you've sent!
I've heard from Fan - thanks.
Please send addresses of family, although if they don't write, I won't write, and Basic will be over soon.
BCT (Basic) started on 01 Aug and ends 03 Oct. Each Friday marks the beginning of the week for us techinaclly, so do the math on your end.
I'll tyr to get pictures sent to you of the finished murals. Maybe when you come the Drills will escort you in to take pics. I can send the sketches too.
Yeah, NBC was not fun. that tear gas chokes you and burns your eyes real bad. But you come out of it fast, really.
As for being up high on the Confidence Course, there were some large pads at the bottom, but yea, falling down would have really hurt! Not was bad as it may sound.
And it wasn't ninja stuff - it is mixed martial arts - much closer to wrestling.
I'm gonna try and register to vote too. I'm not sure about getting Oregon Plates - just let's play by ear.
Well, I think I answered everything - gotta go to bed. Oh, by the way, I did my 5 shot grouping on the 1st time. Probably only 25% of the company did that! I'll write more soon - we'll see you in about a month! Love, your devoted husband - Brent
Posted by Bethany at 12:41 PM
Monday, August 25, 2008
How are you doing? I hope you, kids and extended family are doing well. I sure missed your letters last week. I hope to get a letter or two from you tonight.
We're on the bus heading to a battalion photo. apparently, the last time this battalion was photographed was in WWI. We'll have near 1900 recruits, NCO's and Officers assembled. It will be pretty neat.
I've had to eat two meals out of the back of a truck today. that translates to minimal food. It is a good meal, but it often ends up being a fast meal with Drills yelling at you, more often. And I didn't even geat any fruit! I had 5 minutes to throw it down. I normally need to eat 3-4 fruits a meal if I can to have sufficient good energy to go about the day.
We wore our IBS (ceremic chest armor - very heavy and restrictive) for much of the day. Man, it really drained me! We started on qualifying on the M-16 today by initial training. we'll have a streneous next week or so from what I understand.
Actually, our captain told us after the photo that the last photo was taken in 1908! And this is the 1st time the battalion has been full up of companies since about 10 years ago. Pretty neat stuff, eh? Maybe in a few weeks you can google 1/46th infantry battalion and see if the photo is posted. I'm not sure if we'll get a chance to purchase it.
Love, your devoted husband, Brent
Posted by Bethany at 12:36 PM
Howdy...I hope all is well! I'm doing pretty good here. I had a real nice time at church. since the congregation was split, the meetings were more enjoyable. You could hear the speakers! What is cool is the talks from a soldier's point of view. The parallels were many. there was a sergent who is here teaching a class who is in a branch presidency in California. He gave a talk on the things in history that took place to make this nation form, also, he demonstrated how Joseph & Lucy Mac came from revolutionary war heros. Just cool stuff!
One of the guys I met at church who is going to OCS same time as me is Andy XXXXX. They live in Sweet Home, and they do Reenacting too! His Wife and young boy. He is going to get your contact info to her so you two might be able to be of support to each other. Maybe even meet up in eugene and hang or something.
I was hoping to get an email or two from you today from the sister at church. Let me give you her email (which is slightly different than the one I gave you last week ...)
email@example.com - RE: SPC BRENT HARTY
It would be good to get an email or two from you on Sunday, but it is great to stand and get mail from the drill sgts! Please send letters...it is a real highlight and boost, even if a short letter.
Guess what...I'm doing art at basic! Who would have thought that! I have several murals I'm designing and wating for drill sgt to do some research for me. I'll keep you posted, but the 1st sergeant and captain even have seen my sketches and are impressed!
Well, it's late - gotta sleep. I look forward to hear from you. As always, your loving and ever faithful husband, Love Brent.
PS I Miss You!
Posted by Bethany at 8:57 AM
Friday, August 22, 2008
We did our testing to end red phase today. Two sum ups - I did pretty good. the company did very poor and as a company we are still in red phase - oh well!
My push ups - I had 7-10 that didn't count. I only did 42. that is 62%. My sit ups were good - 62. That is like 83%. and my 2 mile was the real surprise - 14:56! that is also 85% or so! I still feel by the end of 9 weeks, I can max out PU to 75, sit ups to 76 and now my 2 mile to 14:15 or so. that would be a PT stud!
Then the tests I did very well in too. But, everyone as a whole did so poor, we're going to have to re-do today. Which is fine. And then there was a 2 hour or so smoke session in the Pit. I compare it to football 2 a days. those were tougher than this, so I'm ok with it. the only bad thing is getting mega dirty clothes!
We found out that our platoon did the best at land navigation - so that was cool! And my group of 5 completed our with time to spare.
By the way - THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE WATCH! AWESOME! It is so nice to have it. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! It is perfect for my needs in basic.
Did the stuff w/ Ron and the house tie up? Keep me posted on that.
I'm very much looking forward to seeing you on family day - 02 Oct 08. And then graduation on 03 Oct 08. I'm not sure if I shop directly to Benning on the 3rd or not. Maybe we can spend another evening together! Lets keep an ear to the ground. Remember, get Southwest for flexibility and start looking for hotesl. I'm looking forward to heading out to dinner, sitting down, and savoring the food. Right now, I have 5 mintues or so to shove down my meal - and try to aviold the drill sgts ire!
That is funny about Eme - Who is Fred Meyer? My cutie pie!
Married to the Army.com sounds cool. I'm glad you're networking there. That will be important.
Glad to hear nutrition plan is going well. I'm looking forward to doing mine again in OCS - or in branch training.
Loved the pics - keep 'em coming!
Tell my Jimmy that I'm missing him too! And of course the others. Is school gearing up?
I'm doing well, but I can't motivate these guys. I can inspire, but if someone doesn't want help - one cannot help! Oh well. I'll graduate from Basic - some of them may not.
Thanks for the standings. I only need the national leauge though. Don't care about the American Leauge. I finally got a letter from Fan. My first letter didn't make it.
Mummy III sounds cool - that is a definite buyer! I'll watch it when i get back.
Joe's cake was cool! I'm glad he is proud of me being in the army - give him a big hug and a "hooah!" from me!
I love that crawdaddy hole up by Mapelton. Wish I could have come.
Look forward to seeing the Passage to Zarahemla.
Sounlds like were leading the way with medals, but China has more Golds. Fan told me about the Olympics.
Has the paycheck come yet? Keep an eye on it. If not, get a hold of the office in Euege and have them check.
I can only visit the on base "ward". But I hope you got the letter about emails. Maybe that is why I didn't get mail the last 2 days!
Thanks again for the socks! They are very nice!
Prayer - I pray in formation all the time as I'm standing at attention or Parade rest all the time. It is the only thing of value to do during those times. But yea, prayed pretty good. Scripture study - tougher to do - I'll keep trying to do as much as possible.
Oh, I got a letter from Elder Oaks c0ngratulation me for my service. I'll save it for you (I'm saving all my letters - it will be a nice journal. Please save the ones I send you)
Keep the Atomic Kissis going with Jimmy - Tell him they are really from me, but that you are just giving him the ones I set aside to save for him while I am gone!
Yep, doing well - my body has adjusted. Keep up the prayers though. Still have 6 full weeks to go!
How is Scouts going? don't delay - now is the time to get going on it. Fi the church won't start a pack - get Tom in pack 777. Jake should be fine in 11 year olds, but make sure you track it. Our goal for him (expectation, I guess) is 1st class in one year. He should be able to do that by next year after summer camp.
Well, I need sleep. Gotta go. but, I'll put in a "card" for Jake's B-day. LOVE, your ever devoted and love struck husband. Brent
Posted by Bethany at 9:14 AM
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Well, it's been a busy last couple of days. really pooped out. I wrote your mom in pretty good detail about the land navagation and biovac trip (compass course and campout w/ m-16!) We didn't need our poncho to make a "hootch" - masically a tarp for one or two guys - your "battle buddy" as the term goes. Everyday we're up at 4am. We didn't hit the "rack" till 2400. Then we were up at 0430 today. But we walked several miles yesterday. Today we walked 4 mmiles in our full gear - minus the 3016 rucksack. the kevlar vests or IBA's have heavy ceremic plates. It is quite heavy. right now we're working on tactical movements - the wedge formation. We're doing it silent at first (that is what tactical means) and were practicing an ambush. It is pretty fun. But as Col. Jeffers said, "this is all fun for now, boys, until we start stopping bullets."
We did a lot of marching the last frew dys. By the way, we acted our night navagation. the Drills were constantly saying "Oh, you're all gonna get lost." we figured it out about half way thru the daytime exercise (we got it figured out when we got another compass guy). anyway, it was good training.
Tomorrow we do our 1st Army Fitness Physical Training Test. I expect to do very well. this is the 2 min/2 min /2 mile. they said I can widen my grip on the pushup. I think my 2 mile may get in 15 min range. Just depneds on how rested I am tomorrow. My sit ups should be in the 65 to 71 range. 75 is tops in both PU/SU, so that is good.
Hopefully I can get some good sleep tonight, so I can do well tomorrow on the PT test. Also, our "red phase" should be tying up at the end of this week - Fri or Sat. I think in general, the platoon is moving in the right direction.
Oh, the studen loan letter was sent. But they could only date it till the end of basic. I think we should fat it to Sgt. Baldwin, or Worthington, back in Chillicothe so he can put the full 3 year time frame on there, as it is only dated from 1 Aug to 3 Oct. this is the basic time frame. Can you call direct loans and explain it to them?
Well, I enjoyed the pictures ver much! you're looking great! I'll respond specifically to the other letterse soon. Love, Brent
Posted by Bethany at 9:03 AM
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Lyn & Steve
Thanks for the letter. It is always fun to get mail. Pretty much the highlight of the day!
Yes, getting to church is huge. It is only for 2 hours, but you really savor that time as it is your only time away from the drill sgts and the other guys. Plus, you get to meet others who have a lot in common with you. Out of my company of 200, there are only 3 members. But at church, they had to split the session into 2. I've met a few guys heading to Officer Candidate School. the one who I've gotten to know a little bit is Spc Andy XXXXX. He is from Sweet Home! What a coincidence of sorts, eh? He also does reenacting (infantry), but his wife made him go Yank! Somebody has to be a Blue Belly! I'll look forward to swapping more stories with him in the future. Hopefully we'll get to be able to accosicate at OCS in early October.
Well, we just got done doing Land Navagation - compas work, but army style. We learned a lot and got it towards the end (well, our group of 5 anyway). The whole compnay was split into groups of 5 - trompning around the woods looking for certain points. After it was complete we leoaded up in a big army truck and then sat down in the shade to eat our 1st MRE's (which are Meals Ready to Eat).
21 Aug 08
There were a lot of different kinds to choose from. I had tuna, vanilla pudding, toffee cookies, pretzels, tortillas. I had some cast off food from others - 2 cheese spread packets, paked beans, mashed potatoes, little here, little there. At any rate, I ate whatever I could!
Then, we learned the basics of BIOVAC (or military camping!) formations while camping, et al. Then we stood around in formation (at attention or parade rest, which is basically attention with hands behind one's back and feet spread should width) for like an hour. that is the worst part of basic! We had dinner brought to us and I got a hold of a bunch of fruit. The drill sgts were having fun throwing the apples and oranges about 30 yrds away at us. I ate a few more apples and oranges (well, 1 each and saved on for myself and gave about 10 apples and oranges away to thers in the company).
Later on, we did a night navigation course. this time, (unlike the day one where we were doing it for the first time), we got all the points! Then, about midnight, (mind you, we wake up at 4am daily!) we finally laid down. we slept on a physical training (PT) mat (which is what the kids sleep on at reenactments). I didn't even bother taking off my clothes. I did remove boots and my ACU top (army compat uniform) as it was pretty soaked.
So now it is thursday, I'm really fried for sleep. Please share this with Bethany and the kids.
PS. then we marched back out about 1.5 miles and learned about IED's (which are improvised explosive devices). The enemy is more effectice with these tahn with bullets. Anyeay, it is Go-Go-Go - really tired right now.
PSS. Keep the letters coming! The envelops free of extra writing, like you have been doing, though :)
Posted by Bethany at 9:35 AM
Monday, August 18, 2008
Howdy! I'm writning this letter late at night/early in AM - whatever your perspective. the Drill Sgt who was supervising the company overnight decided to be extra honery. As a company (all 4 platoons - about 200 people) there were people up after lights out 9:30 pm or 2130. They were taking showers and doing laundry. We were told in our platoon by our Drill Sgts, that as long as lights were out, we could do showers and laundry. so we're pretty confused. also tired now that losing an hour of sleep - so late in the sleep cycle - have to get up at 0400!
it was a good Sunday. Church was good. There was overlflow meeting space needed this weeek - so about 30 of us met outside for church. I gave the opening prayer - it was touhgh not to sob during it. the spirit in me was so present, as I poured out my heart on behalf of my brothers present - and others of course.
Came back to baracks and pretty much worked on art work all day for new platoon murals for some of the walls. One of the Drill Sgts, after seeing some inital sketches, which I didn't think were that hot, gave me special instructions to work on ideas all day long. And I came up with some pretty cool stuff. I asked him if he would do some research online. He said, No Problem. then, I gave him the list of what I needed ( it filled up a whole sheet like this) and he was like "What", party joking, partly serious. I think he'll get it. the drawings/murals will look pretty good when done. They'll blow away the o ther murals in the baracks. And I will have left a nice "pride mark" here. So, I'm getting use of that Art Degree. I'll make sure I get pictures of the murals when I'm done.
Which reminds me, there is an missionary couple at our services. This Sister will print off emails for the soldiers and hand them out weekly. So, you can, in addition to regular mail, since it is so fun to receive it and a BIG BOOST, also send me some emails via her. Her email is:
Subject: For SPC HARTY, BRENT L
(see later post for correct email address)
and from there, she'll do the rest.
Before I forget - we get a brief visit to te PX today. I spent XXX on various items. XXX was still on my smart card - The XXXX they did an advance on pay back in basic processing. So, I'm not sure what the balance on my debit card is. Maybe, if possible, you could get that balance on my account up to XXX - that should cover the rest of the way out - I hope.
Oh, I coudln't purchase a watch here at basic. PLEASE sned a watch to me! It would allow me to be more effective in my time management. which is always a good thing that eases some stress. remember, non reflective (black/gray is a good color) stopwatch, indigo light, hopfully a watchband that is canvas. the plastic band would be the next best choice. and don't spend more than $20 on it. Oncie I get out of basic, I can access my pocket watch again. But please send the watch ASAP!
Already, we are a near 1/3 of the way done. Friday will makre the end of the initial phase - Red Phase. As for exercise, it isn't as bad as one might think. In fact, we don't run much at all. Except for jogging wherever going place to place. We march a lot - whenever moving as a platoon - and we stand a ton! It is the worst part of basic - stanind @ attention or parade rest. Which, by the way, has little "rest" involved! My feet are adjusting to standing around so long. Either that or they are now completely nerve dead!
As for Scouts, yes, a unit can really be as small as 2 with SE approval. but, if you could start it with 4-5, it would better. Just contact the coucil. Maybe you could mention it to the bishop that you'd like Tom to do Scouts in the church. and you know the guidelines and standards. If they have the boys/youth they should have the Units. And it sounds like they have plenty of manpower to make it work. Anyway, let me know if I can help.
Yep, transfer records - your parent's address is now our home address too. We had a brief class on absentee voting today. I plan to register soon - the Drill Sgts are supposed to be getting us info. Please check into me getting a drivers license in Oregon while way. I'll need to get a new one wanyway. Maybe I can do it over Christmas.
Well, I better move along - You're loving, devoted, and smitten husband - Brent
PS Please say "hi" to each of the kids for me!
PSS Please send that email for family, espically Fan so I can get sports updates!
PSSS I also need a picture of the 3 sisters from melakwa - can you send that along ASAP?
Posted by Bethany at 9:18 AM
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Sweetie Pie -
It was a fun, but busy day. At 0500 we started off for a 3k march. So we have our rucksack (a large frame backback) that was probably 20 lbs or so, LBV, or Load bearing vest. We didn't take our IBA (Battle armor). But we had our ACH (Army combat helmet), Eye pro (clear protective glasses )2 qt canteen, and the ever present M-16. We laos had our gas masks. So, we did the march, ate b-fast from the back of a large truck (well, its set up on table cafeteria style) and then did waht is called the confidence course. It is like low cope on steriods. Several of the elements were 20-40 feet high, whith no bolay - only pads. But it was good stuff. We had a few members of the team who persisted in being lazy and procrastinators - this caused dleay in the AM and got us in trouble. But after the course, we came together as a team. It capped with one soldeir who was beatly afriad of heights. we gathered and cheered him through the Jacob's Ladder withich is telephone poles that you climb like a large ladder. It was cool to see the platoon rally and run him through the final elements. One of our Drill Sgts gave us a "good job" for coming together as a team and said we got out of the "pit" (very difficlut and dirty "smoke" session) for learning the teamwork lesson. I did very well on the element. I even did a long (about 30 ft) monkey bars that was 15' in the air, the first time. It was also hooked to about 50 ft of high narrow balance beams!
Then after lunch in the field, it was off to the gas chamber - my dread! Well, I obviously survived it. They acutally asked if anyone was asthmatic or used inhalers. We stood around in our gas masks (standing around in formation is the worst part of basic by the way) for about 45 minutes. Then we filed into the room. It burns your eyes and lungs (not to mention exposed skin!) when you are forced to take off the mask. then, to get out, you must answer a question. for some it was mother's madien name, or SS number. Mine was the Warriors Ethos, which is
I will always place the mission first.
I will never admit defeat.
I will never quit.
I will never leave a fallen comrade.
It is a prot of the soldier's creed, which I've had memorized since before I got here to basic. But I finally got it out. it was tough to do when youre lungs are buring, you think you're going to choke to death, you can't see, and your brain freezes up. But, I made it and didn't die!
Well, pretty pie, I better sign up - or - I will be all out of room in this envelope. Oh, yesterday we learned combativness. it was basically some mixed martial arts that one of the big names of the UFC that taught the army in the late '99's/ early 2000's. Anyway, I did pretty good at it. I did draws with 3 of the largest guys (most of them oughweighed me by 15-20 lbs) and beat up on the rest of the platoon. we learned what is called a mount (when you are in a strong position to beat the crap out of someone) and a few arm bars (which are designed to break an arm or joint) as well as a few choke holds. I was able to put several of the guys in an arm bar. I'd get to a frontal mont (me sitting on top of their chest and simulating a choke) and then I'd slide one of their arms to the ground and do an arm bar. None realized what it was quick enough! Anyway, I did areal good, but it was tiring and I'm glad to be done with it.
I hope you're reading these to these to the kids. Tell them I love them and oftne look at their pics. Until the next letter, your smitten and devoted husband! Brent.
Posted by Bethany at 9:51 AM
Thursday, August 14, 2008
How are you? It is after 0300 here this morning. I am on fireguard duty. Normally I would wake up at 0400 with light on at 0430 (you can't turn it on any earlier than 0430 or later than 2130 or it is big trouble - the Drill sgts would get in trouble - therefore we would get in trouble!). So, I gave up an hour of sleep tonight; well, a half hour because I'm going to lay down at 0400-0430 or so when I normally would be one of the first ones to get up and get ready and then clean up bay (sleeping area/dorm for 48 soldiers) and latrine. Every night, there are 2 fireguards posted, rotating every hour. sometimes, we also have a rotation for an additional men hourly, called CQ - Don't know what it sands for, but they are "controlled" entrance and "check" points.
Well, enough military stuff. I just did a letter yesterday and covered a few thoughts in that, but I'll respond to a few from your recent letter.
Glad you're enjoying the olympics. It is fun to watch that stuff. we were doing some sort of assignment a few days ago. The TV was on and it was a real treat to see it. Basically, we are on a modified lockdown of sotrs. Everything we do is pretty much dictated by the Drill Sgts. One could just get up and leave, of course, but it would be bad - AWOL and all, but you get the idea. But, I look at all this as a very strict training session.
As to the diet, I'm fairly close to it still, although it is not easy to always control what one takes in. I usually have 2 fruit servings at each meal, a pretty decent protein, 2-3 dairy each day, as much veggies as I can possibly get. So, I'm pretty close to the plan. But imagine trying to eat in line (no talking to others) while 2 or 3 men are constantly looking over you. Occassionally they will yell at someone for something *lke not moving sideways in line, or taking 2 scoops of a food instead of one, etc). So one doesn't get a lot of time to be picky on food. Luckily it is generally the same food, with the dinner being the greatest variance. then, you have to navagiate your way to your seat, trying to aviod the ire of Drill Sgts. then, sit down, unsling the awkward M-16 from your pack, place it under your chair, and suck down all your food ASAP. at dinner last night, I didn't get to eat my apple nor orange slices - I wasn't happy about that! The guidon bearer, who is the last guy to eat, ate his stuff down before I could, so there were 2 or 3 of us at the end of the line who got dinner cut short - so it goes.
Yes, the BAH and Separation pay - I mentioned those to you in a recent letter. the XXX doesn't sound quite right, but I know it is close and surely more than Waverly OH rates! So that is good. The separation pay will kick in 30 days after the seaparation starts. 01 Aug 08 is the start of basic. I found out about both these nice extras when processing here at Ft. Knox. So that is aruond an extra XXX a month - apparently untaxed.
As for pay dates, I'm not sure. It is either montly or twice a month. I believe some money will hit the account on the 15th, so keep an eye out and make sure. it will be short XXX because they deducted that ammount as an advance for us to buy our inital wave of ietms from the PX, like running shoes, shower supplies, ect. Please make sure it is going to the bank account right. if there is a hitch with it - well, as you said, it could take some time. I'm pretty sure all is correctly entereing from my inital processing here at Ft. Knox.
Oh babygirl, I do very much miss chatting with you. Actually, I try not to think on such things and keep my mind busied with the tasks at hand (which is not a difficult thing!) But I appreciate you very deeplay and the seaparation is strengthing my devotion, admiration, and love for you. Thank you for the kind thoughts. And while it is great to be serving the country, I'm just embarking on this service. You should see what these soldiers here have done (meaning Drill Sgts). Wow! - they have seen and done a lot and sufferet a great eal on behalf of freedom and the American way of life. They are the heroes and I want to be like them.
I sat through chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear training today. We wore our gas masks and learned how to put them on. we recieved the training today to prepare for the gas chamber. It will be tear gas. This is the one that the people at MEPS tried to use to scare asthma out by saying people died at basic. I told Baldwin that and he said they were full of it. The tear gas does not affect one on that.
Posted by Bethany at 9:35 AM
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Babygirl and Kids
I hope all is well. I had a few minutes while I did some laundry. I also just got done doing guard duty. We did CLS or Combat Life Saving. I really enjoyed it. 90% of the soldiers that die, die in the field. If every soldier can do CLS, the figure the deal toll would drop to 75% mortalities. Pretty neat, he? we have 2 more days of this classroom practicals.
Well, the whole company got "smoked" which is a physical punishment of hard exercise. To have the entire company (all 4 platoons) 0f 200 or so get smokes at once - it was unusual. We were out there around 2 hours. They were hard workouts, but not a whole lot odfferent from football 2 a days. I did my best and got a great workout. this was top of the PT we had this AM - about a 2 mile jog/sprint.
The day starts at 0400. Pt @ 0500, bfast @ 0600. it is 2325 now - that is is a typical day. Very tiring. But good - I'm learning a lot. Of course, missing you all a lot. Missing my Joe Joe's b-day is not cool.
My face loos really thin, and fat is seemingly dropping around my stomach!
Oh, on the PT, (a big snad volleyball pit, if you will) I'm probably in the top 30-40 of the company of 200 when it comes to being in shape. Good for me - sad for these kids being out of shape!
On my watch (the one that you're going to buy and send ASAP!), a canvas or webbed wristband would be the best. Also, please make sure it is not a chrome watch. It is a "sniper" magnet. Again, nothing expensive - just $15-20 spot watch, backlight, dark watch and webbing wristband. Don't forget stamps and white tube socks as well.
well, my eyes won't stay open much longer. Must sleep! Please keep me in your prayers. You all are in mine! Feel free to scan this in and email it to thers, like my parents.
Love you - please pass around hugs for me and thanks to your parents - Brent
Posted by Bethany at 1:31 PM
(on the back of the letter)
Pray for my body to stay healthy - my back is a bit tweaked right now.
Sweetie - the socks came today (aug 13) (those were expensive socks, but you know how I like my socks!) Tell Eme thanks for the picture. She does such a nice job. thank you so very much for the Sunday Notes. I felt the spirit teach me from your notes. I enjoyed both letters! - Keep 'em coming! I'm doing fine - just pooped out! It is tough, but I'm doing very well I think. at any rate, it is my best and Ill continue on till mission is accomplished. that is a part of the soldiers creed! Keep me in your thoughs and prayers. It makes all the difference.
I had a spare moment so I thought I'd write a little note. Hoe did Joe Joe's 5th b-day go? I hope the b-day card made it in time. I'm sure everyone had a fune time.
I should be able to use the phone at OCS, but I woun't know till I get there. It is highly unlikely that I will get to use the cell phone here - or even make a phone call of any kind - at least for quite some time.
I keep forgetting to tell you, but the day prior to graduation is called family day. We'll get about 10 hours to hang out. And then, the next day is the graduation. so, that is Oct 2nd and 3rd. So start making flight plans and such. It would be great to hang out all day and just catch up. Of course, you'll want to secure a hotel and rental carj. Just google Ft Knox tracel, etc. In my next letter, I'll confirm the scheduled graduation date. Actually, I'll do it now......
Well, that is the date that is scheduled for now. If no one really screws up. Graduation will be a big deal. I hope you can be there.
I hope you got the letters I've sent - especially the ones with the SS cards. Please confirm when you have received them. I double packaged them in my only 2 envelopes. I coudln't get access to tape, so while neither is completely whole, there are no exposed rips. I think I had enough postage on it.
Speaking of Postage, After I send this letter to you, I only have 5 stamps left. so, I'd like to keep sending letters, but don't know when I'll be able to get to the PX. It is all dependent on the drill sargeants - well and how well our poatoon is doing. And the latter can't be counted on!
I just got done taking a CLS test - Combat Life Saver or 1st aid for soldiers right during/after a battle. I think I acted it, but I surely passed it. One must get 27/40 to meet the standard. Less than that, you have to tre-take it and can't leave basic till you pass!
As far as basic, it is tough due to the body stress. Lack of sleep is the culprit. A nap during the day is a no go! Other than that, physically, it isn't tough. It is not fun getting in trouble for the actions of self-centered lazy young men. But apparently, once out of theis "red phase" or 1st 3 weeks or so, the lazy and disrespectfuly individuals will start being punished individually until they straighten up or are botted to another company or maybe even eventually out of the army.
But, yeah, it's pretty tough. It is exacting. And many people don't like it. I have come to like that in the last few years. Reenacting was helpful for that! I've had to set aside my drive to be perfect and not take things personally when corrected so gruffly.
I was just informed that I got a 39/40! I changed the answer I originally had, but it was right! Oh well. That is still a good score!
Well, sweetie, I need to get going. But I'll do a few more comments:
Another few reminders -
* Please put no writing on the back of the letter, nor any stickers - as you were, on the envelope. stickers and cutsey no9tes are just great on the inside. On the outside, it translates to extra pushups or situps. I'm really fried now and don't need any extra! Please tell my parent (Dad put the address on the back of the letter last time and that is a no go). Spread the word - for my energy sake!
* Please contact Fan and see if he got my letter. I had to try and remember his address. It hasn't come back yet, but that doesn't mean he received it. He promised me cardinals updates weekly, as well as other sports he knows. I like. Please call him and make sure he has my address.
* Also, I need everyone's address - I only have yours, Dad and Mom, and Major Joe Madagan, (as he just sent me a card). Mom or Fan has the list of family mailing addresses and phone numbers.
* The uniform is cool, but is baggy. The pants are too big, but I think the next size down would be too small. Maybe I'll tailor these in the future. The blouse fits good though. I think the dress uniform will look sharp on me. You will see that on graduation. I'm not sure which one I'll get to wear on family day. We'll see. My face is dropping weight and the rest of my body - I'm cutting up!
* I'll see if I can get a disposable camera at the PX and then send it to you. But, I'll need bigger envelopes for that and I don't know if the PX has those.
* *I'm glad everyones is having fun together.
* Don't forget to get the boys registered in scouts.
Gotta run - Love and miss you too! Won't be long till we're all together again. Pass my love to the kids and your family! I love you!
Posted by Bethany at 1:29 PM
Friday, August 8, 2008
Sweetie Pie & Kids
I hope all is well with you all & that you are doing fine after the move. Have you received any mail from me at this point? I hope the letter w/ SS cards and birth certificates makes it to you ok (they did :). the army side of the mail is messed up here @ Ft. Knox.
Well, sweetie, I have a break here @ church. It is an on base church, and almost all of us here @basic or BCT ... basic combat training... or IET, which is initial entry training, I think. Anyway, it is quite different - only a 2 hr block. As for how the platoon is doing - it is up & down. We've actually won 2 competition streamers, which is apparently 1 away from locking up honor platoon. But there are still a lot of individuals in the platoon. The training is absolutely centered on teamwork. And think of what can be accomplished by 50 men working together!! But right now we probably have 1/2 of the platoon working together. I hope we get there soon.
As for how I'm doing, all is well. Much of the training is enjoyable. The physical side of it is good. the classroom settings are tough & generally boring, but I try to stay awayk & learn what I can. The hardest Part of BCT (besides getting 50 men of varying ages to work together ) is standing @ attention and/or parade rest for long periods of time. You cannot move and your feet get areal pounding.
Sweetie Pie, can you send me a $15-20 watch ASAP? There are only a few watches in the platoon. They wouldn't let us buy them at the PX for some reason. A timex from Walmart would be just dandy. A night light, stop watch & fabric band would be very much ideal & needed. Please send that with the socks (already sent the socks, and just sent the watch yesterday)
Oh, you'll be getting about $750 extra a month for living costs here soon. I think once you get those ID's (already done!) that will start. I don't know the time frame though. Also, you'll get $250/month separation pay, probably around the end of basic. It starts after the first 30 days. The question is will it come @ beginning of the month or at the end.
Well, I really ought to get to it. always stuff to do. Pray for me to continue to be healthy, able to absorb training, and to have the spirit as my constant companion. Profanity is always around me. In nearly every sentence said. No exageration. I'm blocking it out, but still...it wears on you. All is well - Love your more than anything and I'll see you soon!
I hope all is well. I had a few minutes while I did some laundry. I also just got done doing guard duty. We did CLS or Combat Life Saving. I really enjoyed it. 90% of deaths occur in the field. If every soldier can do CLS, they figure the death toll would drop to 75% mortalities. Pretyy neat, eh? We have 2 more days of this classroom practicals.
Well, the whole company got "smoked" which is a physical punishment of hard exercise. To have the entire company (all 4 platoons) of 200 or so get smoked @ once - it was unusual. we were out there around 2 hours. They were hard workouts, but not a whole lot different from football 2 a days. I did my best, and got a great workout. This was on top of the PT we had this AM - about a 2 mile jog/sprint.
The days starts @ 0400. PT @ 0500. BFast @ 0600. It is now 2325 - so this is a typical day. very tiring. But good - I'm learning a lot. Of course missing you all a lot. Missing my Joe Joe's B-day is not cool.
Oh, on the PT, I'm probably in the top 30-40 of the company of 200 when it comes to being in shape. Good for me - sad for these kids being out of shape. And, on my watch, the one you are going to buy and send ASAP!, a "canvas" or webbed wristband would be the best. Also, please make sure it is not a chrome watch. it is a "sniper" magnet. Again, nothing expensive - ust 15-20 - stopwatch, backlight, and dark watch and webbing. Understand. Don't forget stamps and white tube socks as well.
Well, my eleys won't stay open much longer. Must sleep. Please keep me in your prayers. You all are in mine. Fell free to scan this in and email it to others, like my parents.
Love you - please pass around hugs for me and thanks to your parents.
Posted by Bethany at 1:27 PM
Sunday, August 3, 2008
I hope all is well. I am doing just fine, much of the times it is enjoyable because we are leaving how to be a soldier. the hard part is dealing with the lazy attitude of the 18-21 yr olds. Everyone that is older is pretty much squared away. There are 2 older guys than me, but no other OCS guys. there are actually 3 other E-4 specialists like myself.
Short on time - I love you and the kids and of course miss you.
Please send a package of white tube socks. That would be nice. Everything else I can get here - I think! Some more stamps too! oh, please contact the ward down here in Lexington/Fort Knox Area. There seems to be a disconnect. I have to go to some band worship service today. It was either that or Catholic. and I figured if I must go to another church, I'd go have some fun! So, please contact the local ward, bishop, etc. to let them know I'm here and want to attend. They surley have a process for those members in basic.
Remember, Ft Knox, 1/46 infantry, Co Delta, 2nd Platoon. Then, just the address I sent to you. Write it as it is listed in that letter.
Posted by Bethany at 1:26 PM