Thursday, August 14, 2008

14 Aug 08


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.