According to one of my platoon-mates, it’s officially 10 days until we step off for the Crucible. Not sure if you know what that is, but it’s pretty much our final test. It’s something like 56 hours, 2 1/2 MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat), and 6-8s of sleep. And at the end of a 9-mile hike, we become Marines.

We did the Combat Endurance Course yesterday, which is supposed to give us a feel for what it’s like and it’s hard, but motivating at the same time. It’s pretty much supposed to stimulate a combat situation with a bunch of obstacles we have to crawl under and help each other and stuff. And there’s lots of running around with heavy things. Oh! Like, one girl in our group “died,” (she sat up on the wall we were going over and our SDI was like, “Keep a low profile, stupid! Good. You just got shot. You’re dead. Roll over and lay down.”), and we had to carry her for a while. Not fun. Well, I personally didn’t carry her (I carried her weapon and provided security), but it didn’t look like much fun. It was definitely interesting and I totally felt badass attempting to use hand signals, and providing cover and security and stuff. And our group was the only one that did the entire course, too. Boo-yah.

I needed that motivation for sure, because lately, I’m just getting more and more exhausted. I think the entire platoon is. Everyone just wants to go home or, in my case, just sleep for an entire day, haha. But seriously, I’m ready to go home. I haven’t reached that point where I’d like, break down or anything, but I miss being normal. I miss being lazy. Even though our senior was telling us the other day that once we get home, we’re going to get annoyed with civilians because they move so slowly, LOL. I don’t know. Maybe I will. Or maybe I’ll just enjoy being slow with them. I’m kind of interested to find out how I’ll be like when I get home. Like, if I’ll wake up at 4 AM and eat my meals in 2 seconds and be all confused when I have nothing to do. That last one I kind of doubt… ha. It’ll be fun to see how I’ve changed though, because I mean, I don’t feel like I’ve changed much, but that’s because the changes were gradual, so I never really had the chance to notice them. But I’m sure once I get back and I’m around my family or you or whatever, y’all will notice something. Hopefully. If not, then boot camp didn’t work, LOL.

What else happened… shit, I don’t even remember when I last wrote. We had our company inspection about a week or two ago. Pretty much, we clean a shit ton and iron and all that, and the company commander comes in to inspect our squad bay for cleanliness and uniformity. Then, she inspects the platoon, meaning our uniforms, weapons, our Marine Corps knowledge, confidence, blah blah blah… It was kind of awesome, as uncomfortable as it was, because we got to wear our service alphas for the first time. I looked pretty sharp, if I do say so myself. Even though all my shit was too big since I lost weight. But I still managed to get an excellent on my inspections. The commander said I had a lot of confidence and I knew my shit. That was a pretty good moment for me.

What else… More shooting! This time it was combat marksmanship and holy crap, it saved my score. Remember how I said I kind of sucked at the range? (or maybe I didn’t, but yeah, I didn’t do too well on qual.) Well, this round gave me enough points to get sharpshooter, which is the middle rank out of three, and the bad for it is far less ugly than marksman, which is the lowest rank. It’s not as cool as the expert badge, but I’ll take it.

It’s kind of crazy to think about how much shit I’ve done here and how it’s almost over. I mean, 3 weeks is still a long time, but not as long as 12. And the last week, I’ll be a Marine, and it’ll just be our battalion inspection, and then graduation on Friday, so it hardly counts. I’m pretty sure all we’re doing this week is paperwork, (it’s called Admin Week, after all), and drill, (final drill is in, like, a week, and we kind of suck), so really, there’s not that much left. Well, no, that’s a lie… We still have our CFT (Combat Fitness Test) tomorrow, our PFT (Physical Fitness Test) sometime soon, our final knowledge test, practical application exam, and final drill. So maybe that’s still a lot of stuff… But it’s all within a really short amount of time so whatever.

And, again, I’m going to spend time talking about how I want to stuff my face so badly. You know what sucks though? I was trying to play exactly what I was going to eat as soon as I got home and then I realized… I’m probably flying into San Jose at like, midnight or later. And I could still go get something, but fuck… I want Asian food and that shit ain’t open that late. Or some In-N-Out… Mmm… But regardless, I’m sure if it’s that late, all I’ll want to do is pass out. And fortunately, I’ll still be able to get tasty snacks and such before then, because we have Liberty Sunday the day after we get back from the Crucible, meaning we get to wander the base and buy actual food, and a bunch of the other recruits said that their families would be willing to adopt me on Family Day (the day before graduation). Either that or I figured I could mooch some treats off of them and then run off with some of the other orphans and have a bit of free time. Even though I’m a geek, so I find myself wodnering if there’s a bookstore somewhere on this base… LOL. I NEED TO READ THE SECOND BOOK IN THE CHAOS WALKING TRILOGY. Also, I would like to read Divergent. I think I just miss reading. And TV. Oh man, if I could, I would so just buy a pint of ice cream and a pack of cookies, (Chips Ahoy or Nutter Butters), and find a TV and just veg. That’s how I would spend my Liberty Sunday. Because I’m boring, LOL.

I’m already getting the feeling that I’m going to be super lazy when I get home. Gotta make sure I keep up with the PT. Especially since I plan to eat hella. Like… HELLA. Even though I probably shouldn’t… But fuuuck, I want me some sushi and like, KBBQ and chocolate milkshakes and a burger and a donut from this awesome donut place in downtown Campbell, and banh mi from Lee’s, and Yogurtland, and EVERYTHING. I’m hungry. This needs to stop.

To answer your question, there are 4 starting positions: standing, kneeling, sitting, prone. I’m not going to go over all of them, but I’ll go over prone, because, like you mentioned, it’s the one where you’re all sprawled on the floor. And it’s not the position itself that’s uncomfortable. It’s the sling. Pretty much, it’s cinched around your arm to the point where it’s falling asleep, and then it’s hitting your wrist in this awkward way (at least for me), so it totally fucked up my hand for like, 3 weeks. And the buttstock is digging into your shoulder. Also, the scope hit me in my face due to the recoil, more than once. Fun times.

But, it’s over and like I said, I got sharpshooter, so whatever. Oh! And yesterday, we totally got our dress blue uniforms tailored and I’m so stoked to get it back. Not sure when it’ll happen, but I don’t even care. It’s just too bad we don’t graduate in them… But the service Charlies are still pretty cute. AND, I finally have my ticket home. I just bought it the other day and was like, “Shit son! I’m finally going HOME!” I’m excited. Oh! And the CFT! I passed. Did a lot better than I thought, even though my score could have been better on the run if some jerk didn’t trip me as she was passing me, but whatever… I’ll do better on my next CFT. Did I mention what that consists of? I don’t think I did. It’s a half-mile run in boots, ammo can lifts (they’re 30 lbs.), and then a sadistic obstacle course-type thing where you have to run, crawl, drag a buddy, firearm carry a buddy, then sprint around with 2 ammo cans. Pretty much, the entire time you feel like you’re going to die. And the girls behind me are talking about baked goods and I want to punch them. Gah!

But I’ll be able to eat cake soon… Warrior’s Breakfast. It’s right after the Crucible, and rumor has it, there is EVERYTHING there. Doubt there’ll be any Asian or Mexican food, but I’ll be satisfied with some cake. Or pie. Or both. 10 days, dude… 10 days…

  1. Josh said:

    How exciting! Call me when you get back!

  2. I am so impressed…not only are you training to be Marine (my Dad was one), but that you have energy and creative talent to share your story with us.

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