December 25, 2009
Today is such a joyous time of year for many people, waking up to a warm cup of hot chocolate and chowing down on some warm, chewy cookies. I can almost see my family now…making wrapping paper angels in the middle of my parent’s living room while my nieces and nephew giggle at Travis, who is most likely the one owning the wrapping paper angel contest. Only because I’m not there, my mom is taking 182 million pictures and my dad is playing the skinny, young looking, well-shaven Santa Claus.
Sounds like Christmas, huh? Not for me. My day started at 0400 (4am) with 2 minutes to get dressed and 5 minutes for 74 recruits to use the bathroom. Then came a light jog to the chow hall, 10 minutes to eat, house cleaning and a few sets of push-ups because there are still stupid recruits in our platoon that can’t shut up when they’re told to. The whole team pays for the few dumb ones. You talk in formation now, you get IT’d, which is “Individual Training” in the sand pit. You talk in formation in combat and your position is given away and people die. That’s the reality of the training here, though I’m not sure the parallel is honest in nature.
There WAS a little silver lining. The D.I. let us eat some cookies and Gatorade today for Christmas. We’re also on a field day (like Sundays), which is an extra 3 hours of “free” time. Today’s lunch tried to be good. Tried being the key word. We had turkey, sweet potatoes and apple pie. Translation…dry turkey, two bites of sweet potatoes and frozen apple pie. BUT we did get EGG NOG!!! I had two glasses when the D.I. wasn’t looking. If they see you eating something you like on Christmas, they’re likely to try to get it back out of you later.
Other than that…today was pretty lame. We studied for our phase three written exam for 3 hours and worked on our gear for the 3-mile combat endurance course tomorrow. I hope my family thought about me today, though.
There was something funny that occurred. While we were studying, 4 recruits got caught goofing off in the bathroom. So the Drill Instructor made them carry a laundry bag around the squad bay for an entire hour. Sounds easy, right? Oh, wait. The laundry bag was 8 feet by 6 feet and had 74 uniforms in it. They got a good workout.
I’m ending this Christmas Day blog from Parris Island with a strange feeling like Christmas was skipped this year. It’s a strange feeling.
Merry Christmas Family, Friends & Readers!