http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kf9mtklklsE&feature=email (or see the actual video below in comments)
From my son-in-law at Army boot camp – Fort Beannie (Thanks MC!):
What I’ve Learned as an Infantryman, a/k/a: Grunt-in-Training:
1. How to eat a three-course meal in under three minutes;
2. How to wake up already in the position of attention;
3. Regardless of time of day, where you’re at, how quiet or noisy, hot or cold, whether you’re in standing or sitting position, shooting your weapon or not…How to fall asleep ANYWHERE;
4. How to shit, shave and get dressed in five minutes – no exaggeration!!;
5. How to get somewhere as fast as possible and wait forever;
6. How to have a casual conversation with five guys all in the shower at the same time (I know – I didn’t think this would ever happen either!);
7. How to do laundry, sweep, mop, and clean anything and everything with a TOOTHBRUSH;
8. That if you’re not infantry, you’re a P.O.G. (Person Other Than Grunt);
9. How to eat anything and everything with a SPOON;
10. How to chug two 12 ounce classes of Poweraid like the guy from “The Man Show.”
11. How to learn breathing techniques while sixty men have fart competitions throughout the day;
12. That you really will pay $20 for a bag of Skittles during the “RED” Phase; (no joke – you really will!)
13. How to lose weight;
14. How to roll an ankle – OUCH!!
15. How to wake up at “What-the- _ _ _ _! O’Clock”;
16. How to avoid a Drill Sergeant;
17. How to dodge mail;
18. How to perform the Front Lean & Rest Position ….. MOVE!;
19. How close you can get to being gay….without actually being gay;
20. How to fold your clothes to the size of a DOLLAR!
21. How to understand Drill Sergeant (DS) lingo, as follows:
“1, 2, 3″ is said out loud - “HUN, HOO, HREE!” “Not to be that one, Private! It behooves you to know what behooves means”…. (even though no one knows what it means!).
22. How hard it is to look busy (it’s harder to LOOK BUSY than it is to actually BE BUSY!!)
23. How easy it is to get SMOKED!! (Believe me – I know from experience!)
24. NOT to ask your Drill Sergeant for a wake-up call.
25. What questions NOT TO ASK a Drill Sergeant, like: What’s your first name? How much do you make? Can I use the bathroom? When’s chow? DS, how do I….? Usually any question along these lines leads to a smoking. (But these are actual questions that have been asked from my platoon!!! - Idiots!)
26. How NOT TO SMILE in the chow line when the DS says, “Smile if you like d _ _ _ …. Saying the word over and over again, then saying “Oh my – - that’s a lotta d _ _ _ !” (How do you not smile during something like that????)
27. When a Drill Sergeant asks you if you want any kind of food that you know you’re not supposed to have during Basics, such as your favorite brownies or candy, KNOW THIS IS A TRICK!!!!! JUST SAY “NO”!!!!! Don’t even think about it. NO! NO! NO!
** ** ** ** ** ** ** **
And there you have it – what my infantryman son-in-law has been going through since March 4. Glad I’m here at home…….Here, I get to be the Drill Sergeant!!
We all know what the doctors say. But now listen to our soldiers-in-training. My son-in-law at ARMY boot camp has been put under a new “smoking” policy. According to the drill sergeant, whoever receives more than five letters in one day gets SMOKED. My boy has explained what he means by his “smoking” sessions:
Unlucky as it is for him, it DOES NOT involve TOBACCO products. What it does involve is between 200-400 Overhead Arm Claps (jumping jacks to us non-military types).
Then clap your hands over your head
400 Times!!! Ouch!!
Then back to starting position.
And that’s just the beginning – then they do Flutter Kicks. (Apparently Flutter Kicks suck, but I’ve been told you feel really good about yourself afterwards – GO FIGURE!)
You lie down flat on your back like this
Then you have to raise your feet off the ground six inches and hold the position, with legs completely straight, like this
THEN you start kicking your legs up and down (fluttering like a beautiful butterfly), counting 1,2,3; ONE, 2, 3; 1, TWO, 3; etc., all the way up to 100 - OUCH Again!!
Then after those, they do more push-ups, and jumping jacks - 00ps - I mean OVERHEAD ARM CLAPS.
And it wore him out just writing about it; and I gotta tell ya – it wore me out just blogging about it.
That’s ARMY STRONG!! Navy - What’s your smoking policy???
THE NEW SMOKING POLICY – - – - – GOTTA LOVE IT!!
PS – I think I’d better cut back on the letters.
OK – I know what you’re thinking. There’s not much that an Army Drill Sergeant and a Mail Clerk have in common. Or so normal people would think. However…..
The Bermuda Triangle of the Army World
My daughter had cried and cried. Her husband sent her yet another letter from Army boot camp asking why she hadn’t written, and whether she still loved him. She was frantically writing a reply and wondering where her FEDEX package filled with the pictures of all the kids and the artwork had gone. (It had cost lots of $$$$ that she really didn’t have to spare, just to get it there the next day so he’d have something to open). And she mailed a letter the day after that, and the day after that, and the day after that. They’d somehow ended up in the bootcamp black hole that sucked up love letters and pictures of the kids, and made recruits wonder if their families still loved them.
My daughter cried and cried, the tears staining the paper and making drip marks on the ink that contained her sadness and frustration. She’d even convinced herself it was a conspiracy, just to keep her husband from getting her letters. For some unknown reason, they were really trying to punish him.
Well, she asked me to help her call the number at the Army Base – the number that you were supposed to call if you had any questions. A burly-voiced man answered and I told him who I was. He said he’d just spoken with the recruit’s mother, and she’d asked the same questions. Where was the mail??
He assured me that he’d distributed all the mail that had come in (like a good mail clerk would, I thought), and he remembered giving mail to our soldier boy. Remembered that he’d gotten mail from me, and our boy’s mother, and his dad. But……what about the FEDEX package? He said, “Hold on. I’ll go get him, and ask him what he’s gotten.”
Wow, I thought. A mail clerk who could just go get a recruit and ask him about the mail. Pretty efficient.
And then we were disconnected. Oh well, we’ll just call right back!
And we did! My daughter talked to him, and had him ask her husband about her mail. No, he didn’t get it. Then she made the Mail Clerk promise to tell him that she really did love him, and had sent him gobs and gobs of letters. He said he would tell our boy how madly in love with him she was.
Well, a few days later, my daughter got a letter from her husband. He’d finaly gotten some of her mail (although still not the expensive FEDEX package). But her husband said he’d then gotten “smoked.” The efficient Mail Clerk we’d been talking to was not a mail clerk at all, but her husband’s Drill Sergeant (the one and only), and he hadn’t been particularly pleased that three females had made three different phone calls to see why their sweet soldier boy hadn’t gotten his mail. Well, you know what that means.
Yep, our boy was required to do 500 pushups that day!! But the funny thing was – he was happy. Happy that his wife had cared enough to cry, and call his drill sergeant asking about her mail. And making him promise to tell her husband how much she loved him. He smiled through each one of those 500 push ups. It was worth it.
At the end of the day, after all 500 pushups were done, and arms were sore, and it was time for bed, the drill sergeant called our boy into his office and told him that he’d never, ever seen anyone do 500 pushups with a dumb smile plastered across his face the whole time. That positive attitude was worth a bonus – he was promoted to barrack supervisor.
And the real surprise was that instead of getting him into trouble, his wife – my daughter- had done something that really, really helped him.
I congratulated her for her good job, but just told her not to do it again! (His biceps might not be able to take much more!)
And I’m sure the saga will continue…
P.S. And check out the variety of blogs at condron.us
Do you ever feel as if you’re straddling a frail, thin line? Or maybe standing on one side, peering over to the other, trying not to lose your delicate balance and topple over?
Sometimes it feels as if life is divided by this tenuous line. Happiness on one side and sadness on the other. Standing on the side of sadness, it seems that the line is a tall, stone wall, impossible to jump over and even very hard to scale. But eventually you hope to clear the top and bound to the other side.
But standing on the side of happiness, the line appears to be just drawn in the sand, easily crossed, sometimes without even realizing when it happens.
Or maybe the line itself moves. You might not have to change a thing, or move a muscle, but one minute you’re on the joyous side, and the next you’re on the side of despair. Wondering how you got there, and how you’re going to get back over.
Or maybe the line divides a life into two phases, one before, and one after. Never to be the same again – you can never go back. But before or after what? It’s different for each of us.
For our family, the line is being drawn by my children who are leaving the fold, venturing out on their own. Inviting danger?
Joining the military.
Right now, things are wonderful. Everyone is happy and healthy. And alive. We’ve got everything that’s really important. But things may change. My son-in-law just left for Army boot camp last week, for three months, and plans to request active duty. My son will leave for Navy boot camp next month, and plans to train to be a SEAL. I think a lot about how our lives would never again be the same if something were to happen to them, and remind myself to appreciate what we have today, be thankful for each and every day that we’re all here: happy and healthy. And alive.
Right now, things are great. But I feel as if I’m peering over the line that divides our happiness from sadness, the cheerful present from a possibly heartrending future. I’m praying for balance, not even wanting to breathe the wrong way in fear it will make me tilt. I’m begging God not to let my family unexpectedly topple to the other side.
I don’t want to contemplate life or death; I’d rather just think about what to cook for dinner.
And those are the feelings of a new Military Mom.
(P.S. And check out the variety of blogs at condron.us)