I preface this with an apology for my jumbled thoughts.
Monday–11 November 2013
“The more we sweat in peace the less we bleed in war.” -Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit
Land of the free. Home of the brave.
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many amazing people since coming to San Antonio — I love hearing what brought each person to BOLC. It’s especially exciting to hear the many places people have been since joining the military — I can only imagine what my future holds! Not only does it excite me about the future, but it gives me so much respect for them. This year’s Veteran’s Day is different than any other year–it honors me to be able to put on the same uniform every day and serve with the 1%. I’m also amazed how many companies support the military on Veteran’s Day — lots of free meals, discounts, and for the lucky people in DC, MD, and NOVA, free 60 minute massages….bummer for us in TX…but there was still so much going on, I was out till almost 10…and then realized I had to be up and on my way to the field at 3am the next day (and hadn’t started packing).
The past couple months have been unusual — however, that’s kinda just how the Army rolls. It’s definitely a regimented lifestyle…but one that lacks schedule (at least in BOLC training). Anyone who knows me well would agree that I operate optimally once I have a set schedule, so my transition continues to have some bumps along the way that I expected to be worked out within the first couple weeks. It’s frustrating —
With the exception of last week, I’ve had death by powerpoint… allllllll day
But in my spare time, I did have some fun..
I learned to be creative with spaghetti squash
Screen shot almost every snap chat Amber sends me — yes that is our main form of communication…
Made more rings (as I seem to still lose them…)
Enjoyed the college coffee shop scene
Ate and created some delicious food
Almost ruined a brand new pair of boots
Did a fun run and pub run in the same day
Lived a week in the field — which included sleeping on a cot with no pillow, going through a gas chamber (ya experiencing tear gas was….fun), being loaded onto a medevac helicopter after being hit in the face with an M16 (don’t worry, I wasn’t shot…just happened to be nailed in the face by the muzzle while being lifted in a practice evac…) and many shenanagins with the paltoon
Learned to salsa, merengue, bachata, and two step (in the same weekend!)
On a more serious note…since training started, I’ve overheard numerous comments about direct commission officers — a lot of people feel like we shouldn’t be in BOLC, we shouldn’t be given the luxury of being an officer without any previous military training…and in a way, I completely understand where they are coming from. I know I didn’t go to basic or ROTC — I’m new and don’t know a lot — I make mistakes — but I’m also learning…and most importantly, I’m giving it my all. Perhaps they were only referring to a couple of specific instances and I just happened to overhear part of their conversation — regardless, it’s discouraging — especially since in pre-BOLC I got to see so many of the direct commission officers shine in leadership positions. We want to be good soldiers — good leaders — give us a chance to show you we can before discrediting us.
Saturday — 16 November 2013
And as per (now) usual — I ran out of time to finish that blog….so another week in the field and almost another weekend later… so much more … photos….eventually
I’m quickly learning how fast a weekend goes by … and how much time ‘real people tasks’ occupy. I feel like getting home on Friday between 5 and 7 the past two weeks, it’s been a hurried shuffle to get everything done… and still maintain my social life….which lets be real, that takes priority over things like vacuuming my car or getting small things for my apartment — how blessed I am to have my own washer/dryer and dishwasher in my apartment…multitasking wonders ❤
So I know I don’t talk much about my personal life (that’s purposeful), but there is one occasion I must share…. I agreed to go on a date Friday with a guy I met last week…I already had plans for dinner with some people in my platoon, so the date was just going to something like movie and maybe frogurt ….. We met at a Colombian restaurant around 7….and well due to some pretty poor service (I’m being generous with my words), we finally all paid our bills by about …9:30 pm. I’m pretty sure my date had almost given up on me …. but I gave him a call to see if he was still wanting to go see a movie. ..he said he’d still love to see me if I was up for it…so I said ok…
–first though, take a couple steps back and examine my past week–
We went back to the field on Tuesday morning– I woke up at 0300.
Tuesday-Thursday were chilly days– I’m talking 0430 in the morning and maybe 25 degrees (if we were lucky) — attire was just basic ACUs (none of the fancy cold weather gear), tennis shoes, a small fleece cap and the tactical gloves I brought…not warm at all — the activity, combatives. I was previously very excited about combatives –what’s better than being 5’4″ and having the skills to hold your own against someone bigger than you if needed (or against your ‘little’ brother who is 6’….just to show you’re still the big sister); however, being nauseous and almost passing out while freezing and trying to do drills is not my idea of a good time… it was one of those ‘suck it up soldier’ moments that I would dispute in the civilian world (…and I still question if it was correct for the instructor to tell me to get over it and keep going as others noted my pale face and glossy eyes…I clearly was not ok –regardless… I made it through…).
I don’t really remember most of the week other than combatives…and freaking out in my MOPP4 gear when I was given a far too large mask…so it didn’t seal…and still had CS gas (tear gas) trapped inside… maybe the just of what I’m getting at is ….this wasn’t my favorite week by any means…
Friday was day 4 of being in the field…and the first day I had actually felt well… it was an early morning that started at 0415 with night/day land navigation till 1030 — there is no telling how far my amazing partner, Jess, and I trekked — but we hit all of our points (even the one we deemed as impossible…and I still think it’s the hardest point on the course — It was a gorgeous day…warm…and fun!
….soooooo the point of that whole rant was…by the time my date and I met up around 10:00 pm at the Quarry Market theater, I was pretty tired… some ‘eenie meenie miney mo’ action decided Thor was the movie to see… we were cutting it close to the start time…so by the time we got a drink and through the ticket line, all the doors were closed to the movies… so we creep into the one labeled Thor… to a packed room…the movie already started… we had to shuffle by a decent chunk of a row worth of people to find 2 seats next to each other…so we got settled and started watching, trying to figure out what was going on … about ten minutes in, he leaned over to me and said “I think we’re in the wrong Thor showing….”
I died…we had just made a huge scene coming in …so then we awkwardly shuffled back out of the room, trying to contain our laughter till we got to the hallway. We made it to the correct Thor room…trailers were still playing. When the movie came to the part we had already seen, we both struggled not to burst out laughing.
The movie was ok…I struggled to stay awake…
The date was kinda set up to fail awkwardly…but it worked…date 2 is a go!
Completely unrelated — my first big race in TX and as a real person is tomorrow morning!!! San Antonio Rock and Roll Marathon….or so I’m registered… I have put aside my pride and ‘want to do the full’ attitude…and accepted that the past few months haven’t allowed me to train to run the full 26.2…so I’ll be running the half — but it’s empowering in a way to finally be in the mindset to run a race for leisure… and I’ve convinced friends to run with me!!!! I think all my Roanoke friends are used to my pestering, telling EVERYONE to register to run races with me…some have been crazy enough to join in… but most blow me off haha (to each their own…that’s ok) I forget that my friends here don’t know me like that though… running into a fellow Army-Baylor student at the expo today…after hearing he was backing out of the race… I naturally confronted the situation and used my best tactics to change his mind…no such luck. I think he realized I was mostly kidding in my disappointment…but I guess I have to be more mindful that everyone here doesn’t know how to deal with my over-enthusiasm with running (now that I think of it, I don’t think some of my Roanoke friends know what to do when I’m all ‘woohoo lets run this race,’ so maybe I just need to be more mindful with my hooah running attitude). So tomorrow morning, I’ll be up bright and early, excited to run — forecast looks great for 6:30am — 72 degrees in the morning, and then rising to 81 for a high (man — I love Texas…except when it decides to be freezing in the field)
I think that’s all for today…I’m supposed to be doing an online army class right now… so I probably should get to that…
As I said before….pictures will come…eventually. Maybe tomorrow when I’m exhausted after the race… a couple of my good friends have been snapping pictures the past few weeks and sending them to me ‘specifically for my blog’…. so I’ll have to upload them one of these days…
But that plane ticket for Christmas I was procrastinating on buying… it’s booked — Minneapolis bound for a Lee Christmas ❤ ❤ ❤ I will likely freeze…
And finally a terminal to my train of thought.