Thursday, May 20, 2010

Things that go bump in the night (Basic Training) Day 43

These entries are from the letters that Brandon has mailed to me. His writing at times can be a bit difficult to determine his words... bare with me, I do my best, especially with army terms.
Last night was a long, long, long night. We slept in out “hasty fighting positions only for an hour at a time. I had a sleeping mat that I rolled out and a blanket that I used for a pillow most of the time. Every so often I would hear a bomb go off or a gun fire. Sometimes a “halt” command, given somewhere else in the camp. I had my rifle attached to me with a bungee cord. That way during my sleeping shift nobody would be able to steal it. Most of the time during my guard shit, I would stare towards the wood line, but if I heard something I would grab the night vision scope and survey the area. That thing is pretty cool. It’s amazing how much you can see. The only time I saw anyone is when our PG and his squad were returning from a “raid” on another platoon. They were unable to get anything though. I guess the PG saw the other platoon’s DS and thought he was a tree. LOL! As our PG was sneaking by their DS grabbed him and there was a bit of wrestling match. Stories differ on how it all played out. According to the other DS, he had our PG almost choked out. Our PG said it wasn’t even close to that. 
So I only managed a little over 3 hours sleep broke up into 4 different shifts. That SUCKS! Had to get up to the sound of a siren and machine gun fire. Take a quick field shower, shave with no mirror and fill in our hasty fighting position.
We did more battle drills today and during the drills we used up all our blank ammo (that was kind of fun). Other than that, I sometimes wonder why a guy with an IT Job in the army would need to know all this infantry type crap. I was hot, I was still pretty dirty, and had very little sleep, so I was a bit grouchy.
When we finally got back to our bay everyone took a shower. That felt awesome! The transportation back was in a cattle car and it was very cramped and hot with all the people and gear in there.
I was a bit disappointed after our shower to find that instead of our normal hours of personal time, we all had to clean the CTA. Also I had another fire guard shift coming up. I can’t remember when I last slept through the night. At least it gave me time to catch up on my journal. Tomorrow…live hand grenades…Boom!
Random DS Quote: “If you’re in a banana hammock and you’re singing and dancing, then you’re gay” (DS explaining this to a Private on the cattle car ride back “home”)

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