Holy freakin' crap. I made it through the most intense week of my life and I survived (I hope... hopefully these posts aren't coming from "beyo-o-o-ond the gra-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-ave." Ha ha ha). I spent the last week surviving off of very little sleep (which was done outdoors in the dead of winter), and crappy "food." Actually, I'm not sure if this stuff can legally be called food. That's probably why they're called MRE's. I have decided that MRE means "Might Regurgitate Everything." It's alot like eating neatly packaged shit out of a plastic bag. Never thought I'd say it, but boy is that chow in the Mess Hall DELICIOUS! But we spent the last week many miles from the Mess Hall, so we ate what we got. This phase of our training was crazy intense, and also alot work and alot of fun.
Our platoon worked together as a team to overcome some seemingly impossible obstacles in the midst of a full-scale battle simulation. Some of the other platoons tried to kill us by day, while our drill sergeants had a little fun trying to kill us on those rare occasions when we dared to sleep.
After spending the last week and all of our energy fighting our way through Victory Forge, we all felt like real god-damned soldiers. On the 9 mile march in the middle of the night back to base, we really looked like a bunch of veterans fresh out of battle!
And when we returned to base, the Battalion Commander and a whole slew of Drill Sergeants were there to greet us. As it turns out, it wasn't just in our heads that we felt like soldiers. Our drill sergeants, who have mistreated us and pushed us to our breaking points in every which way possible were there to recognize us as real-deal US Army Soldiers. Even the Commander recognized us no longer as recruits, but as American Soldiers.
As it turns out, our drill sergeants really are human after all. The crazy realization after all this is not only are they human, but the actually love us and regard us as Brothers. Everything that they have done over the last couple of months has not been done to us, but done for us, to make us stronger, to make us better, and to help us become the best damned soldiers we can possibly be. After all that we have been through, we owe them a huge debt of gratitude for all that they have done for us. Cheers to the United States Army Drill Sergeants, the baddest and best instructors in the world!
To celebrate our achievement, I would like for you and the kids to go out to dinner this week at the Olive Garden or a restaurant of your choosing. While you're there, raise your glasses and toast the fact that I am now officially an American Soldier!
And when you are done with your toast, raise your glasses again. Salute yourselves for your own outstanding courage in making it through each and every day on your own. These last couple of months have been a true test of your own will and determination, and you have passed with flying colors!
I love you all. And I'll see you soon.