The Volunteers - Day 3

posted Nov 14, 2011, 5:02 AM by Brandon McGuire

A picture of our bay from near my bunk. The “kill zone” in the middle was off limits to all except the DSs

(Original Date: Sunday, April 18, 2010)

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.

Today was a pretty crappy day for me all around. It started off bad and just stayed that way the whole day. Somehow I put my shorts on backwards and almost made it out the door before someone noticed. That would of sucked!! I quickly was able to swap them around before heading out to PT. In the chow hall, I forgot to take off my hat and got chewed out for it. We had a whole bunch of classes that were boring and very hard to stay awake in. People were getting smoked left and right. One DS even jumped up on a desk and onto another desk and started screaming at a kid. I try and take notes and that seems to keep me from sleeping, but even that is not fool proof. I caught myself almost going a few times.

Outside they had the whole company got together for a demonstration – they asked for a volunteer and a guy jump up and ran out there. He found out soon that they were demoing the procedure for when a person over heats. It gets hot here at Ft. Benning and they say people have died here before in basic training. So the first thing they do is strip the guy down to his underwear and then lay him on a blanket that has been soaking in a chest full of ice.They continue to add more blankets around his “hot spots” (groin, head, underarms) and then place one on top of him. The whole time they are wringing out ice water on him. To top it off it was still too early for it to even warm up.

Later on I was in class and the DS had a volunteer come up and take off his shirt. He then proceeded to show how to use plastic from an MRE and duct tape to seal a chest wound. Of course when he was done he had to rip that tape off his harry chest. 

I’m having a little information overload right now there is so much crap that we are supposed to know. When we are marching we have to say stuff, but nobody can ever remember so we just sound like crap. I need to memorize something called “the Low”, the chain of command, the army song. I’m glad tomorrow is Sunday.

We were able to go to the PX today. I didn’t need much, but it was nice to see a change of scenery. I picked up some laundry soap & a small notepad. We were also given a chance to use the phones. I tried calling my wife, we only had 10 minutes inside this room with a bunch of phones that cost $1.00 (no phone cards allowed). My wife didn’t answer so that really bummed me out. To tell you the truth, I almost cried there on the spot. I ended up just leaving her a 10 minute message on her voicemail.

We learned today how we should be organizing our lockers. I’ll need to take a little more time tomorrow, but it will be nice knowing where everything is. Because 1st Platoon (us) pissed off our DSs by having people fall asleep during class, we were only given 20 seconds for showers, 20 seconds for brushing teeth. That was stupid, not a lot you can do in 20 seconds. Our platoons this cycle are smaller than normal I guess. Our barracks can fit 60 or so, but we only have 35. There are 3 DSs per platoon, so it seems they are everywhere and always yelling. What’s funny is that 2 of our DSs and a number of others have lost their voices already!

Random DS Quote: “Hey you…with the glasses…the face…and the ears”  (way to be descriptive there DS!)