Things that go Boom - Day 8

posted Nov 17, 2011, 4:47 AM by Brandon McGuire

(Original Date: Friday, April 23, 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.

After we wake-up in the morning we have formation. (Basically we all get in line in a certain order every time, during this period the DS make make some announcements, but the main purpose is basically to get everyone gathered and accounted for. Each DS let's the 1st Sergeant know the status of their platoon. After formation we do some PT (physical training). All exercises are new even to the DSs. They are pretty easy to do but its freakin' cold in the morning and we have on shorts and a shirt. We also get to lay down in the wet grass for some. brrr.

After breakfast we headed to a semi with a trailer that we all sat in, very similar to a bus…but a semi.  We took off to the explosive ordinance section. We learned all about grenades, RPGs, IEDs and much more. We got to watch (and feel the blast) of a real claymore. That was pretty impressive, it was quite aways away. During this time everyone was all dressed up like army men. Complete with helmets, backpacks and vests. The vest holds a canteen and I forgot to put mine in. I was sweating bullets. My neighbor in the bunk next to me forgot his hat once and was given a "negative counseling statement". This is basically like getting written up at a normal job. It goes in your file and if you get too many you can get in some big trouble (article 15 was mentioned). The DS told him if he doesn't mess up again, he will shred it so there will be nothing on his record. So anyway I was pretty scared that one of the DSs would notice, but luckily none did.

After lunch we headed back and went to the "PT Pit". Imagine a giant sandbox. There is a normal size truck and everything in the middle is just a big sandbox, so it's bigger than a football field. We learned all the different ways to carry a wounded buddy, by yourself, with help and with a stretcher (up to 4 people). We then had to practice each move with a partner in the hot sun and sand. I ended up with a little 140 pound guy, it was easy for me, but he really had a tough time trying to drag me. LOL (We ended up switching after that LOL). One of the carries was a low carry tha we did on all fours literally dragging the guy through sand. That was the toughest and when we were the one getting dragged, sand got everywhere.

One of the guys in our platoon fell out. I guess he wasn’t drinking enough water. They ended up taking him to the hospital. He isn’t back yet, so his condition is unknown. The DS said tonight that they are hoping to graduate 20 of us (our platoon started at 35). Stuff always happens along the way and people just don’t make it. 

Mail call again tonight, nothing for me. I’m guessing it may take a bit longer coming from across the country. Another nickname “Pink Eye or Pinky” a guy who got pink eye. The DS was pissed. Told us all to stop touching our eyes. We also had to bleach the entire bay. 

Today was actually a pretty cool day. I liked actually doing something. Tomorrow we have the obstacle course. That should make for a better day too. 

Random DS Quote: “Stop smiling… Stop talking…Shut your holes!!!!” (on the bus trip today.)