Wednesday, January 6, 2010


January 6, 2010
Camp Lejeune

Hey everybody, so sorry once again for slacking. I should get paid to be a slacker, then I'd be rich. Anyway, here's the deal. I'm going to Afghanistan a week from today, so I'm putting this blog on hold (as if I haven't 90% of the time since March). I'm going to be starting a NEW BLOG *coughagaincough* and it's going to be called "Afghanistan Journal." A spinoff, if you will. I'll be chronicling my trials and tribulations overseas.

It's a once or twice in a lifetime experience for someone only enlisting for one term, so I feel it's more important to document that then to talk about the past year for now. I will return to this blog when I get back home, but I'm planning on making the new blog a regular thing, possibly daily, or every other day to keep people updated, informed, etc.

So, head on over to that, I'll come back here and post a link when I actually create the blog and this post will serve as the introduction, so I'll just jump right into it there.


Here is the link to the new one.

As always I welcome comments and suggestions. The color layout of it right now might be a little funky, let me know.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Unfortunately Famous Marines

October 29. 2009
Camp Lejeune

I was just kind of wasting time online today instead of actually creating a new entry. My apologies. I decided to compensate by compiling a brief and embarrassing list of famous former Marines. Take it as you will, but this short list may have more to say than a longer list of positively influential people. Though I'm sure the USMC tries hard to forget these names, they still maintain a reputation. Their memories hover like a dark cloud.

F. Lee Bailey
Charles Colson
Hussein Muhammed Farrah Aidid
Mark Fuhrman
Don Imus
Clayton Lonetree
Joseph McCarthy
Lee Harvey Oswald
Randy Orton
Joe Pyne
Charles Whitman
Ed Wood

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Map

This is a general map of the Edson Range area. "31 Area" as I think it's referred to. You can clearly see the four barracks buildings and the shooting ranges in the top right corner. The medical building is somewhere around the bottom right and the chow hall and PX is on the bottom left. You can see an interstate on the bottom. Like we could always see the skyline and rich neighborhoods of San Diego from MCRD, we could always see passing traffic at Edson Range.

Also...notice how depressing this place looks, even from above.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Boot Camp Part 19

October 14, 2009
Camp Lejeune (BLDG FC 504)

T22 - "Marine Corps History"

The matrix says we did history today, but I know the combat conditioning course happened at some point during first phase, so I'm going to put that here.

The combat conditioning course is a really lame course where recruits carry rubber rifles with blue bayonets on the end (the same ones we use for MCMAP) and run through these "obstacles" while war-crying. Fake war noises play over speakers that are overlooking the course. I'm pretty sure it's just sounds from the opening of Saving Private Ryan too. Ghetto Marine Corps.

There's not too much to say about it. We run the course in groups of four after four Drill Instructors demonstrate the entire thing for us.

I remember a few of us were laughing at Sgt. Parada because he just looked funny in his kevlar. We never see DIs wearing anything other than a campaign cover unless they're not wearing their campaign cover.

When we complete this course, I've gained and accomplished nothing.

T22 - Movement to WFTB

For the past week, Sgt. Virto has been giving us introductory "classes" when we do our guided discussions. He talks a little bit about what 2nd phase is going to be like, he talks about Edson Range (the area of Camp Pendleton where it takes place) and some of the things we'll doing.

He explains the procedures of going through the chow hall there and setting up the armory formation for weapons maintenance in the squad bay. We're also shown how to make our racks differently. We use our second green blanket as a "dust cover" for out pillow, as it's apparently dusty and dirty where we're going.

Note: It is VERY dusty at Edson Range.

Today is the day where we move to Pendleton for the next three weeks. The previous night, we had to pack our seabags. Every time I do this during Recruit Training, I get really worked up and pissed off because It's always a real hassle to get everything in a seabag and close it. I don't remember all what I have to throw away, but I know I end up losing some stuff so I have room for the essentials.

I never throw away a single letter I received at Boot Camp, and I still have them all at home.

October 27, 2009
Camp Lejeune

I took a break in the middle of this entry, my apologies.

Where was I? Moving to Pendleton for 2nd Phase?

I remember each of us having one seabag. In the morning we have to go outside to stage these seabags in formation either before or after we eat, but it's still dark out.

I tightened the straps on my seabag completely, which is a mistake because the seabag is totally full. What does this mean? This means that when I put the seabag on (how I did this I don't know) that it was so tight, the circulation in my arms starts getting cut off immediately.

As we're walking in formation I start getting a little distressed here. It took me a second to actually get my arms through the straps. How am I supposed to get them off? ("Good question," I think to myself.)

The circulation in my arms starts getting cut off so bad that my hands are tingling and it gets difficult to reach my shoulders with my hands. I think I panic a little more than what is reasonable for something like this to happen, but it's more due to the attitudes of everyone else. If I was with a group of friends, I probably wouldn't worry about it, but since I'm around essentially a large group of vultures who don't care about anyone but themselves, I get a little worried.

I know I asked Montgomery, who at this point in time had a designated spot near me in formation, to help me out. He gives it a go but gives up. I think finally I asked him again and we got it off my back.

This sounds silly looking back on it, but if a DI was to notice me struggling with something so minuscule I probably would've been given a hard time.

After we stage our seabags, some other stuff happens and when the sun comes out, a few white trucks pull up. At this point we've already stacked our weapons in formation perfectly since our drill is crisp fresh out of Initial Drill.

The white trucks are to load all our seabags onto. This happens by many platoons combining and making a chain where we roll the seabags down the middle and then throw them into the trucks. This takes maybe twenty-five minutes and the trucks are loaded. The trucks leave and then we have to go back, get in formation, grab our weapons, and go to the buses.

Names are read off and our platoon is chopped into at least two buses by alphabetical order. I'm on Sgt. Saldana's bus, and this doesn't exactly thrill me. If you haven't gathered this yet, he is the most strict of the DIs. He's the designated monster.

We get on the buses, which are the same buses that picked us up from the airport on the first fateful night. I don't recall who I sit next to, but I'm sitting right behind Sgt. Saldana, who's in the front row. No one is allowed to sleep on the bus, in fact we have work to do.

A few days prior, we'd been givin a brief period of instruction on sewing.

Our task to accomplish on he bus ride is to sew on a laminated "name-tape" to the back of our cover.

I'm not sure if I've covered it or not, but I'm constantly making name-tapes laminated every week and using my marking kit to stamp my name on it. It reads "MILAS, JS" in elongated letters. It's stamped into a 1x6 inch strip of paper cut from a note card and then laminated with clear packing tape. This is what I have to sew onto the back of my cover.

Specifically, it needs to be sewn on so that there are six x-shaped string patterns on the outside of the cover. Also, we have to sew a button onto the inside on the top of the cover.

The entire ride, I basically bullshit this so I can look out the windows of the bus. This is the first time I've seen the outside world since August, and it's now October. Let me tell you, southern California is a beautiful area despite the fact that so many people from there are assholes. The scenery and countryside is quite breathtaking.

The ride lasted maybe an hour from MCRD to Camp Pendleton, which I was a little excited to see, and a little nervous about. This would mark my first time on an actual Marine Corps Base. Pendleton marks a change in scenery. The area is a little more desert-like and more natural. There's less development. This of course is totally re-inforced when we finally reach the gate to Edson Range: one of the most desolate and depressing locations I've ever been to.

Do me a favor and search "Edson Range" on google and go to the images. It might not look so bad, but imagine living at this place. Everything is constantly dry and dusty. One of the three days there was rain during my time in Boot Camp took place at Edson, but the water evaporated so fast it was like it never happened. The place has no color. Everything's just kind of a sickly brown, and the buildings are white. I bet if you went a week without showering there you'd have a coat of dirt on your skin jut because there's so much in the air.

Well, moving to a new place obviously means we're going to get screwed with. There's too much stuff for us to do in a short period of time for things to go smooth. The buses all end up in a large parking area, which doubles as the parade deck here. We get off with our rifles and start unloading seabags, then we go to our barracks. These buildings only have two levels and eight squadbays instead of twelve.

When we get inside our second floor squad bay (my platoon never catches a break, we moved out of a third story squadbay to a second story) I realize how life is going to be here: dirty. The floor looks really dusty. Everything just hits me in a way that brings me down.

We throw the seabags onto a pile since not everyone has theirs and we start doing something dreadful:

"Wagonwheel formation!"

"Wagonwheel formation, aye aye, sir!"

We start walking in a circle around the squadbay and when we get to the quarter deck we grab a seabag. Still, not everyone has theirs. We're walking while bear hugging these seabags and Sgt. Virto starts playing games. We have to stop and squat with the seabags, legs parralel to the deck. This means that our knees form a 90 degree angle. This, you know, is fairly impossible to do while bear hugging a sea bag for a long period of time, so naturally:

"Good, Fletscher doesn't want to have his legs parallel to the deck! Wagonwheel formation!"

And so on and so forth. This goes on for a while until Mellies becomes so tormented that he drops his seabag and goes to pound on the hatch to the duty hut, where SSgt. Arzola has been for a few minutes.

"Good afternoon gentlemen! Recruit Mellies requests permission to speak to Senior Drill Instructor Staff Sergeant Arzola!"

I haven't really covered it too much, but I did mention that I called it. Mellies was the Pvt. Pyle of our platoon, much like the one showcased in Full Metal Jacket. At this point, Mellies tries to quit. He actually tries to quit boot camp here. Of course the rest of us are still bear hugging sea bags or making our racks or whatever, but he's trying to quit.

Well, it doesn't work, so we go on tollerating him.

After the flip-flopping of Syer and Samuels as guide, it's become pretty apparent that Syer will be 1067's guide for the rest of Recruit Training.

The squad leaders have become Pavlik, Kinney, Uzzel, and the fourth's name is escaping me. It starts with a W and I can picture his face very well. Wilkerson? I don't know.

Rohl is the scribe, Ramirez J is the firewatch scribe.

I don't recall the Whiskey Locker recruits. I belive Power is still one of them at this point, but he is eventually replaced sometime during 2nd or 3rd Phase.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Boot Camp Part 18

October 13, 2009
Camp Lejeune

T20 - Swim Qual

T20 is one of those days I wake up and scream "yay" mentally. It's the 20th day of training. It's really no big deal; there are like 60 days of training or something, but it's a milestone for me.

Qualifying 2nd class only involves two things. I have to swim the entire length of the pool with a helmet, flack jacket, and rifle, but no pack. This means I'm heavier and I have no flotation device. I'm not sure if I had to do this with my feet out in front of me like before, but I don't think I did. By the time I get to the end, I'm exhausted and it takes the added assistance of the designated helper recruits to pull me out.

The other thing we have to do is swim about half the length of the pool while pulling another recruit who's wearing a "main pack." After that he has to pull me back the other way. This ends up not being too hard for me because I just use the other guy as a flotation device. The whole time I'm pushing him down to keep myself up (which might be defeating the purpose) and his face is almost underwater, but we make it. I remember who I did it with, but I can't remember his name. He's one of Fletcher's best friends through the experience and I believe he's actually from San Diego.

That ends Swim Qual. It goes by fast and it's easy. I did the best I could, which was THE best possible: 2nd Class. It's not that much of an accomplishment really, but there are people who only get 3rd or 4th class. In my opinion that's actually kind of pathetic. The required tasks to perform are so simple; they're not scary like they may sound.

T21 - Confidence Course 2

The matrix I'm using as a reference shows today as being Pugil Sticks III, but we didn't do that until 3rd phase, and I know we did the second part of the confidence course during 1st phase.

The first time we do the confidence course, it's the low, easy obstacles. The second time we do it, it's the obstacles that make me want to crap my pants. I'm afraid of heights and some of these things are like thirty feet high. That doesn't sound like much, but when you're afraid of heights and you get to the top and look down...

Well, the whole thing starts off on the wrong foot from the beginning. We split up into groups of maybe twenty, and my group gets screamed at by SSgt. Green (1068's SDI) from the very beginning. He seems like he's in a pretty irritable mood.

SSgt. Freeman (1068's J hat) was making us "in place double time" and I guess I half ass it because SSgt. Green calls ME out specifically.

"Destroy him!" he says to SSgt. Freeman.

SSgt. Freeman proceeds to "destroy" me for about 45 seconds. I makes me hold out a rubber rifle (arms parallel to the deck), run in place, and war cry at the top of my lunges. The whole time he's also telling me to bring my knees up to the rifle and touch it, but also to keep my arms parallel to the deck. This is impossible for anyone who doesn't have unlimited energy, so it just goes on until my group moves on. The first obstacle we're at (there are three) is the stairway to heaven. This is all going on while we're waiting behind another group to climb up it. The stairway to heaven is a gigantic ladder made out of wood and as you reach the top, the steps get farther apart. Thankfully I end up not having to do it because PMSing SSgt. Green kicks our group off of it and none of us do it. If you can't visualize this obstacle, think of Full Metal Jackey. Pyle barely climbs over the top as Joker sits at the top and motivates him.

The next obstacle is the A-Frame. The A-Frame almost made me piss myself.

It involves climbing a rope (which I can barely do), grabbing onto a log and pulling yourself on top of the obstacle. Then you run (or walk as I did) across these logs for ten feet or so. Between the logs is about eight inches of space, so the whole time I'm looking down maybe twenty five feet at these rubber wood-chip things. Not to mention I thought I was going to die when I tried to get off the rope and initially pull myself up. It actually took an adrenaline rush because I was sure I was going to fall off.

When you walk across the logs, you encounter SSgt. Morales (1066's SDI) who tells you to "move!" "hurry up!" "what're you doing!" and you walk over to the actual A-shaped ladder. You climb this ladder which takes you even higher. It's leaning out over dead space at maybe a 70 degree angle and it's got a rope hanging off of it.

If you're me, you're hyperventelating at this point, and Clark, one of your platoon-mates, is trying to calm you down from the other side of the obstacle. There are two lanes on it for two people to do it at once.

Now you have to reach out over a possibly 30 foot drop and grab a rope. Once you work up the courage to actually only hold onto the wooden obstacle with one hand and hold the rope with the other hand, you have to grab the rope with your other hand while maintaining your footing. Step 2? Push yourself off and swing back and forth 30 feet from the ground.

When you finish soiling yourself you start lowering yourself down, hand over hand. If you slide, you skin your hands, and you go to MRP for a month probably.

I hit the ground and take a deep breath. I don't think I breathed the entire time I moved down the last rope.

The next obstacle? "The Slide for Life"

Hm, slide for your life...does that mean I'm going to die if I don't slide?

This obstacle marks my second encounter with Staff Sergeant Green.

This obstacle involves climbing down a rubber rope head first, and not hanging from it. It's at maybe a 30 degree angle, and it's kind of scary. What I mean by not hanging is that you are on top of the rope, using your feet and legs to kind of balance yourself. There's a net under you in case you fall, which is a little more reassuring than the stairway to heaven, which just has a mat underneath.

About a third of the way down I'm told to change position on the rope. I swing my legs down and back up so I'm hanging on the rope, but my feet are going first now. After maybe six feet I'm told to go to a hanging position. When I drop my feet, they hit the edge of the net.

SSgt Green watching me from the side of the swimming pool below: "Oh, good, you wanna touch the net? POA now."

Me: Utter disbelief. I'd been doing so well. I'm mastering this obstacle. No way. I'm not dropping off the rope into the water. Look, SSgt. Arzola is right next to him. Maybe he'll negate what SSgt. Green says and tell me to finish the obstacle. I wait on the rope, hanging by my hands staring at them like a fool.


Me: Oh well. He pretty much made everyone else from 1067 drop off the rope anyway.

I go to position of attention in mid-air. Legs straight, feet at a 45 degree angle pointing outward. Arms locked at my sides, elbows tight to my waist. Hands in a fist against my trouser seam.

I sail through the air like this maybe eight feet into the water.

My boots are wet for the rest of the day, even after being aired out in the squadbay while I take a shower with everyone else SSgt. Green stopped from finishing the obstacle.

Here is a Google Maps picture of each of the obstacles. Kind of hard to see them, but you can see the shadows.

Stairway to Heaven


Slide for Life

Monday, October 12, 2009

Boot Camp Part 17

October 12, 2009
Camp Lejeune


Church goes the same as it always does. I get really sad and get pissed off at people who go who probably aren't Lutherans. Actually, nevermind. The behavior displayed by those who didn't really give a rat's ass about being in church is pretty close to actual Lutherans, so I'll take that back.

Every Sunday I fight to do laundry. Cammies and other clothes must be washed and dried, but there's hardly any opportunity to wash clothes because the washers and driers are swamped by people trying to do laundry. If I didn't go to church and just did laundry as early as possible than it wouldn't be an issue, but I don't want to sacrifice that time of the week. It helps to keep me somewhat sane.

I end up getting a washer, but I dont' have enough time to dry my clothes. I take my wet cammies back up to the whiskey locker and put them on a shelf to dry later during free time, because I have a certain time to be back in the squadbay by.

I NEVER saw those cammies again. Someone took my wet cammies. Guess what? The next time I wore clean cammies wasn't or another four weeks at least. I was left with one set of deserts for Swim Week and all of second phase. But that's just how Boot Camp works. It distinguishes the scum bags from the good people. The people who only care about themselves and have no real reason to be in the Marine Corps.

There were times on firewatch where I'd take my moon beam (flashlight) and check everyone's cammies hanging up on their rack to find the ones with my name marked in them. I never ended up finding them that way. By the end of 3rd phase I ended up having to buy a whole set of deserts, along with another woodland blouse and possibly even ANOTHER desert one.

Needless to say, that Sunday put me in a pretty bad mood, but the flip side was that I felt great. I didn't even take my bed rest because I didn't need it. I'd pretty much beaten pneumonia in a week, but I think I may have had it for a week before I realized I'd had it.

T18 - Swim Qual(ification) Begins

Swim week is probably the easiest and most laid back week in all of Boot Camp. It's when you first start getting treated a little better. Sgt. Virto told us we were only 1st Phase recruits in name only and he felt that we were 2nd Phase as soon as we finished Initial Drill.

The day works like this:
We make our swim rolls (which is a bunch of crap rolled up in a towel) and march to the swim tank. That's the pool if you can't figure it out.

We strip down in a big room with a bunch of cubby holes in the wall until all we're wearing is our green PT shorts. Then we all file through this hallway which is spraying freezing water on us to clean us off before we go in the pool.

Once through the halls we end up in a room with a bunch of boots and cammies. They are the worst boots and cammies the Marine Corps has to offer. They're worn every day by different people, missung buttons, boots missing laces, torn, you name it. My boots were different sizes, my heel was sticking out the back of one of them. Then we sit on these bleachers and wait our turn to jump off a diving board. After that we line up and put on a helmet and flack jacket and walk through the water.

I don't remember how the rest of 4th Class worked. It was pathetically easy. This information is probably available in the internet, but I'm not too concerned with finding it.

After we're done with 4th Class (which takes about 300x longer to accomplish than the time it took you to read my description) we go back into the cubby hole room to get our war bags with our uniforms in them. For some reason every DI is doing the same thing. They act like we're not sounding off enough and when we try and get our stuff out of our bags they say:

"Let me help you with that!" and they throw everything out of the bag all over the place. They didn't get me too bad, but I realized it was some kind of routine that must have been scheduled for today because they all did it and they were all saying the same thing.

T19 - Swim Qual Part 2

Now that I had finished Fourth Class, it was onto Third.

Did I mention swim qual is a joke? Basically, once Initial Drill is done, all the stress is over until rifle qualification. It's almost like a break from REAL training and is just kind of something to fill the schedule. Marines are amphibious, so I guess they really need to learn how to swim, but proving it is one of the easiest things I had to do at MCRD.

There were actually people who couldn't swim and had to spend the first two days of the week learning how so that they could qualify as fourth class on Wednesday. Sucks for them, I qualified as 2nd class and don't have to re-qualify until 2011.

Anyway, 3rd class. We do the same thing again: march over to the swim tank, take our clothes off, and put on the terrible boots and cammies. 3rd class involves jumping off the five foot diving board in full gear and then using the emergency releases to remove the large pack you're wearing, all the while not losing your M16. That's an automatic UNQ.

After that, we swim a certain length using the pack as a flotation device and then get out of the water. I don't think there was much after that. Of course for everyone in the series to do this takes about 500,000 hours.

The DIs send us back to the squadbay in groups of ten and then literally just sit around and do nothing until everyone else returns.

That concludes T19. On swim qual days I don't even think we had classes. On most T days, there's some kind of class that takes place in the morning before whatever the matrix has for that day is completed.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Boot Camp Part 16

October 6, 2009
Camp Lejeune

T - 15

I wake up on the Thursday morning to Drill Instructors that are STILL very angry about the whole graffiti thing. The previous day, I'd missed my opportunity to acquire my military ID, so there was now something that would be hanging over my head until 3rd Phase: my next chance to get it.

Today is the Tug of War day. Personally, I feel that this day is pointless anyway, but not only because I didn't get to engage in the activity. I'm now on Light Duty, which means I can't participate in any drilling and can't march in the formations anywhere we go. I also get to wear my shoes instead of the boots.

Secretly, I'm enjoying this day. The only thing that really sucks about it is that I'm CONSTANTLY cleaning the squad bay with the others on light duty. I will end up being in the squadbay for the next two days straight, which led to an amusing story involving Rodriguez, but this day is rather boring. Instead of getting to sleep, I have to sweep almost non-stop since there's nothing else for me to do while everyone else PTs.

Also, there's a gear-guard duty that takes place during the day. It's much like firewatch actually. One of the recruits stands behind the podium made of three stacked footlockers and stands guard. I did this several times and it's painfully mundane and mind numbing.

Not much happens on T-15 for me. Tomorrow is the Senior Drill Instructor inspection and then Saturday is initial drill. Near the end of the day, we are taken out to practice drill for Initial Drill. I put my boots on and join in, even though I'm clearly sick. Everytime I breath in, I feel a popping sensation

T - 16 Senior Drill Instructor Inspection

I miss the SDI inspection by SSgt. Arzola because of my follow up appointment at medical the following day. Same routine, different day. As usual.

I head over to the medical facility adjacent to my current barracks and fill out the CHIT, saying that I have a follow up for pneumonia. I sit for hours. The DIs walking around the area discover us all sitting outside waiting, some people following asleep, so they "play games."

"Ok, stand up right now!"

And we scream a response and stand up. Then we sit down. Then we stand up. This happens a few times. Then of course there's the short, fat, black woman scampering about screaming at recruits like she's a DI as well. On top of that the female corpsman are making me nervous, and as it so ends up I'm waiting outside the office of one of them.

I'm sitting in the hall, Indian style (left knee over right knee as it's referred to). Inside the office I'm outside of I can here this chic straight bitching at the recruits that go in before me.

"I didn't ask you that!" I hear her yell at one of them, who's just mumbling answers at her that I can't hear.

My blood pressure probably starts to rise as I'm nervous to go in and be yelled at. I mean, come on, lady. It's not my fault I got sick and I'd rather be training than be seeing a doctor, or a doctor wannabe who's going to give me Motrin.

Finally, it's my turn. She's actually pretty nice to me because I don't answer any more or any less of the questions she asks me from her computer. She becomes a little more compassionate toward my cause when I explain the odd popping sensation in my chest when I breath. She names it a really long complicated name that starts with a "C" and leave to bring in some other guy to check it out. They feel my ribs when I breath deeply and come to some conclusion that my sickness has become more complicated.

Did I mention I feel like crap?

This all goes on for a little bit. He leaves. She starts checking me out again. Eyes, noes, ears, etc.
Well, then she starts getting pretty worked up. My ears are dirty, and this is aggravating for her because she has to clean them for me. I don't really say much...what can I say? Sorry? No, you don't have to clean them, I'll get it myself.

Well, she cleans them with this horrifying stick thing and it really hurts. It makes me cough.

She says, "This always makes people cough, but I don't know why," and I'm wondering Well if you don't know why the body works, than why should I trust you?

They give me more medicine. She ends up writing me a new SIQ CHIT saying that I have THREE DAYS OF BEDREST. This kind of worries me. Sure, I'm thinking 'THIS IS GOING TO BE AWESOME,' but I'm also thinking that I don't want to miss too much training and get held back...

I really don't want to be stuck here longer than I have to. I mean, if you've been following this then you realize how much life sucks. I'm not going into every little detail about Boot Camp, but you've seen Full Metal Jacket right? It's just like that except they don't choke us.

I take the CHIT and return to the empty squad bay, where Rodriguez is standing post. He makes some comment and jockingly makes fun of me. This is how our friendship sort of began; talking crap to each other.

It's easy to make friends in Boot Camp because there's a common enemy, and that's what unites Americans.

I put my medicine away after taking more if it and change out of my cammies into "Green on Green" (PT shorts and green skivvy shirt) and lay down on my rack.

At some point I fade back into concsiousness. Rodriguez salutes two DIs (who I don't recognize) entering the squad bay and reports in.

"Good afternoon gentleman! Recruit Rodriguez reports Building 525, Squadbay C3, all secure at this time. There are three recruits on deck. 96 M16A2 service rifles and 96 United States Marine Corps foot lockers are all locked and secure at this time. There is nothing unusual to report at this time, sir!"

That's not verbatim, but it's pretty close. That's what you say to a DI coming into the squadbay if you're standing on post at night during firewatch, or during the day on gear guard duty. Of course one of two things happen here.

Scenario 1: You screw up and stutter, or don't remember what to say. The Drill Instructor you report in to approaches you and demands that you say it again, louder, faster. He wants more confidence and self assuredness. If you're a little bitch about it, then he won't leave you alone.

Scenario 2: You do it perfectly and loud, and the DI ignores you.

Sometimes the DI doesn't give a crap anyway and just ignores you altogether. That's what these two DIs did to Rodriguez. They walked right past him and into the duty hut, which left him reporting into no one.

I'm lying there watching, the DIs didn't find any of 1067's DIs in the squad bay, so the leave. When a DI exits the squad bay you give another verbal greating.

These two didn't really have anything else to do, since they couldn't talke with our DIs for whatever reason they needed to.

They left the squadbay. Then the jumped back in through the door. Rodriguez had to report in again because they crossed the threshold.

Sometimes our Company Commander 1st Lieutenent Doersheck did this. He'd stand on the other side of the threshold and leave us waiting or the exact moment to call attention on deck. He'd raise a foot and juke us out a few times.

These two DIs started alternating which one went through the door. One would jump in and one would jump out. Then the one who was out would jump in and the one who was in would jump out. They did this for about twenty seconds with Rodriguz screaming "GOOD AFTERNOON SIR! GOOD AFTERNOON SIR! GOOD AFTERNOON SIR!" several times.

I covered my face with the blanket so they wouldn't see me laughing, which they were trying hard not to do themselves. Eventually they left. Rodriguez was out of breath. Then everything went back to the way it was. He was forced to stand there for probably another two hours straight without any kind of relief, and I went to sleep.

T - 17 Initial Drill

"Lights lights lights lights lights! Get outta the rack! Get up! Let's go! Get up! Well you have 100 99 98 97 96 95 94..."

We jump up and get online and count off to make sure everyone's there. Go through the entire routine and start getting dressed.

This is Day 2 out of 3 for me and SIQ. Sgt. Virto notices that I'm not getting dressed and he comes over.

"Why aren't you getting dressed, Milas?" he asks.

"This recruit's on bed rest, sir!"

"They put you on two days of bed rest?"

"Three days, sir!"

Somehow, he detects a smart ass tone in my voice, which I wasn't intending. He flips out and tells me he's not in the mood for my attitude.

I yell "Aye aye, sir!" because I can't really disagree with him. He says for integrity's sake he wants me to get dressed and go to morning chow. He wants to personally check with medical about my chit, because I'm betting he's never had a recruit get three days of bed rest in a row before.

It would've been cleared up, but my CHIT was missing from the scribe's desk, and I have no idea what Rohl had done with it.

So to make a long story short, I don't get to go back to sleep until maybe nine o'clock. Sgt. Virto finally confirms it and sends me back to the rack. I think Sgt. Virto ended up trusting me after this event because he found out I wasn't lyign or trying to stretch the truth or bend the truth.

I slept through initial drill. Everyone came back. We ended up getting 2nd place in the company after 1066 got first. The DIs were in a fairly good mood. Now we can blouse our boots and unbutton the top buttons on our blouses to look a little more like "real Marines."

Everyone earns a 10 minute phone call home, but since I'm on bed rest, I don't end up making a phone call until November.