Wednesday, October 29, 2008

October 27

Mom & Dad:
Hey! Glad to hear from you again. I was starting to get a little depressed, honestly, because I hadn't heard from you in a while. Nope, I didn't get my phone again that next week, but I should this Friday. This Friday is the end of week 9, which is the end of the "Basic" portion of Basic Training. Then we start 5 weeks of advanced training, then graduation! So on Friday we get a 36-hour pass to rest and have a break after the first 9 weeks. It's going by fast.
So this past week...Let's see if I can remember. Monday we had Land Navigation all day long, and through part of the night. We got lost at night, it wasn't very fun. Especially with the GIANT SPIDERS everywhere.
Tuesday and Wednesday we prepared for and did the Convoy Live Fire which according to the Drill Sergeants was completely useless, but for some reason the higher-ups make us do it still. All it did for me was send a hot 5.56mm casing down my neck and burn me pretty bad.
Thursday we did GFT, and learned more grappling and some chokes. Not very exciting. Friday we had intro to MOUT (Military Operations in Urban Terrain) and a new company started, and we got to see all the scared Day Zero privates running around. It was fun to see what we were like the first day we got there, and see how far we've progressed.
Saturday we did more MOUT, running around shooting blanks. It was fun.
Today, Sunday, we're going ot Church, getting haircuts, and hanging out at thePX for a while. Pretty normal Sunday. And I get time to write, finally.
How's Drew? Is his leg okay? I'm actually really glad to hear he's playing football again. He's still drumming, right?
On the financial situation: Don't worry about it too much. Nothing else should need to be paid before the 1st, and I will be paid on Nov. 1. I fixed the issues.
Well, that should be about it. This week will be easy, with more MOUT, then Basic graduation and 2 days or so of freedom. I'll call you asap when I get my phone!

I love you!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

October 18

Mom & Dad:
Hey! I haven't heard from you guys in about 2 weeks :( Hopefully, I'll get a letter from you Monday. This week has been crazy. Monday we had GFT (Ground Fighting Techniques) which stunk, as usual. We aren't learning anything useful, and we cram 200+ people into a small room and then we get smoked if anyone talks. And they aren't the normal "Do Pushups" smokings, they make us do things like low crawl through the sand pit.
Tuesday we got to play with the M2 .50 cal machine gun, and the MK .19 Grenade launcher. They were both fun, but nothing really special.
Wednesday we did small team tactics, learned the basics of fighting formations and that stuff. Then Thursday we got to use the M249 & M240B machine guns which were pretty cool. We'll have some of each assigned to our platoon.
Yesterday we had something called the Battle March and Shoot. We had to do some first aid & radio tasks then carry a guy for 3 1/2 miles (all of us carrying about 50 pounds of gear). Also, did I mention this a race? So we ran the 3 1/2 miles. I'm hurting today. When we got to the end, we had to do a 25 meter shoot, 40 rounds, at a man-sized target. We were all stressed and as tired as we could be, so our shots were not as accurate as they could have been. Now, the other 3 platoons had been preparing and practicing for 2 weeks, and we had been told what we were doing the night before we did it. So we lost in a bad way, and so we got yelled at.
Today we're getting class A's, but I already have mine since I'm funeral detail, so I'm sitting in the bay writing letters.
I'm including a picture and a drawing...The drawing is an example of what we do when we're bored (don't ask, it's weird), and the picture...It's from 2 weeks ago, we had a guy leave for 2 weeks because of a stress fracture. Before he left he took some pictures & mailed them to us. So here's a picture for you.
Well, that's about it. Hope to hear from you soon. I love you guys. A month an a half!

PFC Brad Hopper

Thursday, October 16, 2008

October 10

Mom & Dad:
Hey! Sorry I haven't written in a while. It's been a crazy week. My Drill Seargeant (DS McDaniel, one of two) was the Duty DS this week, so everything had to be "Frickin' Doggone Flawless." That means our platoon (specifically 2nd squad, I'm 3rd but it was still busy for us) was responsible for setting up & tearing down all the training for the week.
We did a lot. Monday, we had the Electronic Skills Trainer (Simulated M16's shooting at a computer screen). The 18X's in the platoon had to do a physical though, so I sat in the doctor's office for most of the day. Tuesday, we had our first Bivowac. We stayed out all night "Camping" with no tent, nothing. Just a sleeping mat. We got in trouble for something stupid and had to pull 50% Security, which means 50% of the platoon had to be awake at all times...One hour sleep, followed by one hour guard all night long. And Then, to top it all off, it rained HARD ALL NIGHT. I was cold, wet, and miserable, it was easily the worst night of my life. We were supposed to stay for another night, but that was cancelled due to weather. All those 2 days we did lots of shooting: shooting with Night Vision, shooting with barricades, shooting while moving.
Then Thursday, we got to have fun with big guns. We all got to fire the M203 Grenade Launcher (simulated dummy rounds but it was cool) then the AT-4 rocket Anti-Tank launcher (That was COOL, but loud!) Today we qualified with a barricade shoot, and I shot one target away from expert qualified, which ticked me off some. Oh well.
So when I was on my 18X physical, they asked if I was in any pain at all. My left foot had been hurting, so I mentioned it. They took a quick look at it, then told me I had to come back within a couple of days for a more extensive check. They say I might have a broken bone in my foot. I don't know if it's because I"m thinking about it now or what, but it is hurting a lot more in the last couple days. I'm going in tomorrow morning to have them take a look, I'll be sure to keep you updated.
It's just about lights out time, so I'll wrap this up now. I love you guys lots, can't wait to hear from you again!

PFC Brad Hopper

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Letter to Grandma Inman September 28, 2008

Hey! I can't remember if I had written back yet or not. We don't have much time to write around here, so I just have to take time when I can. Yeah, we did IV's... a while ago now. It's been a few weeks now. It went a lot better than I thought it would. Since then we've done a lot more first aid, some land navigation, the gas chamber (which was terrible, I never want to do that again), and we started Basic Rifle Marksmanship. That's where we are now, through the end of this week. Next week is familiarization with other weapon systems, then I don't know what's after.

So you cleared the shop out? I'm looking forward to seeing it at Christmas time! I'm kinda sad that you sold the moose head though. That's been there as long as I can remember!

Ooh, you got the website up? It'll probably be a while before I get a chance, but I'm looking forward to checking it out! I'll definitely show my friends.

Well, I'm about out of time, so that's it for now. I'll write more when I get some time!
Love you,
Pfc Brad Hopper



In Barracks 10-5-08

Grandma Inman and Brad

Grandma Inman and Brad
Thanks for your support Grandma!

Family Photo

Family Photo
The Family at MEPS

Swearing In Day

Swearing In Day
The Swear In