Hey everyone. It's Brad, and it's Friday, Dec 5. Today is my graduation day.
I'm sitting in a hotel room with my parents right now, relaxing for the first time in about 16 weeks. My civilian clothes don't fit -quite- as well as they used to, but they're really comfy compared to the Army ACU's.
It feels good to have some freedom finally. We all get about a month of leave, due to how graduation fell right before Christmas Exodus. So I'm going to go home, relax for a while, and get ready for the training to come.
As far as how basic was: It wasn't quite what I was expecting. Physically it wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be - There were lots of times when we'd push ourselves past our limits, but eventually you just get used to it and get the job done. What got me through the really painful parts was the thought that "In an hour I'll be warm and dry, looking back and saying 'that wasn't so bad.'" Emotionally and mentally though, is what was the hardest. They cut you off almost completely from everyone and everything you knew in your civilian life, and it's impossible to explain how much it really hurts and gets to you unless you have been in that situation.
Then there are the mind games that they play. The Drill Sergeants will constantly make fun of everyone for everything, but the worst part is how they tell you how weak and pathetic you are. For me, I expected it for the first few weeks, but when they kept it up just as much and even more later on in the cycle when I felt I had improved, it... well, it sucked. But I guess it just made me push harder towards the goal.
What was probably the biggest 'turning point' in the training would have been the IV day... I've always been very squeamish around needles, and having to actually do one myself was a big challenge. But when I was able to tell myself "This is stupid, it's an illegitimate fear" and just do it, and get through, it felt great.
Anyway, I got a little longer-winded than I was planning. I'll just leave it at this: I'm back home for a while, and I hope to see a lot of you guys soon.