Buckling Down

VINCE

Intense. The only word that comes to mind to describe Day One.

I’ve been here only 8 hours but my feet are already killing me. My socks are black from wearing my boots for 15 hours a day. For up to an hour at a time, we have to stand at attention, feet together at the heels, toes out at a 45 degree angle, thumbs pointed down and touching the outside seams of our khakis. Head forward, eyes up, staring at whatever point in the wall we choose. No eye contact, no movement.

The next few days we will practice marching, military bearing, and double timing (running) everywhere we go when we’re outside.

There’s a lot to learn in a short amount of time. But I already get the feeling that the COs here actually want us to be successful, even though they yell at us a lot.

First chance to write in two days. The stress is really mounting. It’s my fifth day and I still can’t figure out how to properly make my bed. My hands are blistered and sore from scrubbing my belt buckle with a 2×3” green scouring pad. I’ve worn through five pads so far. Scrubbed them down to raisins.

Yesterday we did two hours of drill and ceremony, during which we must have done 200 pushups, some of which we did on the CO’s count. We go down on the count of one and have to stay there until he says two. Down doesn’t mean we can touch the ground. We have to stay an inch off the ground. Very painful. I was trembling at the end. Today I am very sore, but it’s our down day so I’ll recover.

All that aside, I’m feeling good about myself. I know I’ll succeed. All for now. Gotta scrub my belt buckle.

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