Its been a good while since I've posted. Finally settled in here at my duty station. Previously, any time that I tried to post, something would come up and I'd have to put it off, or else for some reason, the post itself would not register. Either way, we've got plenty of catching up to do, old friends.
I'll touch more on Basic in a bit, but here's the quick and dirty from Graduation until current.
Spent a week in Atlanta with my family just hanging out, checking out Turner Field (DONT TOUCH THE GRASS!!!) etc. Also went to see Star Wars III, which was only a minor disappointment. Then, I finally made it home, reporting 5 days late for Hometown Recruiting Assistance. Glad I called in advance.
It was strange being out, being back in a totally civilian world. Everything was just as I'd left it, but at the same time, it felt extremely foreign, like it may feel if you were suddenly taken back to early childhood.
You'd sit there in restaurants, or from the passenger seat of a car, or in a seat at a Brave's game, watching everyone else. Watching them go on about their lives with an innocent self-importance. And somehow you knew that you'd probably end up returning to a similar state. I felt the same way Andy Dufresne felt when he finally made it out of prison in The Shawshank Redemption.
More than anything, I missed the guys that I'd been living and sweating with for three months. I'd hang out with my old friends, but save for a couple of the really good ones, they offered no real compensation. So I sat on my thirty days of leave, waiting anxiously to get back. I'd see some of them again. Others are only names in my email address book now. And others still are just names in my recollection. But at the same time, they're more than that. Gone, nevertheless. Hopefully I'll see them down the road.
Hometown Recruiting sucks, no argument about it. Sure, its free leave, but it doesn't change the fact that it SUCKS. I felt like I was just hassling people. No one walked up to me and said, "Hey, wanna join the Army? Huh? Do ya? Ya do, don't ya? Yeah. Take this little card here, and call a nice man called a Recroooter. Yeah, can you say 'recruiter'?"
No, I decided that I wanted to join. So I did. I find the nice recrooooter on my own. And four months later, there I was, walking through the mall I used to work in, wearing BDUs, my beret folded in my pocket, a stack of business cards in the other pocket. I feel really bad for telemarketers and door-to-door salesmen.
During this stint of recruiting, while I walked through Sam Goody in all of my glory, I found myself talking to two high school kids as I set to work beefing up my CD collection (after Basic, one has bank. Not for long though). I was usually pretty tongue-in-cheek about recruiting, and I wasn't going to hassle anyone who clearly was not interested. But one of these buttfucking little bastards pissed me off.
Me: Hey guys, (insert chitter chatter here, blah blah blah) are you at all interested in looking to the Army for something to do?
Dude 1: Nah.
Dude 2: No, but you may want to check out a nearby clan-rally. You should be able to find people of your calibur there.
Kind of funny, being that several of my company's drill sergeants were black. Our First Sergeant. Black. Some really good guys going through training with us. Black. Others, Mexican. Asian. Every color of the rainbow. But yeah, since he brought it up, might as well go ahead and point out that the Army is a VERY racist organization and we mistreat all who aren't white protestants. No African American has ever received a Congressional Medal of Honor, nope, uh uh. Not in my house.
I can't even be sarcastic about it for long. It just amazes me how ignorant some people can be. But its ok, because that kid can keep on spending his afternoons browsing through angsty T-shirts at Hot Topic and writing assembly-line quality punk songs about how daddy doesn't love him and the world oppresses his artistic spirit, and no one understands. Fucking douche bag.
There are times, when we forget why we do what it is we do. We get fed up with all of the bullshit, sick of being jerked around, sick of hearing the horseshit people have to say.
But then we run into the good people that we've almost forgotten. And we're reminded of what's important.
So on that note, Thank you.