And 13 more days by the time I book in on Sunday.
I’ve been overwhelmed with fatigue these two weeks in camp, I spend my weekends too productively that I barely get to recharge for the next week’s activities, but more than anything I feel accomplished and alive. I remember the start of BMT when I was still feeling lost and confused about what I got myself into- continuous days of PT sessions, strength and speed on the same day, when my body was not at all conditioned to such physical exhaustion. I slept at night happy, listening to Chinese music that gave me a sense of home when I considered myself lying on bed in a faraway island. It was slightly more difficult to cope with in the initial weeks, but I survived.
Days in BMT pass really slowly. You start the day as early as 0515 to tie hair wash face brush teeth (in order), and end the day as late as 0100 (like last night). But the weeks are passing really quickly- I can’t believe I’m done with field camp, I’m done with live firing, I’m done with the live grenade throw (okay to be fair I didn’t do it because I was on compassionate leave), I’m done with Urban Ops, I’m done with the 16km route march (and 4 and 8 and 12 of course), I’m done with the 3 IPPTs, I’m done with SOC, I’m done with practically everything that determines whether or not I’ll pass BMT. Except one more: BIC. It’s so surreal because day by day I just anticipate the next day, the next bookout when I can finally take slow showers, the next bookout when I can eat trash from my dining table without having to sneak around, the next bookout when I can finally condition my hair because of twirling it in a bun all day every day.
Field Camp was far from easy for me. It was the last 5 days of a 13-day confinement, with IFC right before our field camp which was really tiring. We didn’t have adequate “rest time” I would say, having had to prone, leopard crawl, do everything BEFORE field camp. And then there’s the 12km which I survived well surprisingly, probably because of the fact that I nailed the best possible arrangement of my field pack which allowed most of the weight to be supported by my hugeass butt rather than my shoulders. Given my lack of physical ability, I took longer than everyone to dig the shell scrape and was sweating so so so profusely as usual- on top of the fact that it was code black. I had difficulties doing danger area crossing and fire movement because of the pain in my lower side back, the continuous getting up and getting into proning position was pretty painful for me. I am also some stupid IA idiot because while the IC was shouting “SECOND MAN MOVE!!!”, I was busy removing my ammo pouch to remedy my IA. Overall it was a really memorable experience, especially as I stayed awake in my shellscrape at night knowing that this was what I signed up for, simultaneously watching the twinkling stars through the sparse cover of trees. These were little moments that I really cherished and would definitely remember for a long while. We cried really badly that day too, on the shell scrape day. After digging aimlessly for 4 hours, we were brought to a separate area to enjoy fresh rations, canned drinks and read our letters. Even before the letters were given out, many of us were already tearing. Thankful that we were given rest, despite being exposed to the hot sun I guess. Unfortunately I couldn’t enjoy myself that much because I had heat rash (zzzzzzz). And of course we can’t forget the funny moments: OC Night, movement by night. I laughed so hard I nearly peed in my pants. We, too, got to laugh heartily that night.
Really big thank you to those who contributed 🙂 Especially Edina who has to do all the collating as usual.
There are several people who have been disillusioned, and many times I’m also angsty at the various things that have happened to my sectionmates because of the regimentation and rigidity of the organisation, but I guess everything is part and parcel of what I signed up for. While I may be angry, I guess the only thing we can do is to “suck thumb lor”, just like what my section commander told us. In every career I guess there will always be days like these, and we can’t fight negative vibes all the time.
I can’t think of any female friends who are going to understand this post of mine because all the terms are so technical. And I guess this is what makes my choice of career special and different 🙂 Thank you to my heart for urging me to take this step forward and try the military despite everything that everyone has been telling me. I am thankful today. I can’t wait for POP, Korea during my block leave, as well as what’s going to be ahead of me. OCS (if I make it to command school) will be a completely different experience, and I really hope I’ll be able to keep up this optimism for the many years that may be ahead of me 🙂
and of course, thank you to my section for everything. I’m so so so so so so glad to have been put in Section 4.