Tuesday, August 18, 2009

So Long And Thanks For All the Fish!

I've been blogging in my head about the Army now for almost two months. Unfortunately that's translated into about two actual blog posts, so I suppose I'm a little over due.

I'm leaving shortly to head for Basic Training and my blog will be silent for quite a while. This will come as a relief to the people who hate corny puns and value grammar.

Basic Training is the same experience for everyone in the Army. It doesn't matter if you're in the Guard, Reserves or Active Duty. There are numerous Forts where training is held, but it's still pretty much the same, with some variations here and there. Check out youtube for some videos/picture collages of basic training set to some "angry music" to get a feel for what I'm about to go through.

I'm hoping to keep some semblance of a journal while I'm there, but I'm guessing I'm not going to have a lot of free time. Oddly enough, blogging isn't one of the skills stressed at basic training.

I'm a little apprehensive and anxious at the same time. I'm ready to start the pain and get the experience behind me, but I'm obviously not really thrilled at the idea of running until I throw up or sitting in a gas chamber breathing in tear gas. I'm not thrilled about missing the births of my best friends' first child and the birth of my first nephew. I'm also not real thrilled about missing the most promising Ole Miss football season since Eli's senior year.

I'm definitely going to miss my family. I've been trying to give the kids extra attention and encouragement. My wife has been incredible and brave. I definitely could not do this without her. She is amazing and everyone should be impressed.

I also couldn't do this without our very supportive family, community and work. Holy crap, y'all are awesome. Small towns are good because they're small towns and it doesn't take a national disaster for people to support each other.

I've been absolutely shocked at the amount of people that have supported me just for making the decision to enlist and I am extremely grateful and humbled for how much love everyone has already shown my family. It really means a lot to me. See everyone on the other side.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Things That Have Changed Since Joining the Guard

And all I have done is enlisted and attend a couple of weekend drills. I really don't consider myself as being a real "soldier" until I get back from Basic. But here is how my perspective has already changed.

1. World politics are a whole lot more important and scarier. Every major conflict I read about now comes with an ominous sense of doom as I judge the probability of myself being shipped to some country for what ever various reason. Hopefully the next country we decide to invade will be the Caymans.

2. I have much more respect for the enlisted man. There are about a million reasons (some good, some bad) why the Army can decide that you're not fit to join. It's much more difficult to join than I had previously thought. It's also a lot more physically demanding than I had really expected. Running 2 miles in under 17 minutes and doing 40 push-ups in under 2 minutes is a lot harder for this 31 yr. old than I had anticipated.

3. 7:00 AM is no longer early. It's actually sleeping in now.

4. I feel like I have been given some sort of secret decoder ring. There are a lot of people that I've known for years who I'm just now learning have served in the military. There are a lot of ex-military.

5. I have an extremely high metabolism. I'm putting on weight and gaining some mass, but it's a definite struggle. I don't see how people could ever think that Barry Bonds was a result of just exercise and nutrition.

6. It's a lot easier to recover from a night of drinking now that I'm exercising so much more.

7. Camouflage gear is suddenly cool.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

First Day of School

Charles starts 2nd grade tomorrow. We had open house today and met his teacher, signed him up for the bus route, and got some information about the cub scouts. They grow up quickly, etc.

I'm extremely proud of him and could not ask for a better son.

I'll try and take some pictures of him waiting for the bus early in the morning. The bus was debatable. Charles has been dying to ride the bus since 4k. Mom and dad were not so excited about the prospect of our kindergartner riding with high school kids on some giant yellow monster with no seat belts. Never mind the interesting corruption that would occur on the back of the bus, what if someone was mean to him?

Anyways, he has friends that ride the bus and do just fine, so we decided to let him try it this year. I'm guessing the time being stuck on the bus (an hour and 15 minutes) each day will eventually wear him down and he'll decide to become a car rider again on his own. We're trying to be respectful of his independence and let him make some major decisions. However, if he comes home with any prison tattoos, it's a deal breaker and he's back to riding in the car.

Edit: Pictures. And since my dad doesn't have facebook, pictures of the truck.