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Well hello there! It has been quite some time since I have been able to update anything. These past few months have been quite eventful.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that the reason I haven’t been able to update is because I joined the military. In September 2014, the day after my 30th birthday, I shipped off to Fort Jackson in South Carolina for basic training.
Basic training was not as bad as I thought it would be. I enjoyed learning all of the things we did, and doing PT, and going to the range. A lot of the things we learned were fun. I mean, how many others get to shoot machine guns and throw grenades and get paid for it?! Some of the smoking sessions were tough, but I always looked at them as extra exercise that would make me stronger.
Not to say it wasn’t tough at times. A lot of the things we did were physically and mentally tough, and there were days when I was having a rough time and I couldn’t wait to be finished. But during those times I’d remember how much I had always wanted to be a soldier, and I felt very fortunate to be there, and to have made it that far. I feel proud to wear this uniform and salute the flag.
I also think basic training may have been a little easier for me than for some of the others because of my age. A majority of the people were a lot younger than I, a lot were fresh out of high school. I was the oldest female in my company during BCT, and most of the mental aspects of BCT didn’t really affect me very much. I think the most difficult things for me to deal with were the sleeping patterns, nutrition (it’s kind of impossible to be paleo in the army dining facilities), and some of the younger attitudes. Basic for me was mostly fun though.
Except for Victory Forge, in which I was mostly miserable. It rained in South Carolina during the time I was at Victory Forge, and all of our gear got soaked. My ruck must have weighed at least 75 pounds at this point, and walking 3 miles to the next spot with it on my back, along with boots and feet that were soaked to the bone, was excruciatingly difficult for me. I had no dry clothes the entire weekend and was very cold most of the time. I couldn’t sleep, at all. I had blisters so bad that I literally didn’t have any skin on my heels. In fact, my pinky and big toe on my left foot is still numb from Victory Forge, and when I step on my foot a certain way I feel a strange sensation in my toes, kind of like what you feel when you hit your elbow a certain way.
I had never been so happy to see the barracks when we had marched back the last day.
Needless to say, I made it through, and on December 4th I graduated!
Family Day and Graduation were wonderful. I missed my family and my boyfriend, and I didn’t realize how much I needed to see them again until I was with them. They were very emotional days for me. For the previous three months, I had been secluded from the outside world and surrounded by a lot of yelling, attitudes, and activities that were both physically and mentally demanding. It felt amazing to be around people that loved me again.
Now, I am currently in AIT (Advanced Individual Training), and getting close to graduation… in a week actually! AIT has been pretty simple for the most part. My MOS is 42A, Human Resource Specialist, so my job is mostly administrative work behind a computer desk–what I’m used to. There is a lot more freedom in AIT, and it took a while to get used to straight after basic. We recently returned back from the field for our last Field Training Exercise. I had to leave a day early due to an annoying case of pneumonia, of which I am still recovering from. Darn my immune system at Fort Jackson! I have been sick for the majority of the time that I have been here. It doesn’t help that the weather in Columbia has been extremely bipolar, and a lot dryer and colder than I’m used to. But graduation is right around the corner and I will be home soon!
Now on to even bigger news…
One benefit of training during December is the fact that we get two weeks off for Victory Block Leave, so from the 20th of December to the 4th of January I was able to come home to spend the holidays with my loved ones. This was a wonderful time. I started the week in Florida, where my family lives. My boyfriend flew down, and we had an eventful week of being with my family, taking a trip to Universal Studios in Orlando, visiting the aquarium, and getting a couple WOD’s in.
But the highlight of the week was in the evening of Christmas Eve, where this happened..
I know every girl days this, but I am the happiest girl on the planet! This was the best Christmas gift I could have dreamt of!
The rest of the week we returned to Austin and I was in a bliss. We rang in the new year at home with a fancy meal, a bottle of wine, our boys (the kitties), some music, Roman candles and sparklers.
It was an amazing week, and it was hard to leave again. I can’t wait to get back home and start the planning! Being engaged is an exciting time!
Sometime soon I should be updating more often. It’s good to be blogging again, and I hope everyone has a great week!