Friday, October 30, 2009

Crucible Journal (Part 6)

The following is a portion of a journal a recruit kept while at bootcamp on Parris Island as he embarked on the Crucible and became a United States Marine.


Dear Journal,

Back again… In case you've been wondering, there are portable toilets set up for us to use around the Crucible site. Earlier, we tied the door shut when one of the guys went in! Funny stuff! For another guy, who was in there WAY TOO LONG (we think he was sleeping), we started beating on the thing and rocking the thing back and forth and front to back to scare him and make him fall off the seat! He flung the door open and with the biggest eyes I've ever seen he goes, "Wha…wha…what happened?" We were all rolling! The DI's just laughed at us. That was so fun. And it was good to share a laugh with those guys after all they've put us through.

To pass the time, we try to guess who has honor platoon. Before we left, they told us the top scoring platoon for Final Drill, but nothing else. So we have all been speculating on who is second, third and so on. But, we know it is our total scores for everything that counts in figuring honor platoon…including crucible. Four other guys and I have a little side bet going on who wins. The bet is one cracker package each. Winner takes all!

We had another 10 or so obstacles that we had to get through by the afternoon! The first one was called Jenkins Pinnacle. We had to break up in 8 teams and cross over these suspended logs tied with cable…with all our gear…carrying additional supplies…and we were timed! The next obstacle was Basilone's Challenge where we had to climb two-by-two over an 8 foot log.

We also finished up the last stations of the Leader Course. In teams of six we strapped 2 long wooden boards to our feet and had to walk together over a "mine field." The walking part was easy, it was getting all six of us strapped in those things that took up the most time. It's funny how the foot pain comes and goes. Believe me every part of my body hurts, but when I am focused on a task the pain seems to go to the back of my mind. Maybe we don't feel it anymore because we are losing our minds with no food and little sleep!

We had another foot check before the next hump to the next station. Just as I thought my blisters are worse. I know they are going to pop any second. I heard one guy scream last night when the medic poured peroxide on his popped blisters. While I was sitting there, I took off my cover (hat) for just a second for some comfort. It is what kept me going each day through boot camp, and this is the first time I had to do it on crucible. It is not the physical comfort of removing the cover from my head, but what I have tucked inside. See, I have a picture of my family back home pressed inside, and they are counting on me to get through this. Even the dog is in this one!

More later…"

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