Saturday, October 31, 2009

Crucible Journal (part 7)

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.

FRIDAY - Parris Island Boot Camp - CRUCIBLE continued

At about 1800 we arrived back at our huts for the Night Infiltration Course. I can't even think of how to explain this, so to quote my Mom, all I can say is… "Oh…My…GOD!" This was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life! It is the last obstacle of the day and is a 5-mile night hump! The DI's said it was 5 miles but I know it was way more. There was no time limit and everyone had to complete it even if it took all night! One of the Crucible Instructors told us that Lima Company was out here until after midnight.

Anyway, I bandaged my feet as best I could. I kept thinking that last night's hump was only 2.5 miles, and since this one is twice as long…I have to make it work. I am NOT going back now. With only my thoughts to motivate me, I put on my boots and was ready for the course.

I wanted the leads to slow down the pace. My feet are now shot! All the care I took, the moleskins, the tinactin, thorlo socks…I still got blisters! A few have popped and are sore. No scabs yet because my feet stay wet. How I had the strength for this hump is beyond me? Lord, someone must be praying for me back home, because I don't even remember the prayer we said last night. I did dream I think, but I can't remember what it was.

And just so you know, this wasn't even close to last night's hump! We were under siege!! There were rounds being fired at us, bombs going off around us, (simulated of course) but the sounds and all the smoke shocked us never the less. At boot camp I got used to going to bed at 1900 hours. So, here it was after 1800 and we are just into a 5 mile hump! About half-way through it got to a point where I didn't feel the pain. I was running on pure determination. We are all very sore and close to starving now. The sleep deprivation is really getting to us. I don't know how long the hump took us, but we flew through it 'cause most of us didn't want miss any of our 4 hours of sleep!

When we got back to the huts after the Night Infiltration Course, we hygiened, prepped our packs for the next day, and ate the last of our MRE's (if there was any left!) During the day this is what I ate: Late morning I had my Mexican Rice. Then, just before we started the Night Infiltration Course I ate my Tuna with Noodles and my applesauce pak. When we got back to the huts, I finished off the last of my MRE's with the BBQ Pork & Rice and my mixed fruit pouch.

Tonight we hit the rack earlier because we wake up an hour earlier. Oh, I remember the dream now…I was lost and walking around in the dark with my cammies on, carrying all my gear. I kept asking people where my street was. Finally someone showed me. And all I remember is that when I walked up to my house it was completely dark except for one light in my bedroom window.

Tomorrow is the real test. We hit the rack at 2300 with a lot on our minds…

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