8/14/06, Monday

Even though I had to leave home for MEPS at around 0400, we didn’t get to Chicago until night fell.  As soon as we got onto the bus that took us to Great Lakes, there was a lot of yelling by this one man, which sounded like several villages from Afghanistan.  Our service records were passed out and we were told to identify certain documents.  When some people couldn’t find the document or misheard what was said, this man would scream and humiliate them.  As soon as we got off the bus, there was more yelling.  There was so much yelling and it was so loud, the words were indecipherable.  We were told to make a 2 minute phone call home.  Since my recruiters had said to me that the phone calls would be issued to us without charge, I was not prepared in bringing any coins or phone cards.  I didn’t think about calling collect at the time. 

We were then divided up to get our feet measured.  We were told to walk around the room and drink (hydrate) from the water fountain (scuttlebucket) as there would be a urinalysis.  That consisted of several groups of about a dozen females being led to a room full of toilets and having to pee simultaneously.  One female could not do it.  She was bathroom shy, she said.  This only prolonged her processing.  She had to go back out, circle the room, like all the others and hydrate when it was her turn.  And when she was ready, she was to return to the bathroom, with the following group. 

On this first night, we were issued clothing, sneakers, seabags, etc.  One of the first few things we had to do was ship all our personal items away; things like any other clothing we had brought (jackets, underwear, etc. since extra clothes do not belong and will not fit in your locker), electronic items, or books other than a bible.  These all have to go.  The males and females were divided up for obvious reasons.  Then a selected number of females were led into the Head and ordered to strip and put on our sweats (also called Smurfs because they’re blue other than the yellow outline of the Navy words).  Needless to say, there was an uncomfortable shifting of the eyes, wondering if what the female petty officer had ordered was really serious.  After two seconds of no action, she screamed at us again “STRIP!  If this is difficult, imagine what you will all go through for the next 8 weeks showering together.  You will all get to know each other very well, so you might as well start this very second.  NOW MOVE!” 

After getting changed, we were made to sit in desks.  We couldn’t do anything until people from other states arrived.  This lasted all night and morning, until 0400, We had to sleep in these horribly uncomfortable student desks, the kind with the seat and tabletop attached.  Everyone looked miserable.  This is probably also the time in which everyone was thinking simultaneously “Dear god, what have I done?”

8/16/06, Wednesday

Received TB/PPD shot from yesterday.  Major allergic reaction.  Huge red swelling freaked me out and after I nearly got blood drawn made me hyperventilate…I'm not supposed to ever get one because I always get a positive reaction due to the BCG shot I got when I was born.  I am immune to the virus.  I tried to explain it to the petty officers and people giving the shot but I had no documents to prove it.  My recruiters never told me about getting TB shots or anything or about needing to bring medical documents.

We were allowed to write our first letter home.  We were allowed all of 3 lines.  It was just a few lines on a form we were to send home to let our families know we had arrived and were still alive.  We were made to sit in this room.  A female petty officer instructed us.  She was a bitch.  Every now and then she'd step out for a smoke.  It drove those addicted to nicotine crazy.  She went around the room, asking people why they joined.  Some said for money, because they were patriotic; for independence...

The day continued with lots of useless marching, shouting, etc. 

Basically, I’ve realized I’ve been disillusioned.  Everyone was right.  When you join the Navy, you become government property.  I don’t understand those who join to be free.

Today Petty Officer Ford (one of the RDCs) saw my watch and told me to get rid of it that night.  Those officers/chiefs think they’re such hot shots- the world’s best when in fact they’re only good for bullying people.  What a disappointment.  All I can say is I must get through it.  Some uniforms issued- 8 undershirts, underpants, raincoats, stiff collared shirts and pants.  They are so slow and inefficient.  There were only 2 people to check the 40+ of us.

8/17/06, Thursday

X-ray teeth exams.  Once again, I freaked.  They were pushing these plastic things into my gums.  I started to take a deep breath and made the tech laugh.  But he pushed the thing into my gums and it hurted.  After it was done, he put it in my hand and I threw the thing away.  So, I had to do it again!  Someone notified the leaders.  So, there was Ford and Onyika asking what was wrong.  I couldn’t help hyperventilating.  And I’m sure it was comical from their point of view.  Ford wanted me to go to the head to get myself together.  I truly was OK and lost it again in the head.  Then some recruit came looking for me, saying the POs wanted me.  And Ford told me to go get X-Rayed.  But I was done.  And some female dental tech was like trying to comfort me, saying things I already know and she was like ‘I’m trying to be nice’.  But she was like ‘Why aren’t you happy?’  I nearly said ‘this isn’t exactly paradise.  Open your eyes!’  But she was like ‘Shh’ and sent me to her work area.  I basically told her the recruiter misled me and I was upset about the TB/PPD shot and how repetitive everything was.  Why’d we have to go through this when we’ve already gone through MEPS and she said some girls were there a year ago and anything can happen, as in they get pregnant, do drugs.  So, I gave her my background (I have never done drugs, don't drink, don't sleep around) and said I felt out of place.  Apparently, she told the chief because Chief later asked me ‘So, you think you’re better than the rest?’  I didn’t say that!  I realize you can’t trust anyone; it should have been confidential. 

Well, because I tested positive for TB, along with 9 others, we were sent to Tranquility, waited and told we needed to take meds, that the US doesn’t recognize the vaccine I had.  I’ll always be positive no matter what.  So, that sucked.  There was another girl who was half Japanese who had the same shot as me.  We both commiserated. 

We were given a appointment to get meds another week.  I don't understand why they couldn't have given it to us right then and there.  We were only there to sign forms indicating we agreed to take them.

Later, we were sent to the male compartment to do stamping (stamp last names with last 4 of SS and div # on everything we're issued) and mine got really messy.  So, chief said I had to buy new shower slippers.  I guess a new hat too.  It’s hard to do something right when someone’s constantly screaming.  Wasn’t that bad.  Except I got ink on the deck.  That pissed everyone off.  I said I could clean it up really good with alcohol and no one would hear of it so what could I do.  Ford made a comment that I’d be grey when I get out of shower.  Almost sounded like a racial slur.  Why does it matter if I turn out grey if he is the color of black pitch? Then, I realized my sweat top and eyeglass case was gone and I tried to tell the chief but she told me to go away, so what can I do?  Tried to tell the guys, but they probably don’t know me and my sweats are unlabeled. 

Davis said she’d help me out and have me leave.  This was after I tried to tell her again and she said I had no military bearing and Onyika said ‘just roll your eyes again’.  Well, I can’t look her in the eyes, so I was trying not to, just shifting my gaze!!!

I think they want me out because there’s a good chance I’ll outrank them after basic and their ass is mine once I become officer.  But, basically, the higher your rank, the bigger the bully you are.  So, I might become officer just for revenge’s sake.  I hate Guzman and Santos.  They never told me about P-days and that weekends don’t count.

And that one chief (Clevinger) looks like Hitler.  He’s not perfect himself.  He burped.  He also tossed his soda bottle in the air and dropped it.  It was a relief to know he’s not as perfect as he wants everyone else to believe.

We went to a different galley where the dining workers were offering seconds and deserts.  Afterwards, the Pos and chief asked who fell for it and yelled.  I’m beginning to see the hilarity to the whole thing.  Being out of control just for that.  It’s insane!

8/18/06, Friday

Hell week is nearly over.  Today truly was hell.  We had to go to woman’s wellness clinic.  It was such a waste of time.  Lectures on STDs.  I’m not promiscuous.  Surprised that a lot of young innocent looking people are not virgins.  Anyhow, it was boring and disgusting.  Then it was time for the PAP smear which is scary as hell.  I screamed bloody murder.  The breast exam was awful too.  And even now, I get the heeby jeebies.  Can still feel the proddings.  The dumb med OBGYN said that kind of behavior will not be tolerated and I will not make it if I do it again.  But I will have to scream if anyone prods me in inappropriate places.  I felt so violated.  Apparently all the girls sitting outside had heard.  It’s not my fault the crappy walls are paper thin.  I guess I was the only virgin in my division. 

Back at the room, some goofy POs walked back and forth.  One was pretty much bald and overweight.  He was the one that had asked where I was from and what sports I liked during the HIV testing.

Then there were the shots.  2 people standing at opposite ends of the walls.  You stand in a square made from red tape.  I guess it didn’t hurt too bad.  Arms feel sore.  One of the girls were nice (Kirkland) and tried to comfort me and get others to do the same too.  Then we got our teeth checked.  The dental tech still recognized me.  At least I’ll be remembered.  The dentist whom I think was wearing a toupee started giving out all these technical terms, some teeth erroneous, corrupted.  Finally, the dentist said I had nothing to worry about.  My teeth were in pretty good shape.  Just a small cavity they will fill at the bottom right.  And pull out a wisdom tooth.  He said eventually all 4 will get pulled.  I’m quite upset about that.  He said my RDCs will know.

But then Davis asked to pass chits to her.  I didn’t get any.  That OBGYN did said I should get Calcium supplements.  I don’t know if I left the slip in the room or what. 

Anyway, my rackmate is getting on my nerves.  When that PO with the NY accent (Caldero) showed us how to fold the towels, she just pushed me.  WTF.  Other than the medical stuff, I’m pretty much OK with everything.

Onyika wanted us to turn in a 200 word essay on why we should not talk at Red Rover.  It was a pretty retarded assignment!  Easy though.  I just gave all the reasons the POs gave, like ‘you’re not in high school’ 

And more stamping-socks, undergarments, raincoat, Blue Book...

Official training will begin in just a few days and if we screw up we’ll be punished severely.

I seem to be doing OK today.  None of the POs or Davis were angry with me for anything today.

I see how POs are really just professional bullies- being proud to swear and threaten lives.  I hope the next 8 weeks pass quickly.  And I wonder when I can write my next letter.

8/20/06, Sunday

Yesterday we did PT exercise in the morning.  It was pretty crazy.  That’s all I can remember.

Today, more stampings of uniforms issued.  We had to try on a bathing suit and show it to Chief.  It was like the first time I'd been in one since high school. 

Then we marched to chapel, which was way too small for the thousand recruits there.  It was hot, stifling….  Chaplain gave an introduction and tried to be funny.  He kept talking about kittens.  And stop worrying and keeping our feelings to ourselves.  Some white bread manual were passed around.  I didn't take one.

Back in our compartments was a reviews on watches!  Unfortunately, not the kind that tells time, not the one that was almost confiscated from me, but standing watches.  Yawn...

For example, there are iron watches- people were assigned times to iron.


8/21/06, Monday

Exhausting day.  Morning started off with physical exercises including lunges, sit-ups, push-ups, 13 laps around the gym, which is about a mile and a half.

I was the front leader division when marching.  Then we had class on UMCJ and I was told to switch with Master of Arms.  Then before dinner, I found my towels were all gone.  My stomach hurts.

Funk, my rackmate gets on my nerves.  Keep stepping on my pillow and putting her crap on my bed. 

Bui woke me up to iron, no thanks to my useless rackmate.

8/22/06, Tuesday

The morning started off with 342 waking up at 4AM.  Division 342 was ordered to stay in bed.  We were awoken to screaming because one girl from Division 342 was taking her time getting out of bed and PO Caldero had her sit down to write a letter home and she said she didn’t have anyone to write to so then he told her to write to a recruit.  And that she would call home so that all the other girls would hate her.  And to stay in bed.

And later when we woke up at 0600, our chief or someone was like why is she in bed.  Then she was told to get her sea-bag and leave.  Went to Captain’s Mast.

I’m beginning to see that Boot Camp’s not too bad.  For social delinquents anyway.  Makes me feel better about myself.  Except now I see what a dumb mistake I’ve made.  These girls are so immature, can’t follow simple instructions, as PO says.

Had to do a final IT (intensive training) before bed.  It sucked.  Then PO wanted to listen to his damn music.  He had a CD player going.  He told us not to count and someone counted so he was like we had to start all over again.  Can’t believe Caldero looked right at me and said ‘you’re not trying!’  Just because I'm not sweating, grunting in pain and making faces like all the other females.  I was doing all the exercises!  However, I see some of the female's tricks.  Some keep grunting and crying like they're in pain, but they're barely lifting their arms or legs!

This place is so dumb. 

These girls swear soo much.  It’s madness and have a ton of bad habits.  I don’t know why I’m here.

Funk keeps getting her damn boots and throwing her crap on my bed.  And pushing me and running into me.  And just because she’s LLD, she tells me to put her stupid stuff in her rack.  Her stuff was already on top of her rack.  I don’t know why she didn’t open it up to put it inside her rack herself!!! 

1st time had desert- ice-cream.

Ran into the male compartment by accident to get my stamp kit and some guy was like ‘hey that’s mine!"  Male compartment looks identical to the female's...it's like the Twilight Zone.  Everything he placed in his rack, was like how I had placed mine.  Obviously!

Can’t believe it’s only the 1st week.  Strangler- some dummy took my PT shorts and somehow put hers in my rack.

And someone grabbed my training guide and threw it on their rack!

And some girl almost threw her crap in my rack but I caught her.  It’s irritating!!  What is going on here???

8/23/06, Wednesday

Today, set up bank accounts.  Kind of inefficient.  They were being processed to set up the direct payment system.  The majority had their deposit slips but there were some people without them.  I didn't bring any bank information.  Recruiter never said anything about that.  So, a few of us without our account numbers had to sign up for Navy Federal accounts.  It was probably a good thing because there were a lot of people and they were all waiting around doing nothing.  It was me, Blue, Rogers, and Harris that got to go down to the Navy Federal bank.  While we were marching, they started doing impressions of Davis and the POs by saying ‘stop fidgeting’, 'stop scratching' etc.  It was pretty funny.  Blue was the last one to get her stuff done.  Downstairs was a recruit in his 7th week.  He said they were doing nothing.  That he’d just done Battle Stations.  That his RDCs were cool, had meals with them.  That’s weird.

Oh yeah.  A PO got mad at us for stepping out of the wrong door when marching to the bank.  I think Blue tried to tell Ford that when we got back but he said it didn’t matter since he was escorting us to class.  Learned all about Navy Ships and Planes  Wish it were the 8th week.

C-19 and Cortez and 2 guys got in trouble tonight for talking at the table.  They got sent to their compartments early.  But C-19’s the EPO.

Also, Ford said some recruit reported me with lice.  You can’t even tell with the naked eye.  My hair has been falling out probably from stress but other than that, it’s fine.  Ford asked if it itched.  Some recruits heard.  I wonder if it was Mann.  She’s always playing with her hair and touching mine.

Also, we got 15 minutes to shower with the other division.  Strangler had to steal my shower head.  I want to strangle her- pimply faced lanky girl.  And some girl said we couldn’t shave.  But why were we issued razors if we can’t use them.  And I heard a chief yell at a girl for her to shave everyday.  So I don’t know if that 342 girl was playing mind games with me or what.

Saw a Basic Training video.

Goins showed 342 how to strip a bed.  And chatted for the rest of the night.  Funk asked if I’d be scared to jump into the pool.  I was like I have a skydiving license.  Funk is from a farm in Ohio.  I wonder if she’s the type of person Matt would say is from the ‘backwoods’.  Being with these girls make me uncomfortable.  I guess as a 24 year old, I’m pretty inexperienced too.  But still, some of them are incredibly immature.  I was saying I’m not sure if I’d stick with the Navy and what kind of life is this.  And they were like I should.  I don’t want to be government property.  I see the benefits.  But I don’t agree with the whole RTC thing.  I am starting to see the humanness in the Pos and chief.  They’ve been pretty mild with me compared to some other recruits. 

Still frustrated.  Won’t end until I get back home I guess.  These girls are alright.  But their lack of education and average intelligence bothers me.  It shouldn’t but it does somehow.  It’s like we’re from 2 completely different worlds.  There’s a serious difference between the behavior of a college student and one who has never stepped onto a college campus.  It’s not the age. Younger UCI students are VERY respectable, for instance.  Not sure what tomorrow will bring.

8/24/06, Thursday

The attraction today was the pool.  We all marched in the rain in our coats.  It was cool, I guess.  Except it was tiring and some idiot told me to go the wrong way as we were filing out.  So, I was number 1 but someone took my place when I marched the wrong direction so I ended up all the way in back of the guys. 
Madrid was scared.  I was with the people who couldn’t swim.  First, we were in the shallow pool.  Float.  Then front crawl.  Then back crawl.  Got advanced to the deep pool.  Jump in.  Then the 40 ft diving board.  I asked whether I was to keep my toes pointed.  But the guy on the diving board just pushed me with an annoyed look.  Then, more treading water and floating, but I kept bumping into people.  And I heard them say get out, so I got out.  Turned out it was directed at this one person.  So, I was excused as well.

Then we had to IT because our "house" wasn’t cleaned.  The black PO lady- MacMahon had me keep my arms up, parallel to the floor.  Then, Ford said I had to go back to the pool.  There were like 10 other people.  We started marching on the wrong side though and some chief in a red vehicle set us straight.  I was told to go to Bleacher 2.  I had to float for 5 minutes.  I made it!  Face in, little arm/ ft movement.

Then, going into the water with the coveralls.  Left hand inside, slap right hand down 4x and that creates a bubble inside and choke the collar.  Passed.  I'm a third class swimmer. 

Then I was told to get dressed in dress pants and white shirt.  Then told to clean…Madrid didn’t pass.  After that, back to Ship 7.  Chief was yelling at the group.  We were told to go to chow.  That was basically it.  Practice stripping and making racks…sing anchors away.

Strangler had to IT with like 3 guys.  I was happy to see that.  I hate her guts for stealing my PT shirts and my place in the shower.  Tomorrow PT test.  Other than that, should be a light day.

8/25/06, Friday

Today was the PT test.  It started raining, thundering when we got outside.  We were told to go back to wear our boots, bring our white socks and shoes and wear raincoats.  Well, then the sky cleared up, still grey, but the sun came out.  Anyway, I got Thompson as a partner.  I did 50  sit-ups, 35 push-ups.  Then we ran our 1 1/2 mile.  I kept running, didn’t stop.  But I was told I failed it.  I’ll have to see how long it took.

Then I was on watch from 0830-1200.  The PO Williams was the one that challenged me the most.  He said I needed to have lights off if no one else is around.  Then furniture investigators came in.  I tried challenging them, but PO said only to challenge those in uniforms.

He asked me what a chief PO wears for a collar device- gold foul anchor and silver super imposed USN.  Then he asked what a 1st class PO wears on his/her sleeve of dress blue uniform or something like that.  I repeated the wrong thing- a petty officer master chief or something crazy like that and PO Williams said there was no such thing and I started laughing and he said I better get my military bearing.  It was pretty funny.  He said NEGATIVE 5x because I kept forgetting to say “her”.  It was overall a light day.  I missed the 1st Aid class.  Tried getting the notes from Funk but she didn’t get them all and can’t spell. 

Some study time with ranks and rates. 

Still fighting between 341 and 342.  It’s very upsetting.  Why no one can keep quiet.  PO Caldero says we can write letters on Sunday.  And when he said god can’t save you if you don’t do chores or hygiene before going to church, a few girls cried.

Then he had someone pray. 

I think we will be inspected soon, but I still don’t have any towels in my compartment.  There was 1 chief before our study session who tried giving motivating speeches.  I like that.  But Davis was like that’s not what she does.  I suppose she enjoys motivating us through fear as opposed to encouragement. 

8/26/06, Saturday

Basic Training- pull ups, dips, hoops, medicine ball, rubber band, jump rope, tug rope…

9 mm pistol training. 

Some guy passed out ITing according to 342.

Marching after dinner.  Kept getting kicked by recruits who can't march in step.

Sabas and Kolinsky still can’t march. 

8/27/06, Sunday

We were allowed to write letters to family and friends today.  We get our own free time until 1300.  Then cleaning.  Bossy recruits being even more bossy.  Some recruit brings the mops to mop the floor.  Then one of the recruits with the collar devices yell that it gets the place dirtier.  Then someone says to study.  Then someone says to clean deck again.  I’m so sick of these girls.

Madrid said she sold her house for the Navy.  Her husband would relocate to be with her.  I have no idea what Sabas says.  She's from Guam and with very bad teeth as in when she speaks, a lot of air goes through her teeth.  And she stutters quite a bit.  I can understand though, due to nervousness and frustration.

Mc Cree on watch.  Commenting on my snoring.  I'm glad that at least I can disrupt other people's sleep while I'm knocked out and no one can do anything about it. 

Then PI and DMI drills.  And Southerland asking dumb questions, like whether to get socks out when it’s just shirts, skivvies and towels.  I’m so tired of hearing chief and PO repeating themselves 1000x.  AAHHH!!

Then more marching.  And studying the same crap.

My name is on the list to be up tomorrow by 0545 for dental.  HELP!!  Blue will be there too.  That’s somewhat comforting. 

8/28/06, Monday

Went to dental.  Dentist said lower right had to be removed.  While he’s at it, he’d remove other 2.  McCree, Goins, Carpenter, Turner had theirs removed today.  My appt will be next week.  At least Blue will be with me.

Hours of boring useless study time.  Study quizz/game against males team and female team.  It was very immature, with people accusing of cheating or getting the easy questions.

Some special command master chief came to visit, said he was sponsoring us.  Got new bright blue PT shirt that said Mad Fox.

LT gave us a speech.  I was soo tired.  Nearly fell asleep. 

Study group.  Sanky, Philips, Doty, Fannigan…  Bartel at bedrest, etc.

Got assigned to be part of Nasty 9 (head cleaning crew).  Sucks.  I hate Nix from 342.  All she ever talks about is how her mom refuses to believe she is no longer a virgin even though she has seen with her own eyes her having sex with some guy in the house and how she calls her mom a bitch and makes her cry.  She's got problems.  Why would she share that tidbit of wonder of her life to others. 

8/29/06, Tuesday

Today’s a dumb day.  Cleaning head multiple times!

Practice PI drill.  Couldn’t answer the question- who’s RTC command MC which was Beldo.  I had a gig line and boot laces hits.

Lecture by chaplain, something about trees and sowing seedlings.

Boring talk from Cpt Andrews and CMDCM C Beldo. 

Rank and Rating class.

The dining hall man sang happy birthday to this one kid.

I’m tired.  But I don’t know anything on the test.  It’s all so stupid.

8/30/06, Wednesday

I got 3 hits on the PI- gigline, shoe polish and military bearing.  I was trembling and my hands were sweating soo bad.  I can’t believe the questions people got wrong.  Like what is your 2nd GO.  And what does RTC CO wear for collar device.  I got 4 hits for DMI- BL3, DC3, SH4 or something.  Then Caldero went mad as a madcow.  He seriously needs to be checked for prions or something.

PT.  Not too bad.  Chief keeps telling me to get my knees high and I’m trying so hard.  At least she wasn’t screaming.  Then Ford started giving us a guilt trip saying $4m were being spent on our boot camp training.  That we haven’t even learned basic marching yet.

Then cleaning.  I had to go to the head to clean and we heard ITing with child’s music.  Farmer in the Dell, Bingo- girls crying.  It was crazy.  Then Caldero saying "you are nothing but little girls" not being able to follow simple instructions.  It’s frustrating.  It’s so simple, it’s hard like clothes folding.  It’s like trying to teach someone how to walk or breath.  Can’t be done.  I think they’re yelling and angry because they have no life, basically being in the military 24/7.  We didn’t make them have this job.  And guilt tripping isn’t exactly a great motivator.

RDCs keep telling us we will be set back as a division if someone keeps messing up.  I will not be set back.  No where does it say in the contract that we have to go back to 1-1 under any conditions.

After that Lamkin walks in talking and we tell her to hush and she runs to the head crying.

8/31/06, Thursday

Today the Pos came in and destroyed our lockers because they were “incorrectly folded”!  I tried so hard to get it right.

In the morning, the Head Crew had to wake up early.  I forgot what we were doing and all the girls had left.  I saw Doty and Cantu out the door and they said they were going to chow.

Today was another dumb day.  Folding clothes and “studying”.

On the way to dinner, Onyika said “Get your cap straight.  What are you, gay?”  A few snickers.  It was only when I was sitting at the tables that I wish I could have followed it up with “no, Gay is in Division 342”.

I want to report Onyika.  His comment implied I was gay and isn’t that against Navy regulations?  What about the “don’t ask, don’t tell policy?”

Then more study groups.  And Chief tried questioning us.  Then Chief got mad and we had to do 8 counts because some people obviously weren’t taking it seriously.  But why does the innocent have to be punished?

If Chief hates us so much, why does she bother then?  She started saying she was a single parent with two kids- 6 and 12.  Is that our freaking fault?  If there’s something wrong with the scene of her spending 16 hours with us, then why does she continue doing it?

Mail was passed out. 

My nose is stuffed up.  I’m getting sick.  A lot of people here have no sanitary habits; sneezing without covering their mouths.