It's been a good break. And I'd be lying if I said I was looking forward to going back to Ft. Benning. It's not as though it's over-hard. Basic has been challenging, for sure, but never at a level that I have found myself incapable of completing the task at hand. But while there have been enjoyable moments (such as making Sharpshooter, by hitting 32 of 40 targets, on my first try), BCT is not what I could call enjoyable as a whole. I'm looking forward to the end of it. But there's only 21 days left, starting on the 5th. So down to bidness.
PFC Johnson, Justin
D Co. 3-47 In 3rd Plt
Ft. Benning, GA 31905
That's my mailing address for those of you who don't have it. It's still going to be a good address to write to until about the 13th-16th of January. It's only a short time, but I love getting letters. So write!
Second: I graduate from BCT on the 26th of January at Ft. Benning in Sand Hill. All of you. Come and see me walk around in my Army blue monkey suit! Crowd the bleachers with my people!
Christmas this year was, delightfully, low key. For me it was so great just to be home and see everyone, friends and family alike. And oh man. So much food. So much GOOD and TERRIBLE food. After months of Army nutritious food, getting a little Cheerwine and BBQ was divine. Army food was, surprisingly, tasty most of the time. It was a little plain, but healthy. And it's surprisingly easy to eat healthy at BCT, given the selections. But nothing fried. No pizza. Water forever, too much Powerade, and one glass of milk and OJ on any given day. So no Cheerwine.
It's interesting being who I am and how old I am being in BCT. It's a lot easier for me to just go along and play the game than it seems to be for the 18-20 year olds. But while I can just do what I'm told and say "Yes, Drill Sergeant," I don't really make a permanent change to Army (Hooah!) Mode. It's a switch I can flip (and did), but then I can come home and turn it off. There are some changes, internal discipline, stability, confidence, that are permanent, but most of it is just a hat I put on and take off. I didn't come home and roll my laundry (unless I was packing a bag, but I did that anyway), or make my bed with hospital corners. I don't wake up at 4AM every day and do PT (though I did do some). So there's good things being done in my general direction thanks to the Army and Basic Training. Mostly it's the 25lbs. I left back on the sandy PT field.
There's still some things I doubt I'll ever get used to. Like when I was waiting to go home. I was in line getting my boarding pass. And people came up and thanked me for my service, shook my hand. I get home and find my inbox is full, not the least of which was friends thanking me on Facebook on Veteran's Day. That choked me up just a bit.
Segue: the amount of support I have received from my friends and family has been...overwhelming. I mean, I never expected that I wouldn't get absolutely 100% support from everyone. But the way you have all gotten behind me on this, and the amount of thought and love. It's humbling and at the same time it fills me with strength, confidence. All the more reason for you all to be there on the 26th. You've all been there behind me this whole time, and I want you all to see me bring this to fruition.
I was able to ring in the New Year amongst good friends around a hookah. I had drink and food and fellowship. I'm looking forward to what 2012 will bring me. Graduate from BCT, go on to AIT, making some decent money along the way. Get in shape. Find work through my National Guard unit or go to school full time. Take SOME classes in either case. CRF 2012.
And tonight was just an excellent cap to it all. Thank you.
i know it ain't easy