Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sweet Caroline

Caroline's lease was up in early June. She moved in with me temporarily when Lee left for training. Her lease in Chicago starts August 1st. Her last night in my super chic pink guest room was last night. I'm going to miss her very much. She's been such a sweet blessing to have in the house while Lee is gone but also as a friend for life. She lets me talk about Lee mucho and asks me about my day when I get home from work. She puts the fun in all things. I'm more excited about her big move than I am sad to see her go. She's always seen herself in a big city and I'm thankful she has someone amazing to share it with in Sean. I'd like to think I helped push her towards her dream as much as she's helped me through this Summer.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ice Ice Baby

OK...I got another letter and it starts out that he's staying so busy as PG that he has to find time to write me letters while he's in the bathroom. Gross. He says its about the only time that he gets time alone. He gets bombarded with questions from every direction now. He has started ARM (Advanced Rifle Marksmanship). He thinks the moving targets are fun but he now has to wear an IBA (Individual Body Armor). Everywhere they go, they have to wear all their training gear. The IBA is made of a nylon like material with a Kevlar plate for the chest and back. It weighs about 20-30 lbs. On top of that, they carry their LBE's (Load Bearing Equipment). LBE is a vest with pouches that hold magazines/ammo, canteens(2), grenades, etc. They also carry/wear a 5 lbs helmet and a weapon that weighs 6.2 lbs. He said that it's hard to move but the DS says they'll soon get used to it all. Lee has bruises on his shoulders from the IBA already. He writes that the "kids" are hyper when they're not exhausted. His platoon has been messing with other platoons by taking their supplies and equipment. While they were at chow one evening, another platoon took one of his guy's weapons. Lee had to go talk to that platoon's PG and call a "truce." Lee said it was equivelent to high school. That PG told Lee that he had planned on giving the weapon to the DS to get Lee's platoon smoked for awhile. Lee blatantly told the PG that he didn't have time for all the BS and that he came here to train. They ran 3 miles one morning. 3 miles is short and sweet for him now. He still sweats a pool of water. The DS gives him a hard time because there is always a puddle of sweat at Lee's feet when they are in formation. He has had to be the heat casualty victim 3x's now. It's funny reading his letter when he's talking about being stripped down to his now tighty brownies in front of the whole company with ice sheets all over him. He writes that he feels truly blessed to have close friends and family that care about him after reading my letters of me telling him about my recent www.nationalcasa.org work. In my letters, I tell him what's going on at home, with our friends/family, work, Cooper...I tell him everything. I love our letters and know that I'll cherish them forever. We write like we're having a conversation; not formal by any means.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Week 6

As PG (Platoon Guide) he is is managing the guys during the day and pulls all his extra details at night such as Fireguard. He writes that he is exhausted and misses me mucho. He hopes to get phone privileges soon since they are almost done with White Phase and moving to Blue Phase soon but of course, no guarantees...He's really excited about seeing me and said he has my travel itinerary posted in his locker. He said some of his guys saw a guy from another platoon come into their bay so the guys hog-tied the guy from the other platoon with duct tape and took a picture. Thankfully, the DS said, "That's some good stuff!" I'd like to hog-tie Lee about now. They had their Rifle Qualification and he was worried about shooting as well in the kneeling position. He said he worked on it for awhile the morning of qualification and ended up shooting "Expert" at the range! He got his Expert Marksman badge pinned on him and a "Good Job" from the DS. He sent me the pin to me to admire. I even smelled it. Ha. Originally I was thinking I'd prefer him to suck at shooting so he wouldn't be of any use to the Army. I now prefer him to be better than the bad guy so he can shoot them first. It helps to not think of it as revenge but instead think of it as prevention. Prevention for so many things. Some loser got caught sitting on his bed after the DS had specifically told him not to sit on his bed. The DS instructed everyone to disassemble ALL the bunks and reassemble them outside with the exact same layout as in their bay. Complete with mattresses, foot displays and laundry bags! They had to do it in 30 minutes. They didn't make it in 30 minutes so they had to do push ups.

He loves me...

"Week 6 of training. Love you and miss you very much. See you very soon. Lee"

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Flower Romance

"Week 5 of training. See you soon, miss you, love you. Lee"

Isn't he just the sweetest man ever?! AGH! I miss him so much. He's incredibly thoughtful...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Phone Call

I got a 10 minute phone call! It was amazing to hear his voice. I had a bunch of things to tell him and I blurted them all out at once. I asked him if he gets to wear bug spray and sunscreen?!?! I then realized I was asking stupid questions and told him we can talk about bugs another time! I told him that I just wanted to hear about how he misses and loves me to pieces. I can't really recall anything important that we talked about but he was adament about making sure I booked my trip to see him in August for the Family Day weekend. He told me that he was really very homesick for me. He said they have a lot to carry/wear and it's very hot. He's glad that he's exhausted all the time so it makes the homesickness barable. He saved a lot of time by telling me that many of the things that I had vented about in my letters he had already written a response and I should receive those letters soon. Eventually the DS came into the bay and told everyone to end their calls. I told Lee to tell his DS to kiss it. haha Lee said he would prefer not to do that...kiss kiss. I love you and that was it. Dial tone. Back to reality. Make my grocery list. Give Cooper a bath. Mow the yard. Anything to keep me busy and I mean busy! I called Jan (Lee's Mom) as soon as I hung up the phone. While telling her about Lee's call I started to zone out and felt like a real downer. I miss him so much. This is hard. I can't wait to see his face. I want to see his super short hair. I wonder if he has abs of steel from all the "corrective training" they're doing. I can't wait to see that too!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Appointed Platoon Guide

I got 2 more letters from Lee yesterday! He was appointed Platoon Guide by his DS! I've learned that this a HUGE honor. This honor ranks him just below his DS. He wrote that he basically does everything the DS used to do. The platoon was then divided into different squads by their PT scores. (Alpha, Bravo, etc) Each squad then nominated Squad Leaders. The Squad Leaders are to report to Lee and Lee reports to the DS. Crazy?! I wish I could be in Lee's pocket to see him in action; a bit different from being President of your class! He said that its a bit exhausting learning all his new responsibilities. Some of the guys are still a bit rowdy. One in particular, is recently fresh out of high school and seems rebellious. Lee is trying to straighten up loose ends and get everyone doing their thing, but this particular kid doesn't think that he has to abide by any of the rules. He's been very rude and outright rude to Lee. He was being disrespectful towards another guy in the platoon and that guy punched him in the back of the head! The rebellious kid came to Lee for help and advice on what he should do. Lee thought that was interesting. However, Lee followed protocol. He suggested the kid report the incident; especially since their was some noticeable swelling to his head. Turns out the ambulance had to come and get him and the guy that punched him was taken to jail! Lee's back is feeling better. It was causing him quite a bit of pain from the fall. One of day, the DS was supposed to teach a class but he forgot all of his slides and handouts so he talked about Family Day the whole time instead. He gave neat little tips and discussed past Family Days with the guys. This of course got everyone riled up to see their families. Lee wrote a lot about Family Day again. I cannot wait to see him. I probably talk about him and only him around all my friends/family right now but I can't help it.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

He loves me...

He loves me and misses me mucho. He cannot wait to see me in August for Family Day! Yes, the weekend pass has been confirmed via letter that I received last night! This is the transition weekend between Basic and AIT. Graduation is at 14 weeks. I am so excited. I called his mom first and then booked my trip second. Airfare, car rental and hotel reservations are complete. August will be a big exciting month. Sweet Henderson wedding in Italy, Fort Benning to see my sexy husband and a baby shower at the end of the month that I'm hosting for Sheena. Lee wants to get a couple MREs for him and I to have a picnic somewhere when I pick him up for the weekend. He wants me to try one of the meal ready dinners and see what I think. Yummy... Whatever. I just can't wait to see his face!!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Give MY Letters to MY Husband!

I went a little over a week without getting a letter and then wham! I get two, five page letters in the same day. Then I got a another letter the following day. He said that he hasn't had much personal time to write so when they got a "light day" on the 4th of July they were allowed to watch the Patriot in an air conditioned training classroom. Instead, he wrote me the entire time. Apparently there has been a lot of drama in the barracks. Some immature idiots are getting kicked out of the Army. They broke into the DS's (drill sergeant's) office, got their cell phones and were caught eating candy; junk food. When they'll get kicked out is yet to be determined. When screw ups behave like this, the Army has been known to hold them until graduation and then give them the boot. There's young kid that comes to Lee crying a lot too. He wants to quit so bad but he always confronts the DS bawling like a baby so of course the DS doesn't give him the time of day. Lee basically told him to suck it up and approach the DS like a man and maybe they will help him figure things out, etc. Lee's Company is split into 4 platoons since there are so many guys. Someone from another platoon made a racist comment to someone in Lee's platoon and EVERYONE has been getting corrective training and smoked at the drop of a hat. Lee is exhausted. He said that they were at Chow (dinner) when the DS came in and yelled for everyone to get in formation. (Lee feels like they're getting less and less time to eat but he's learned to devour his food.) They get in formation and notice that someone is missing. Minutes later, the guy appears and this is unacceptable. The DS made everyone drop down on their belly and grab their ankles. They then had to wiggle approximately 70 yrds to a tree. Lee wrote that he's got blisters from climbing ropes, scrapes, bruises and whatever else requires Bandaids and Neospoirn. I sent him a few First Aid items that I am allowed to send upon Lee's request. I miss him so much. I send a letter everyday except Sunday. Duh. I've been told that the DS will hold letters during mail call to beat the guys down; single them out. This was only rumor until Lee confirmed that he received 11 letters from me in one mail call, the same day he also received a letter from his mom, Nana and Jacob/Taylor. He was told to do 25 pushups/situps for each envelope and 75 for his Mom's letter since it came in a FedEx envelope. Geez. He was so happy to get mail that he was more than excited to do the work to get to read some encouraging words and find out what's going on back home. He said, "Keep them coming!" It's the highlight of the day for the entire Company. I can imagine not getting a letter would be a real downer. He fell. He was climbing a rope and didn't have a good hold with his ankles and was using all his upper body strength that he was zapped by the time he got halfway up the rope and he fell 15ft. He landed on his feet, then his back and then his head. Everyone was amazed that he got back up. I hate reading stuff like that in letters but I'm glad he tells me but at the same time, I have so many more questions!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Passed Gas

Lee passed his Gas Chamber Challenge. He wrote that they were told to file into the building right behind one another. Once they were all in the building the door was shut and gas was pumped into the chamber. Lee said it burned his skin. One by one they each had to take off their mask, say their name and the last 4 digits of their SSN. They could then put their masks back on and once they all had completed the task, they could exit the building. Lee said he couldn't breathe, see or think straight but he was able to follow orders and get out just fine. Many guys had to do it over and over again until they got it right. A lot of people got sick and lost their lunch too. This was the big part of the training I was worried about him doing. Sounds scary to me...So glad he got it right the first time.