First and foremost of course...Family Day! My dad bused in from Utah and we met up at the PX at about 8 in the morning. We had our manly reunion void of emotion followed by my own little shopping spree. I ended up spending about 300 dollars throughout the course of the day between a company and platoon t shirt, a high speed backpack, a suitcase, a hygiene kit, (fully camouflaged) and food, delicious, delicious, non DFAC food.
At 1300 I had to be back to the company area for graduation practice. We practiced a couple times, and then went on our ways back to meet up with our families. My dad had rented a car and we just sort of wandered around the base eating and shopping. Sounds kind of feminine I know, but a man needs the necessities.
The next day was graduation. As far as I know it went off without a hitch. Afterward we went out to eat at the Waffle House, but nothing looked good so we moved on and ended up at...I can't remember where. Somewhere better though, nicer than Applebee's. Later that night we went and saw The Immortals. We both fell asleep.
After the movie and a visit to the pawn shop where my dad ended up buying a bulletproof vest...(don't know how that worked out, but it was nicer than the one I used in basic that's for sure) we said our goodbyes. An emotional little episode if I've ever had one, but alas I soldiered on...get it?
The next day we shipped. I tried to go to the PX to buy a smaller backpack that I could put my laptop and my other valuables in but it turned into a big episode because one of the females that decided to come was an idiot and was supposed to ship at the same time as we left for the PX, so our senior Drill Sergeant, DS Mendes came to find us. Not good. We all double timed back to the company area because the 1st Sgt "had some questions to ask us." Also not good. Luckily the only question he asked me was if I had permission to go, which I did. He threatened the others with Article 15's but they never came to pass.
Our ship time got bumped up about an hour so we marched over to the collection area...and waited, for close to two hours. Finally our bus arrived, with fantastic news. It had power outlets. this 18 hour bus ride wasn't going to be as bad as I thought.
Long story short, we drove. And at the first stop half the bus took off at a full sprint to the smoke shop half a mile a way. They would never be able to run like that again. 30 minutes later once everyone had gotten their nicotine fix and snacks we got back on the road.
The next stop we took was at a Golden Corral in Muskagee, Oklahoma. This was the first time I'd ever really been out in public in my uniform and it felt good. I spent more time shaking hands and talking with vets...and hoping the cheerleading team that was there would end up looking our way, than I did eating food. It was a good feeling. It made the last 10 weeks feel just about worth it.
Bellies full, we got back on the bus for the last leg of our trip. Next stop San Antonio.
We pulled into Golf Company at about 3 in the morning, amazingly reminiscent of the first time I went through all this reception...
It didn't suck as bad this time though. Probably just because it was shorter. The NCOIC there was a jerk, but that was probably just because he screwed something up so they made him a paperpusher, can't really blame the guy for being bitter I guess. All in all processing just consisted of signing a couple papers saying that we weren't going to kill ourselves, and finally intimidating me into telling them that I had another ticket that I had received just before shipping to basic. So I got proof that I paid it and moved on. Oh, and apparently I forgot my ID card somewhere in Missouri, at least that's what I thought. A couple days ago my dad texted me and told me that he had found it in his wallet. I have it now though and that's all that matters.
The first real physical challenge I had in a while came next. We had to carry all of our bags to our new company AO, Alpha company. Doesn't sound so bad, but it sucked. I probably had about 150 pounds of stuff in my three bags that I couldn't really even wear. Just carry.
We got there though, Huerta (2nd Platoon's PG back in Comanche Co) and I were the first ones there. Comanche leads the way. The stragglers (females) finally showed up and we were sorted into our platoons alphabetically, leaving me in the 4th Platoon "Spartans." We did a bag check and made sure everyone had everything that they needed. This one was much less intense than the shark attack one the first day of basic.
The day we arrived was a Sunday which meant no church, but I wasn't too bothered. If it was basic I would have put up a fight because I just liked having a break, but in the 2 days I had been there I could tell that things were going to be a lot different than at Lost in the Woods.
In the 4 days that I've been in A Co I really can't say that I've accomplished a whole lot. I did however find out that since I have a current state EMT-B certification that I can challenge the NREMT test. If I pass that on Sunday then I can fast track to another company that is further along in their training and skip about 8 weeks. Which would be very, very nice.
I just got back from lunch at the METC, basically the DFAC of all DFACs. We had a special Thanksgiving lunch with turkey, stuffing, pie, and to top it off it was served to us by all the officers and senior enlisted in the Battalion. It was a really relaxed meal, definitely not something I was used to. There's still the tinge of loneliness being that this is the first major holiday I haven't spent with family, but it wasn't all bad. I like being alone.