A continuation about Basic Combat Training.
I finished with the Victory Tower where I learned to trust the unknown. Since the military does not own transportation to any of these sites, ruck-marches are required to traverse throughout the base. The first time I had seen these types of marches was actually in the film Forrest Gump. Two long lines of people spread-out ready to jump into action, was what they looked like. Obviously the explosions that occurred around us were simulated, but boy did they feel real. I can remember the Drill Sergeants yelling INCOMING!, everybody would drop to the floor and hope that one day this would be real. After a while, we were so programmed that we would drop instantly whenever we heard it. Simulated mortars and being in a constant state of alert was a normal part of life for us during that time.
I remember helping one of my battle buddies with her gear during our last march. After completing a ruck-march that was over twelve miles long, she was struggling to keep the pace. I grabbed her assault pack(backpack) off her back and carried it with me to help lighten the load off her. She was able to complete the march because of my help. The core values of the military were part of my life and I was not going to leave a fallen comrade. When somebody was having trouble we came together as a group to make sure nobody failed. I felt sorry for the short individuals in our unit, having short legs made the marches almost unbearable for them. They had to take more steps than us, so in turn they used more energy. During the first ruck-march that we had the road seemed to go on forever. Our feet at the end of the ruck-march were covered in blisters. Blisters were an every day occurrence which made life much more difficult.
I remember our twenty-two kilometer ruck-march like it was yesterday. I am not going to write a lie and say that I was not struggling. Walking that much felt as if I had cinder blocks attached to my legs after each step. Lifting my M16 was almost impossible towards the end of the march. I am proud to say that I went through these hardships. It felt like as if I was serving a greater purpose while we did these events. At the end of our march the Drill Sergeants told us to take off our boots so that they could inspect our feet. When I bent down to take off my boot my entire body cramped. I was in extreme pain and I was screaming. Some of my battle buddies rushed over to massage my body to loosen up my muscles. I was taken to the hospital for my cramps and I felt horrible. Even though I completed the march I felt as if I had failed somehow.
I’ll stop writing for now, hope y’all enjoyed.