12/09/2009

Letters from Boot Camp #3 and #4

Received two letters in one envelope, recklessly addressed only to "Mamaceta":

#3
Timmy: !Hola Mamaceta¡

Home has:

Parris Island has:

1) Family

1) Drill Instructors

2) Home-Cooked Thanksgiving Meal

2) Dehydrated, Reprocessed, Cafeteria Thanksgiving Meal

3) Laughter, Smiles, Wine

3) Blood, Sweat, Tears


Really, the only thing Parris Island has going for it is the whole "they gave me an assault rifle" thing.

Today is Thanksgiving, Mama, and it is the first one I have spent without my Mama and the cats [editor's note: this is not actually true, since we had a full childhood of post-divorce holiday visitation scheduling, but I think he is experiencing some Boot Camp delirium in more ways than one].

All the depressing "I miss you"s aside, Boot Camp is going pretty well. We have graduated from Phase 1 to Phase 2, meaning we're starting to move past all the c**p and on to the Cool Stuff. Last week, we did the Rappel Wall, which was awesome, 75 feet straight down [oh god not my baby].

We also "learned" how to use our gas masks, meaning we got shoved into a room full of CS tear gas and had to figure out how to use the mask real fast. It was so cool. However, I would advise you to stay away from riots and drill instructors in possession of said gas.

Yesterday, we hiked out to the rifle range. We are learning to shoot our rifles. I am so pumped. So far we have only done virtual firing, but if the simulation is correct, I am a crack shot.

Forty-three days and two major holidays away from graduation. Miss you, Mama, let me know the news from the homefront.

#4
Hello again, Mamaceta. It is December now and bitterly cold here in Parris Island. We got issued our Cold Weather Gear. I expected high-tech military grade thermal jackets. What we got was a skullcap and one glove. Not a pair of gloves, just one glove. Motivated.

We finished Rifle Range and hiked back to Squadbays. I barely qualified at Rifle Range. You might wonder why, since I said that I was a crack shot. I'm going to explain what happened in a crude diagram:


Notice the strikingly handsome stick figure firing at target #3. This is me. Notice that he is on crutches. This is me on crutches.

I had a bout of cellulitis, a form of flesh-eating bacteria [panicky shrieks from Mamaceta], in my foot. I was on crutches for a week; fortunately, I still managed to qualify.

[editor's note once done keening: Don't the crutches look just like Tiny Tim's?]

We did Swim Survival. I am 2nd Class Swim Qualified, which is the highest available and only a dozen kids out of 300 got it.

Looking forward to cooking Thanksgiving Part Deux with you in January. Love your son Timmy

14 comments:

Vivian said...

Once again, Timmy's writing has me laughing. Is he that funny when he's home? I love the stick drawing as a casual way to tell Mamaceta that he has a form of flesh-eating bacteria.
Happy holidays to Timmy and his mom.

Betty (picture circa 1954) said...

It sure sounds like he's enjoying the Marine Corp. He hasn't lost his sense of humor.

mereth said...

I love these posts, what a wonderful sense of humour he has.We're assuming the flesh-eating bacteria has been contained (the figure did have two distinct legs,and the absence of feet is just artistic style I believe)I don't even want to know what Swim Survival entails, but probably nothing pleasant.
Does Timmy know there are dozens of women all over the world following his progress and appreciating your lovely relationship?

Melisa @ Sweet Home said...

I love hearing from Timmy! He always brings a smile, and thanks to you for sharing his letters with us. BTW, I used to rappel in a former life, and 75 ft. is nothing! But I'd have flunked Swim Survival for sure - I'm deathly afraid of water!

Kathleen said...

Your son is a very entertaining writer. He should consider making a book of all his exploits in the military. I bet it would be a hit! Save those letters!!

Lori said...

Your son is a hoot! It reminds me of letters I'd get from mine.
What does Timmy want to do with his training?

Julie-Ann said...

How fun! Thank you for sharing. Guess he will never attend art schoo, but the drawing is a hoot! You will both survive this, Mamaceta!

Gretchen said...

Thank you for sharing Timmy's letters. I just love hearing about his adventures and he write with such dry wit. Love it! Especially how he casually mentions getting flesh-eating bacteria halfway through the letter as if it were no big deal. I cracked up after freaking out for you. I think he is going to make an excellent Marine.

That Girl said...

Your son has a fabulous sense of humor! What a treat it must be to receive his letters...

Jennifer :)

MARCIE said...

Timmy is a riot, and a crack shot to boot. Or was that crack pot? He has a great attitude about all of this. Keep it up Timmy Darlin'!

Taryn said...

Those notes are priceless. What a great personality. I am sure it just makes you miss him even more. I am tempted to share his letters with my son, but I think he would be enlisting himself if he reads them. Your son does make it all sound so cool--especially for men.

viridian said...

Panicky shrieks and keening. Yep, that would be me too.

YankeeQuilter said...

He reminds me of the Marines that were in my stick/group in Airbourne school. I was the only female officer to finish and I think a lot of it had to do with those guys...I ate the Thanksgiving meal with them in the chow hall. We all dressed in our class A's...what a wild group!

Libby said...

Oh how I love these letters. Your sweet boy clearly understands all that is going on - this will serve him well, not only in the Marine Corps but all through life, a testament to a great mother!