Letters From Parris island 5
Posted By: Carl Andrews 07-25-11
One of a series of articles about the rigors of Marine Corps Boot Camp based on letters we received from our daughter while she was at Parris Island on her way to earning the title of United States Marine.
In this letter from Parris Island, Marine recruit Andrews was both upbeat and downbeat.
She started off by writing about how a chaplin gave her platoon a free-time talk, and how they ended up singing “We Are Family.”
(Seems like an appropriate choice for female recruits.)
“See, there are fun things to do at boot camp”. Just not many.
In the downbeat side of the letter, she wrote that the platoon was having a hard time coming together and working as a team, as an example she mentioned a 5K hike they went on that ended with the platoon being dressed down by the D.I’s for yelling, cursing and pushing each other.
She went on to write:
“Drill sucks, I’m not sure if I’ll ever enjoy it or get the hang of it.”
(I’ll have to ask her, I don’t know if she ever came to like it, but based upon what I’ve seen, she sure as hell came to get the hang of it.)
“I just mind my business, sound off, and attempt to survive.”
“The food is OK, eating meat hasn’t made me sick.”
(Until she got to boot camp, she was a vegetarian.)
She made note of the fact that the knowledge classes were nerve-racking because “We have to scream “Yes Sir” or “Yes Ma’am” before and after each statement and that so much information is thrown at us that the only way to memorize things is through the use of “ditties”, such as when the D.I. asks things like “2 Marines 2 Medals” we will answer “Ma’am 2 Marines 2 Medals are Dan Daly and Smedley Butler Ma’am.”
(Dan Daly and Smedley Butler are the only two Marines in history to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor twice.
“The next set of female recruits come onto Parris Island tomorrow so we are no longer the “babies”.
She finished her letter from boot camp by asking us to send her some pictures from home, she wrote that the recruits would be allowed to keep some photos in their foot locker.
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