Letter dated 10-28-06
Well, an interesting series of events took place in the past couple days regarding swim qualifications. I think I wrote you right before swim qual 2. You might be able to tell in that letter that it was gonna be hard, but I think I was still a little too overconfident in my abilities. I got about halfway and learned that its a bad thing not to be able to keep your head above water. I was close to the side so I quickly got to it and clung to it for awhile till I was told to get out. I felt pretty miserable. Not only was I supposed to pass the qual for my MOS, but I swam to the side instead of getting rescued, therefore I quit. It wasn't a good day. I had spent a bit of time swimming with Jordan too, so I was also thinking, "Man, now I have to go back and tell him I couldn't make it across the pool." It sucked for a few different reasons. So I pretty much resigned myself to the idea of being a combat engineer and figured I was even more at the mercy of the Marine Corps to decide what I do. I knew I'd get another chance the next day, but if I couldn't make it halfway through the first one (event) I knew there was no hope for getting that done, and the second event on top of it. But I'd try. I figured this time I'd either make it across, or get drug out by a swim instructor. I wasn't gonna quit. So the next day rolled in and as I waited to get in the water I was doing some praying. Then they got us together and gave us about a 2 min. class on how to do it on our backs and stuff. Well, I gotta tell you it was a whole lot easier the second time around and I passed...fairly easily. It was a good day. The rest of the day was pretty cool cause we had Ssgt. Massy. He's a bit more relaxed than the other DI's and can be pretty funny. During hygiene inspection he cracked the whole platoon up (muffled laughter) by yelling at a recruit who didn't have his flipflops on saying he'd get "foot fungus" over and over, each time bending over getting in the recruit's face. The recruit got scared stupid, but the rest of us (including Ssgt. Massy) could barely contain themselves. It was that kind of rare, lighthearted night. Later during prayer time the Ssgt had to say something and swore, so he paused and stated he wouldn't swear cause we were in the middle of praying. The 2nd word he said he swore, so he paused and tried to say it over, using a different swear word. He stumbled over himself for the rest of the time, getting himself confused over what he was saying and accidently swearing about 15 more times. Everyone was laughing by the end and I don't think he ever finished what he was saying. Life is slowly getting more relaxed now that we're 3rd phase.
I've been sorta trying to think about what I'm gonna do when I get home, how I'll divide my time up. I know I'll probably spend one night/evening at Joe's and probably and evening at Adrienne's, but I'll try to have friends over to our house as much as possible. I also figured that depending on Dad's work schedule and if its allowed, I'd like to go to work with him for a little bit at least. An I'll spend as many meals at home as possible (maybe take Adrienne out though). Oh yeah, and if you're looking for food suggestions, bug bread. That would definitely be good. Dorito's and grapes, too. Well, time to go. I'll write you later. Love and miss you. Jared
P.S. Dad, I've never been much of a coffee drinker, but almost everyday (especially up north) I wish for a cup, so yes, I can't wait to try your stuff.