Thursday, September 28, 2006

Undated Letter, Received 9-28-06

Finally got another letter from Jared today. His health continues to be a problem. Please pray for health and strength for him. Thank you.

Hey guys,
It's been a while, I know. Sorry. We've been keeping pretty busy at night with different missions (homework stuff like fixing our packs). I'm on firewatch now. Its 12:30 am. I've gotten about 15 min. of sleep and we wake up at 4:30 am tomorrow. I decided I could write you safely during firewatch because there are many people still up writing definitions for homework. I blend right in.
The move up north has been better than I was imagining. It's the same style of barracks and everything so its not too rustic. The only difference is we wash our clothes by hand here. We've done that a couple times with our camies down south, but we have yet to do it up here. Next week we start rifles. I'm a little apprehensive cause I don't have any rifle experience. But the DI says that means we'll probably get the best scores. No bad habits yet.
It's real cold right now. It's pretty cool during the day out of the sun. In the sun, it's extremely hot still. But in case you were wondering, I still prefer being hot to cold.
I haven't gotten any mail for about a week now. Our Sr. DI doesn't really stay here so there's been no one kind enough to hand it out. It was said we'd get it the 1st day we got here, but I guess not. I expect it soon.
Like I think I mentioned on the phone, my health is very off and on. Right now I think my pneumonia is back. Oh well. At this point I just gotta deal with it.
There's been a couple rough times up here of note. About a week ago our foot lockers got dumped. They get dumped a lot, but this time we were all made to get in a line and walk through it all. Then we had to "set up the mini grinder" (used so we can drill inside) where we move all the starboard side beds to port side right over top. Luckily my personal things were found quick and intact. Another thing they do is make us chug both canteens. That'll make you throw up quicker than anything I've ever seen. Luckily, both mine were half full.
I'm so hungry right now. It's very different eating only 3 times a day. I've lost 10 pounds so far. Hopefully, I'm getting more muscle too, so figure that in and I guess I'm losing fat. I still don't think I've changed that much. I think thats coming up. When I get home, I'm gonna eat a ton, mostly junk. I don't think I'll stop.
Love you. It was good to talk to you guys. I think I get one more phonecall during 3rd phase. We'll see. TTYL Jared
BTW, As far as the wrong address and pictures and all that, nothings gotten me in trouble. So far they've been really relaxed about mail.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Phone call!

We got our very first phone call from Jared last night. It was exactly 9 minutes long, so not a lot of time to talk about anything, but it was wonderful to hear his voice. He said again he is doing great, but expects this next several weeks to be much tougher than the first four. They will move to Camp Pendleton, and step up training several notches. This is also where the "Crucible" takes place. For more info about his training schedule and training details, please check out this website:
He also said again that so many of the recruits are sick, although he is doing ok at the moment. Please pray for the health of this platoon, and especially Jared as he continues his training. We were all emotional, including Jared. He DOES miss us, after all! He said he hasn't had time to write lately, and probably won't for another week or so, but appreciates receiving letters very much. If you haven't written for a while, this would be a great time to do so, as he is concerned about keeping up with things as training intensifies. Thank you all so much for your prayers, letters, and friendship! We all appreciate it. Lisa

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Undated Letter, Received 9/20/06

Hey family,

I feel like most of my letters have been pretty much the same and noninformative. So I'm gonna try to explain some things. I have 4 DIs and a senior DI. The senior DI is pretty nice, he's the one to hand out mail and ask if we have problems. Then there's Ssgt. Patino, he's short and focuses mainly on drill. He's usually laid back, and he's funny as anyone I know. It's hard not to laugh at some things he says. Then Ssgt. Massy. He's kinda in the middle. He can be cool or crazy, depends on us. Then Ssgts Brown and Trancotti. They're the ones who ensure we're miserable. The DIs rotate, so there's always about two around.
Food here was okay, but it gets old quick. It's always the same things, especially breakfast. Luckily they have cereal there. I usually get frosted flakes. Most of the cereal is sugar, oddly enough. During the night there's four people always up. "Fire watch" takes hour shifts every night. They just stand guard and clean. I managed to get scheduled for 2:30-3:30 tonight. It's everyone's favorite, as you can imagine. Sleep is a rare thing pretty much. Tomorrow we have confidence course and our first swim session. It should be fun.
Well, the tiredness has set in. I just sent you a letter today, so I'm gonna go to bed. Goodnight. Jared

Letter dated 9-16-06

Hey family,
I just got another batch of letters dating till about the 11th. We finally got some square away time, so I decided to write you now. I feel bad that I can't write you more, I know you are just as excited to get letters as I am. I write you every chance I get.
Yesterday was pretty neat. I ran 3 miles in 23:35. I've never run that far in my life. But I made the minimum time for the final test, so I'm set. Today we had our initial drill. Our platoon stunk it up. But we weren't the worst, so the "Booger Platoon" title goes to someone else. Other than that, we are gearing up mentally at least for Camp Pendleton. I'm kinda nervous about it. So far "Summer camp" hasn't been too bad, but once we go "up north", things gear up a level. The DIs don't have as much supervision, either. Pendleton is where people get in shape.

Sunday Morning
Okay, I'm writing this while waiting for church to start. We're not supposed to, but I'll stop during the service. This morning was interesting. We get 1/2 hour more sleep on Sundays. Then in chow line, a DI saw something on the ground and told me to pick it up (like trash), so I did and it was a $5 bill. I looked at him wondering what to do with it, and he looked at me like, "Well, take care of it, dummy!" So I slowly pocketed it, then he walked away. Cool beans. Then when I was getting chow, the DI stands at the end of the line by the dessert. We're allowed to eat dessert, but we get some guilt for it. Today I walked past it and the sr. DI told me I should go back and get some. He was being nice. It was weird. Anyway, today we're gonna do more to get ready for Pendleton. Other than that, I have no clue. Tomorrow we'll be doing our first water stuff. I'm looking forward to that, although I don't know what to expect. We never do. I've gotta go. Love you all, Jared
P. S. My health is back to normal. I feel bad about worrying you. I'm fine now.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Undated Letter, Received 9-18-06

Hey family,

Sorry for the writing delay. I’m back on full duty (in the nick of time) and I’ve been working hard enough that I haven’t been able to keep my eyes open the past few nights. My cough is about a day from being totally gone and I feel good.

Today we ran two miles for PT. It was pretty rough. But tomorrow we’ll run three miles. So if all of a sudden in the afternoon you decided I needed prayer, that’s why. Also tomorrow we have our initial drill, where we march in front of drillmasters. I’m a little worried cause I’m on the left side, which is 1st squad, which is pretty much who everyone sees. I hope I don’t goof it up.

Today we brought our camis in to get our names sewn on them. Just like Marines. Yesterday was our first inspection. We got our guns, uniform, and knowledge checked. Everyone failed. It was a learning experience.

I’m starting to make some friends now. Like Westman, the one who looks like Vindeisel. He’s from Charleston, S.C. We talked a little during cleaning.

Other than that, I don’t have a ton to report. Today was a cheerful day (after dinner at least) and I hummed (and sang a little) some of the songs I remember (while waiting at attention for about 20 min.). I haven’t gotten mail for about four days (no one has), so I’m looking forward to that. I hope everything’s okay. Last I heard Mom wasn’t feeling well. I hope you’re better, Mom, and no one else is sick. I miss you guys. Talk to you later. Jared

Friday, September 15, 2006


Hi all,
We received two letters from Jared yesterday, and the postings follow. If anyone feels inclined to send a "treat", a book of stamps would be greatly appreciated, not food. Thanks for keeping him in your prayers!

Hey family,
I finally got letters the other day. It was a very happy time. I ended up getting about 18. Pretty cool. I still haven't read them all, so if I seem to be missing something you wrote about, that’s why. I spent about 2 hours that night reading. Last night I had to sleep, and tonight I decided to write a letter. So I'll get to them soon. I had mentioned a small cough in an earlier letter, it got worse. I went to medical today and it turns out I have pneumonia. So I got bed rest today and I’ll have a follow-up tomorrow. Now don’t worry too much. It’s not really a huge thing. It’s just a lot of coughing. Other than that I’m fine. In fact, I’m so fine that yesterday when we did the obstacle course, I completed it. Twice. And that’s quite a feat because at the end you have to climb this 25-30 ft. rope. I tried a rope earlier but couldn’t make it, but yesterday I did it twice, right after all that running and pull-ups and jumping over logs and stuff. I was pretty happy. We also did pugal sticks yesterday. We only got to do it once but I won. J I was pretty upbeat after those things. Anyway I did all that while I was sick, so I don’t think it will affect me much. You wouldn’t believe how many people are sick here though. Everyone’s coughing, some worse than others. Anyway, apparently it is pretty normal to get sick in the first few weeks. Anyway, its well past my bedtime so I need to go. Keep sending letters. I’ll catch up on them soon. By the way, we don’t have free time yet but it looks like we might soon. Keep praying for me and I love you lots. Jared

Letter from Sunday, September 10, 2006

Hey there family,

I just got done reading all your letters. Man there was a ton. They kinda built up over those two weeks. This letter is gonna be a Q/A letter. I wrote down most the questions you had, so I’ll answer them. First of all, I’ll address my sickness. I went to medical two days ago and slept the rest of the day (couldn’t write). Yesterday I went back feeling a tone better with a cough. So they gave me light duty (no PT or anything physical really). But I still drilled. Today Medical wasn’t open so I stayed on light duty. But not a lot of PT is done on Sunday anyway. Tomorrow I’m going in for a follow up and plan on going back to full duty and continue taking my meds. Really, I stress that I’m okay. Somehow I can see my caring mother real worried. I think it peaked before I went to medical.

Now, time for Q/A.

-Yes, I got glasses. Here they’re called “Birth control glasses”. They aren’t too attractive. I don’t wear them even though its supposedly required. I’ll wait till the rifle range.

-They checked my teeth here but I don’t need any work. Some people have to get their molars out. But I guess I avoided that.

-Not many friends yet. No time to socialize. A couple people I’ve seemed to click with though. Westman, my 1st rackmate and I get along. He reminds me of Joe, and with a shaved head, looks just like VinDesiel! Then Thatcher, my rackmate now-he’s short and cross-eyed. He’s quiet and is sure to work hard. That’s good, cause rackmates help each other with making racks and stuff a ton!

-Church is awesome. Worship especially. My favorite songs are “Lord, I lift Your Name on high” and I forget the other one. Songs that get to everyone though are “Days of Elijah” and “I can only imagine”.

-Eating here is rapid and….rapid. If you have time to talk and look around you must be done, so there’s no talking, eyes on your plate. At first the food wasn’t so bad, but its very repetitive and I’m getting tired of it. So when I read the letter about the State Fair food...I was in a dream world. I get cravings for different stuff. The most common thing is cotton candy. Weird, I never eat that anyway.

-If you want to print off my emails, you can, but at this point I’m not too worried about it. I still have plenty to read at this point.

-Thanks for the stamps, letters, phone card, your help with Adrienne and everything. It does mean a lot. Hopefully, I’ll be able to figure out how to use the phone card if I get the chance. Happy B-day Dad! I don’t remember if I addressed that the last time. Miss you all. Love, Jared

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Letter dated 9-4

Hey guys,

Things are going pretty good. My cough has taken a turn for the worse now though. So far it’s only a cough, so I’m not going to medical. If I do end up going to medical and they think its bad enough, they could put me on bed rest and I could get dropped back a week. That’s pretty much my worst fear, so I [don’t] want to go to medical unless it gets unbearable. Other than that, my biggest complaint is that I haven’t gotten any letters yet. Not a ton of people have, but it’s pretty depressing. Also, I REALLY need A’s new address some how. It’s frustrating not being able to send her anything either. Other than that, send stamps and a picture, and I’m good. Today was a fairly relaxed day. Till the end at least. We got to shower on our own. But during hygiene check I didn’t say something loud enough, so the DI made me yell it over and over, top of my lungs. The guy next to me said he counted about 215 times I repeated it. So…my voice is little screwy. Today we had a couple of classes, first aid, terrorism, and MC History II. Classes can be the best time of the day. Other than that we drilled, cleaned our guns, exercised a little, and cleaned. Tomorrow we’ll mess around with those padded sticks.

Yesterday was church. It was real good again. And of course drill. We’re not allowed to PT (phys train) on Sundays, so we did some IT (Intensive training) instead. (FYI, IT is harder.) So far I’ve lost 5 lbs, and I’m not ripped just yet. I still have blue eyes and some brown hair, so I plan on being recognizable come graduation.

Oh yeah. The DI just told us that Steve Irwin died. That came as a shock. You know how it happened? If there’s any news, you can keep me posted. We’re very sheltered as far as that goes. I need to go. Maybe this will come on dads bday, so happy bday dad. Love you all.


P.S. When you send letters, ask questions too, I don’t know what to talk about sometimes.

P.P.S. Easy does it with my room mom.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Letter dated 8-31-2006

Hey family,
How are things going there? Again, happy B-days to Mom and Rachel, and pretty soon Dad. Things are going pretty well here. Today was probably the hardest day yet. Our platoon doesn't seem to get it, we can't march, yell, or shut up when we're supposed to. So the DI's gave us a reminder. Not the most fun in the world. I'm sure people will be up for at least another two hours sorting our shoes. Most of our time here is focused on drill, marching and whatnot. Two days ago we actually got our rifles. We won't be able to shoot them for at least 4-5 weeks when we move to Camp Pendleton. We had our first few PT (phys training) sessions now and a session of MCMATS (Marine Corps Martial Arts Training). We just went over punching so far. Most of it was exercise. Our PT sessions are in a big field of sand and dirt. Real messy and not too great for allergies. I'm not sure if I just had a few bad days of allergies or if I had a cold, but for awhile it was pretty uncomfortable on top of everything else. I'm getting better, just a little leftover cough.

Everyday there are more and more people getting weeded out. Mostly its people who can't compete the PT. They get moved back to graduate on a later date. I worry the most about that. I'm keeping up physically so far, but I hope I can stay on the ball. Today a kid told the DI he didn't want to go on and he'd kill himself. But a quick trip to the psychologist and a day of sitting in front of a mirror changed his mind, so he's rejoining the platoon now. Two days ago a kid spit in the DI's face. He got arrested in front of the whole company. He'll just have to be pushed back too. I guess its not a cheerful thing to talk about, but its whats been going on.

Besides PT and drill, we take classes and eat. Thats about it. Tonight we had ribs. They were actually pretty good. One thing I'm relieved to find out is that the recruits don't have kitchen duty. There seems to be an assortment of people hired there. They kinda seem like people sentenced to community service, or somehow in trouble with the law but I really don't know.

Today was family day for the graduates, so a bunch of civilians were here. Made me really excited to graduate. FYI, I've asked the senior DI about travel and everything, and he says there will be a class on it in a bit. So I don't know much else, cept I'll probably be coming back to San Diego. But I don't know when either. In the meantime, write me. I need to get some sleep now. I'll write you again soon. Love, Jared

Sunday, September 03, 2006

News from Jared

Hi to all of Jared's friends..this is Jared's Mom. We got a letter from him on Friday, and he asked us to post it. We are guessing he means on his blog, since he sent his password! Anyway, this is pretty much his letter to us verbatim. Again, I know he would really enjoy letters from anyone who would care to write--just please don't send any food, photos larger than wallet size, colored envelopes or anything else that would get him into trouble. Thanks from us, and from Jared, for all your prayers and support. And now, in Jared's own words:

Saturday, 8/26/06 Happy b-day Mom!

Hey family,

To start out with, I’m doing fine. No need to worry. (I wasn’t told to say that) So far nothing’s been a huge shock. And they say the two worst days are over, so I’m feeling confident. To begin with, I got window seats on both planes, so I was happy about that. Then when we got to San Diego airport, we waited for the buses (Jared Bushman had already gotten there so we’re in different platoons, and I haven’t seen him since). We all waited in line for about an hour. I’ve never stood for so long. Three people passed out right there. Finally we got to the camp and it was like they all say. You’re told to get on the footprints, and you get yelled at. I wasn’t real scared, I was shivering a little but I really think it was just cold. (It was.) We all eventually filed in and got our heads shaved. Then we stayed up until about 11 pm the next day. We got four hours of sleep, we’ve been processing until yesterday. Lots of waiting, and learning basic military rules. We got everything issued too, but I think that will be about it for waiting around. Black Friday was yesterday. The drill instructors…introduced themselves. Again, I kept in mind it was a head game, and eventually we got through it unphased. I know not to screw up now or else, but I’m not afraid of everything. Today we’ve not been doing much. I’m writing this now ‘cause the senior DI is taking care of other people, paperwork and such. I’m a little sore today; yesterday we had an initial strength test. I did 10 pull-ups, 66 sit ups in two minutes, and 1 ½ miles in 10:50. That’s only the second time I’ve run that far. Let’s see, random stuff about here. We are by an airport, and planes go by, (not overhead) about every 5 minutes. So close you can’t hear anything. We have to sit cross-legged everywhere we sit down (‘cept for chow), but even at chow, we have to sit forward so the only back support I ever have is at night. I miss you guys a lot and I’ll be thinking of you, Mom on your bday today. It’s slowly sinking in that this is more than summer camp. It’s a lifestyle. I have mixed feelings about that, but generally I’m fine with it. It’ll be different outside boot camp. Meals here last about 10 minutes, but the way we file in a recruit only has about 5 minutes to eat. That’s ok. I like eating fast anyway. Sorry, I know this letter isn’t very collected, but maybe you can understand that things are still a blur. I’m sure future letters will be better. (I’m periodically to answer the DI’s questions too.) If one of you has the time, could you post this letter or info in the letter? I don’t know when I can send this. A few days ago I tried to call you guys on a pay phone collect, but I guess I screwed something up and it wouldn’t let me. I think that’s been my lowest point so far. I was pretty frustrated, but other than that I’m doing well. Yesterday and the 21st were supposed to be the hardest, so I think I’m set. It’s still a stressful surrounding, but I don’t think I’ll flip out at all. I’ll write you more when I get to gather my thoughts, and I’ll send you the address as soon as I can. In the meantime, check with the recruiters. I love you guys.

Letter 2

Hey guys. Sorry it’s taken so long for me to write, but this is the first official time I’ve gotten. I don’t know what the date is. I know it’s Monday, but not the date. At any rate, I hope you had a good bday Mom, and happy bday Rachel and Dad. I was sorry to miss your bdays, and I was thinking of you, Mom a lot on the 26th. Anyway, yesterday we went to church, and the service was a Pentecostal mix. It was surprisingly one of the best services I have ever been to. They sang all my favorite songs. Then afterwards, I went to a sort of Bible study thing. I’m surprised to find out that boot camp has a lot of religious times. There’s even time set aside to pray every night with others. Anyway, Sunday was probably the best day here. Let’s see, about my life. I know I’ve said some stuff in the other note, but I’ll try and think of some more. Hygiene – shower for maybe 7 minutes, 3 guys to a head. And we are told when to go pee. That’s about 1 minute, three guys to a head. Schedule – We get up (now) around 5am and go to bed at about 11 pm. Or later. We have no idea (now) what will happen in 2 minutes from now. We aren’t told any schedules. They say it’s part of the disorientation and mounting of stress. Right now we’re in our beds at about 11:30pm. We’re unofficially allowed to write now, but that could change. Depends on the DI. Eventually, we’ll have daytime free time, but no one knows when. So for now, I have no idea when I’ll write again. And I don’t know when I’ll receive any letters that get sent to me. I haven’t made any friends really. No time. And I never see Jared B. But still most guys can be pretty friendly. Oh yeah, of course you want to know about the hair. Yeah, it’s short. I’d run my fingers through it 24/7 if I didn’t get yelled at for it. And yes, I have gotten yelled at. The DIs like to spit when they yell at your face, so it’s not too pleasant. It’s a lot like the stories. But you kinda just deal with it. Although 12 weeks of it…I try not to dwell on that. Well, if you guys decide you want to write me after all, you can. Things I might appreciate getting is letters, a fam picture, stamps, and if you could make a special effort to get me A’s new address and give her mine, that’d be good. I’m going to try and get a letter to her through you. It’d probably be faster. So if you can do that for me, I’d appreciate it. Mail me more questions, and I’ll try to answer them.

Love you all,

Jared (I mean, "This Recruit") J

p.s. if you guys are thinking about spending time up here, you should. I can see some San Diego houses on a hill, some skyscrapers, and always blue skies and palm trees so far. Who knows,,, under the right circumstances, it could be real nice. Love you.