World's Greatest Navy Part 2
Dan Chytka picked me up in the familiar white sedan and I was taken to the Grayhound Bus Terminal.
When we arrived at the Terrminal, there were Recruiters from all branches of the Armed Forces and a lot of Recruits.
I was asked one last time am I totally commited to becoming a sailor, I replied, "Yes, besides I don't think my family is too broken up, my older brother told me I will not make it through boot camp, I am not tough enough, I guess I am about to find out."
Dan replied back, " As long as you do what you are told and keep trying, you will be okay."
All of us Recruits were handed our tickets to ride the Grayhound to the MEPS (Military Enlisted Processing Station) in Sioux Falls, SD.
As I entered the bus, reality hit me, the only world I have ever known ws gone for at least 14 weeks.
The only connection I had was my Newby Bag.
A Newby Bag is a bag you take with you wherever you, the originator of this idea is Mark Newby.
After a 75 mile trip, we arrived at the Terminal in Sioux Falls, SD.
Waiting there for us Recruits was a Navy version of a prison bus.
The bus was soon packed with us and we were off to the MEPS, the ride seem very long, hell, it could have been 3 blocks.
Soon we were at the MEPS and being exained from head to toe to make sure we met the minimum requirements.
I was measured and weighed, 5'9"and a whopping 111 lbs.
After the exam, we were sent across the street toa greasy spoon diner for lunch, we were all given vouchers
to get whatever we wanted.
I thought to myself, "Wow free lunch, maybe this won't be so bad after all.
After lunch, the paperwork was completed we all had a blanket Sworn In Ceremony.
After that we were rushed out of there and taken to the Airport, the recruits all split up to go to their designated boot camps, I was on my way to sunny san Diego, California.
By the time the flight departed, it was already 7 pm.
In the air we were given a meal I chose the mystery meat plate acoompanied by mash potatoes, gravy, dinner roll, cream corn, a brownie for dessert and a choice of a drink, I chose a Coke.
After finishing my meal, I thought I should take a nap, but another recruit last name Hicks form MIssissippi, he just kept talking.
This makes me think of Forrest Gump.
Forrest says, "There was Charlie,from Ohio, then George from Detroit, and another guy we called Tex, he never said where he was from." Love that line.
Not much rest Hicks wanted to just talk, he was really fired up.
A couple of hours later my stomach was practicing for the Olympic Gymnastics, there was somersaults, the pommel horse and uneven parallel bars, they all wanted Gold Medals.
I mad a trip to the bathroom and had a reversal of fortune, stayed in there for a while, hoping I had emptied out my stomach.
My stomach cannot handle uncured pork due tue nitrates in it, the mystery meat must been my nemisis.
I will have taken 2 more trips to the bathroom, dry heaves suck!
Now the fun starts, we arrive in sunny San Diego.
Another Navy version of a prison bus is waiting for us, we are yelled at and cursed at as we load on to the bus,
After a short ride we arrive at our destination, wher we get off the bus, we are yelled at some more, by more sailors,
One of the Recruits makes arun for the fence, obviously this has happend at least one other time because the Military police grabbed him quickly, he was escorted away, I never saw him again.
We gather our personal belongings and follw one of the sailors into a building.
He instructs us to stay on the Red line, i observed there was also a White line and a Blue line, all heading in the same direction.
I believe the point was to follow instructions, follow orders, have uniformity and structure.
Never made sense about the lines at that time.
It was now 11pm, we were allowed aa five minute phone call, I called home, mom answered the phone, I told her I am in San Diego, but wanted to come home, she told me it's too late.
As soon as everyone made a phone call we were back to following the Red line.
Next it was measurements for uniforms, we were measured and issued uniforms, a sea bag, toiletries and a haircut, the yelling never stops.
After this our sheets, blanket and a pillow was given to us, then we were a flock of sheep being led to our barracks.
There were 95 of us assigned beds, then being yelled at as we were instructed on how to properly make our beds.
After the beds were made, everyone was told to shit, shower and shave.
The toilets and urinals were open, if you were taking a shit or a piss, there were guys standing there watching you and saying, " Hurry up I need to go."
By the time all was said and done, it was now 130 am, everyone was told lights out.
As soon as we settled in, there was an earthquake that night I had a top bunk.
At 4am, the lights were on, a metal trash can was thrown down the aisle.
A sailor yelled, " Alright assholes get out of your racks, you have 10 minutes to get dressed and make your racks properly, get to it, because you jerk offs I have to be up at this time, I am not in a good mood,"
In ten minutes, everyone was dressed and racks made.
Now it was time for breakfast, so we awkwardly marched to the Galley for some chow.