Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Letter from Boot Camp November 23, 1969

This is the 3rd in a series of letters written home while I was in Basic Training. Click on the "Boot Camp" label at the bottom of the post to see all the letters.

Recruit Training Command (Women)
U. S. Naval Training Center
Bainbridge, Maryland ~ 23 Nov 1969

Hi Mom and Terry,

Hope things are going okay for you both. I am getting along pretty well. The only problems I have is time. It seems like they give you enough things to do in 12 hours to really take 24 to do it. I have 20 min[utes] before evening mess. I can't even remember what I did a week ago today because we've done so much. I think I told you about the petty officers before. Friday we had a meeting with RM Contini, our company commander, and she told us who our petty officers were. I am the AMO - ass't mail orderly. I'm responsible for the safe delivery of the mail to and from the post office and barracks. There are more duties that I have to do but that is the main thing I'm concerned with. I was MPO - muster petty officer, for four days and thought sure that's what I'd be but I'm not and I'm kinda glad because there would be a lot more that I'd have to do.

In the next week we can volunteer for the drill team, choir, ushering, etc. and I'm going to tryout for the drill team. You have a pretty good chance of getting on but if you don't keep up grades academically and militarily you are "relieved" of your duties. Wednesday we got our first series of shots. We get our next series sometime next week. Thursday we went to dental and had our teeth x-rayed and also had a fluoride treatment - that was bad stuff.

We've had some classes and a lot of lectures on uniforming, stenciling, laundering, ironing, etc. It all takes a lot of time. I've got my laundry done and my ironing. Now I have to hem up three pairs of pants. I'll get that done after mess. Their sizing here on clothes is really bad. Some of the "ladies" here that usually wear size 12 or 14 were fitted into an 18. I went back four times for my dress blues and three times for dungarees (slacks). They have to fit thru the thighs and then they are way too big around the waist. They tailor our dress blues for us so that they should fit good.

Our CA's left us Saturday and now we are on our own. The petty officers are now "running" the company. We had 63 in our company then got a transfer from another company which made 64. One girl has been discharged and two were hospitalized last week. Another girl was hospitalized today and if she is in the hospital for more than three days she will be set back into another company. Another company will be coming in this Friday and one company graduates Friday and we will no longer be "baby boots". We also go into our recruit uniforms tomorrow. That is white shirt, tie, dungarees, black socks, sweater and oxford shoes. Our oxfords are supposed to be polished every night. I have to do that after mess this evening. They are really comfortable. We have been wearing them since Tuesday or Wednesday. You know that corn I had doesn't bother me with these shoes. I can't even wear my civilian shoes anymore.

I did write a letter to Jack yesterday but it won't get mailed out till tomorrow. I am a church leader. I am responsible for seeing that all protestants in the company get to church on time. Church is required. I just have to be sure we get there. Today the petty officers had a meeting with the CC. It lasted for two hours so I didn't get much else done. We are RM Contini's second company. She is really expecting a lot out of us because her first company was really bad. Half of the petty officers were on demerit patrol the night before they graduated. The company had over 900 report chits turned in on them by the petty officers.

Well, I have to go to evening mess now. Hi again. I'm back from mess. The food around here has been pretty good generally. I have been trying to eat just meat and a salad but sometimes that's hard to do and you know how I like to eat. We have had quite a variety in weather. It was snowing the first night and it was colder than the devil the first two days. It then warmed up some for a day then it rained and turned cold again until today. It was really nice today - it felt like it should be springtime instead of going into winter.

Well, I have to go now. I've got to hem my pants and polish my shoes and take a shower and wash my hair and set it. We have pictures taken for our permanent ID cards tomorrow.

See ya, Love Becky


Randy Seaver said...


These letters are wonderful! And priceless. They really spotlight what you were going through. I'm sure they bring back memories for you also.

You were a great writer back then too!

Please keep posting them -- Randy

Miriam said...

Enjoying your letters, as always!

Becky said...

Thank you both, I'm glad you are enjoying them. I'm sure having fun reliving old, forgotten memories!