Friday, June 22, 2007

Letter from Boot Camp November 28, 1969

This is the 5th 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 ~ 28 Nov 1969

Hi Mom,

Well yesterday was Thanksgiving and we didn't have classes. We had all day to do what ever we wanted. We also got our area liberty and went to the gedunk in the afternoon and had a coke and candybar. Noon mess was really a mess. We were supposed to wear civilian clothes so at 11:30 we changed into them. They then told us to get back into our recruit uniform because we wouldn't be leaving for at least an hour and a half. So we changed back into them. At 1300 (one o'clock) they called and told us to get ready for mess so we started to put on our civies. They called back and said not to change so we put on our uniforms and at 1330 we left for noon ? mess. We were only an hour and a half later than usual. We found out today that Regimental Command made an error and we almost didn't even get to eat. It was pretty good though. Of course we had turkey and dressing, potatoes, cranberry salad, jelled cranberry sauce, pumpkin and mince pie, and other salads. We usually have a good choice of foods but it keeps repeating itself.

Today at noon we became Freshman! I'm not a baby boot anymore. It's hard to believe I've been here for two weeks. The graduation was really nice. Only one company graduates every two weeks unless there are sister companies. Approx. 350 recruits participate in the actual ceremonies and another 100 watching. Some of the other companies recruits couldn't participate because of various reasons. This graduation was different from others because it was a "grand entrance" because there was a Lt. from England as the reviewing officer or something like that. Next graduation we will be participating. The companies stand at attention and parade rest for about two or 2 1/2 hours all together. There is some marching but not much. It's going to be hard to do - but we'll do it.

We only had three classes all day today. We don't have classes on weekends and if we're lucky we get area liberty. That means we can go to the exchange and gedunk - the gedunk is actually a big lounge. It has coke machines and candy machines, a juke box, pool table, and shuffleboard. It's a nice place to go just to get away from the barracks for a while.

I got a letter from Jack today. If you can could you please send some stamps. I've only got four left and not too much money. Well I've got to go now and finish my ironing. I think that all I have to do is my laundry. So Sunday I can read my recruit guide some more and find out what I'm doing. They don't give you time to think about what you're doing while you do it. Tell everyone I said hi and to be sure to write.

Love, Becky

Note: Jack is my brother. He enlisted in the Navy in June 1969 and was stationed at Great Lakes Naval Training Center at this time.


Tim Agazio said...


I finally got caught up on all of your letters! These are really great to read. I have had similar experiences in the Army like changing your clothes back and forth prior to the Thanksgiving meal...that cracked me up because I've been in quite a few situations almost like that! I hope there are more letters.


The footnoteMaven said...


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Becky said...

Thanks Tim. I'm glad you are enjoying the letters, and yes, there are a few more of them.

As for you footnotemaven, thanks, I think. Not sure I deserve such an award, but I'll play along.