Sunday, July 08, 2007

Friday December 26, 1969 ~ Letter from Boot Camp

This is the 12th 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 of the letters.

Recruit Training Command (Women)
U. S. Naval Training Center
Bainbridge, Maryland ~ 26 Dec 1969

Hi Mom,

Well, I hope your Christmas was nice. All considering mine wasn't too bad. I was feeling a little blue - maybe a slight case of homesickness - and believe it or not it's the first time since I've been here. That's why I called. I figured I'd end up crying when I called but I didn't. I just felt a whole lot better afterwards. It was great to hear everyone. Did Jacky call?

Sorry but I really haven't taken the time to write since Sunday morning. Sunday afternoon we had a Christmas party - the whole first regiment. It lasted all afternoon and it was a lot of fun. It was like an amateur talent show. And then I only had two hours after evening mess to study. So Monday morning we had our tests and I didn't do too bad either. In History 3.6, in Ships, Aircraft, and Weapons 4.0, and Orientation 4.0 - not bad, huh? Also got our scores from last weeks military inspections. Bunk 3.57, locker 4.0, IO personnel 3.75, CC personnel 4.0, cubicle 2.80 and my average was 3.62 - it was the highest in the company. 3.45 was the closest anyone else came.

At morning quarters Tuesday we got our first flag. It was for personnel inspections. Oh, on our decorations we got first place for the lounge and first place on window decorations. We're finally doing something good as a whole company. Also the graduating company awards the "Royal Nut" (a stuffed nut) to the company most likely to succeed and the "Royal Tomato" to the most friendliest company. And Company 11, the graduating company, awarded them both to us. Which is really quite an honor - this is also helping to bring the company together.

Wednesday we had two classes in the morning and then graduation review. We missed getting the "R" flag by just four points but we will get it the next time because they usually give it to the senior company anyway. We are now Juniors!!

The afternoon was ours and so I got all of my work done. We didn't go to bed till 12:30 and reveille was not called at all so I slept till about nine. Then we went to mess - had turkey and trimmings. I think it was leftover from Thanksgiving.

I just got interrupted again. Several of the girls came to me for a "pep" talk. They know they can talk to me and I listen to them and try to give them advice on whatever they need. I think it is partly because I am one of the older girls here.

Was today a National Holiday? We heard that Nixon declared it one but we didn't get it off. I guess we were the only regiment in the command that "worked" today. It was really a crazy day too. Reveille was called twenty minutes later than usual. I guess that's our holiday - twenty minutes of sleep. Anyway, it snowed some more last night and then rained and the drill field was a real mess of slush. At least three inches of slush all over it. The mess hall was closed due to lack of power and they also wanted to clear the grinder some. It didn't do any good because the water and snow and slush is still there - great fun trying to lead a company through that mess.

They brought breakfast to us - a box of cereal and a sweet roll. We had royal service too! An SA gave us the cereal, a First Class put sugar on it, Chief Van put the milk on it and a second class gave us the sweet roll - Royal Service, huh! Finally shoved off to classes at 8:30 and what a mess it was. Somehow I made it through the day without any major errors.

Every Tuesday we strip our bunks and get clean linen. We have to fold our blankets, mattress pad, and bedspread in a certain way and place it on the bunk. Our CC hasn't been checking it but last Tuesday she did. Only six people in the company had it laid out properly and I was one of them. So she is taking away area liberty and making everyone strip their bunks on Sunday, that is except for those six who had it correct.

It's almost time for taps so I've got to go. Since the RCPO isn't here I have to take bed check. I've never done it before but it isn't difficult. I guess I've been doing okay as ARCPO. The only complaint they have is that I don't yell loud enough - me?

Bye for now, Love, Becky.

Our Company Commander, RM1 Contini, was Santa Claus at the Regimental Christmas Party. That's me to the right of Santa, and with the Christmas Tree ;-) Don'tcha just love the black-rim glasses?

Part of the Christmas decorations created by the ladies in company 70-14. This was drawn on brown craft paper and was fairly large (about 3' x 8'). These pictures were taken with a Kodak Instamatic, using the old 126 film cartridges. The original images were much smaller. Although these have been enlarged and enhanced somewhat, they still aren't very good quality, but they are all I have. . .

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