Living the Dream

Living the Dream

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Slaying the Beast - Week 2

I can't even begin to explain how weird life is right now.

It's just weird without Hallie.

After the phone call on Monday, I got those two letters and shared with everyone on the blog.

Tuesday, nothing.

Wednesday, nothing.

Thursday A LETTER!  I danced in the driveway, went straight to my room, and shut the door and cried.  Before I even opened it.

That's my girl-  Super resourceful, opening and re-taping with her cloth athletic tape for her toe, to add another letter in there.   I laughed and laughed.  (through the happy tears).

And here is what I learned in her letters:  (in no particular order of common sense, because she kind of writes in bullet points)

-She really likes her squad leader (that's a praise right there)

-She was able to purchase a fan for her room (no a/c in the barracks where they stay)  (Mom side note: they are at west point for the first 3 weeks in their training and they stay in the dorms (aka barracks.  No a/c for these new cadets, toughen them up).

-She talks in military time now.  (I have to subtract 1700 - 12 o'clock to ascertain it is 5pm there)  Geez

-They line up for everything!  And she misses her freedom, for example, permission to ask a question, permission to scratch your nose (!), permission for EVERYTHING.  At mess, when they eat, if she wants water, she has to stretch out her 'paw" (fist) until a sergeant or lieutenant calls on her and asks what she wants, and then she says "Permission to address the table" and IF they say yes, then she says "Table, can you please pass me the water".   (Mom side note:  BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH,  gasp, BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA)

-They have to put their silverware down between each bite.  She said it's hard to get full.  And they have to stare at the crest of their plate and can't look around or talk.

 She said the food is good though, (Even though most the time she's not sure what she is eating) (AGAIN BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA)and that mess is her favorite time of the day (Go figure, lol)

-She has 4 minutes to change clothes.  And when they don't get that accomplished, they have to do pushups.  Tons and tons of push ups.  She says she is becoming a push up master.

-She is so tired, and loathes the morning time.  They wake them up at 4:20, and get ready and head out to physical training.  They get yelled at the whole two hours (because I'm pretty sure the sarges and lieutenants aren't any happier being awake that early either) and then she says after they eat breakfast, the day gets much better.

-She only got to know the names of the people in her squad (9 of them) on the 8th of July.  That was going through some of the most intense, crazy days (5 days) without even knowing the names of the people getting yelled at with you.  She said now that they know each other's names, it's so much more fun.  She really likes her squad mates (7 boys and 1 other girl, who is her roommate) (and side note: though Hallie lives with them and knows nothing about them, Kip knows about everything there is to know about all of them....props for her sleuthing skills).

-Volleyball is her happy place.  Her teammates are like sisters, and they all have bonded so tightly, and when they get to go there together, they laugh and have so much fun.  The assistant coach text me the other night after they had been together and said, "Your girl is doing great, and so funny.  They shared with her how they are made to "Motivate their socks" by yelling at them to stay up or they are going to give their socks push-ups."   That made my day.

-In telling me about the 5 min changing of clothes and how someone was always late, and they had to do pushups and do it again, she likened it to "Fashion school, learning the quick change".

This is Ana (from Hawaii on the volleyball team with Hal) working from her book of knowledge and stretching out her "paw" with a question.

I was on the phone with Lacey on Friday, and when she checked the mail, lo and behold there was a letter from Hallie, and I got to experience Lacey getting a letter, the squealing, jumping up and down and happy tears.  Tyler ran outside, thinking something had happened to her, and when he heard it was a letter from Hallie, he shook his head and walked back in the house.

Lacey's letter said a bunch of the same thing but one thing I loved in Lacey's letter was this statement, "I like what I'm a part of, and I know we are headed to do big things, and that encourages me everyday"   and she ended with  "I'm going through a really challenging but exciting time in my life, but I'll make it through."


She is in the front bottom left with her hand extended.  And I can bet I can tell you what she is doing.  Before she went, we attended a picnic with the Oklahoma families that have attended WP or currently have a WP cadet.  Some of the older cadets took them aside and gave them words of wisdom and advice.   One that REALLY STUCK out to Hal was that you SWEAT a LOT and if you let the sweat build up on your back (under your camelback full of tepid water she swears is going to give her cancer some day), you develop a rash.  They encouraged them to get what they call "Salt scratchers" buddies and make sure every evening, someone scratches the salt residue left on your back from the packs or you would get a bad rash.   That really stuck with Hallie, and I bet you half a million dollars she is reaching back to move her pack so the sweat doesn't pool on her back.  She loves the uniform, says it is super comfy, but so very very hot.

No mention of toe, so I'm assuming she is getting the work done.  All I know is I stubbed my toe the other day, and needed a 4 hour nap to recover, so again, this girl impresses me.

I asked for everyone to send her a letter of encouragement last week on Facebook, and if you haven't had time to drop her a letter, please do.

New Cadet Hallie L. Hembree
PO Box 1732
Company D- Platoon 1
West Point, NY 10997-1732

Send her a cartoon, a funny card, if you don't know her personally, don't worry, just tell her how you know me or the family and tell her she's got this!

She has 1 more week on campus, then she takes to the woods.  (that should be interesting stories).  She is lucky that she only has to stay in the woods 1 week, then she has volleyball training starting on the 3rd of August.  So she will be back for that.  I hear though, that the field training is the "fun" part (cough) of beast and I'm kind of sad she will miss that portion.  Who knew my girl would love to play with weapons and march in boots?  (She has named her weapon, Gunner, too BTW)  Only Hallie.  LOL

She's settling in, she's rocking a braid, she's making friends, her toe's on the mend, I get a phone call one week from today, and at that point she is halfway there.

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