Broken Down, But Never Built Back Up

I know my grammar might not be great but I’m not really worried about that right now. I spent 8 months in Boot Camp, watched my original platoon graduate without me, and it feels that I haven’t really moved on from boot camp.

I joined in 2006 and the first week of boot camp I don’t remember taking a shit, the first time I ever pissed in my bed while sleeping, and just felt terrorized. I got through the first say 3 weeks and I got sick with pneumonia and didn’t wake up with the rest of the platoon on time. The DI shoved me off the top rack and I hit the floor, went to the hospital, and got dropped and put into MRP. From then on I got sick multiple time with bronchitis and pneumonia back and forth because I was around it all the time. The 3rd month I was called to clean on the other side of the parade deck, and that’s where I got to watch my platoon and the company while cleaning the windows.

Shortly after I was placed in a company just before going Phase 2. I had gotten pneumonia again a couple weeks after being with that company. Dropped again, got better, and joined another. During our physical training I had touched my face and 4 DI’s came over and started screaming in my face, I couldn’t understand what they were saying at all, was being spit in my face by all of them, burning my eyes and dangling from my chin with pain in my inner ear from the volume. I remember after doing a run with our gear on I slipped and fell on the stairs, a DI grabbed me pulled me up to our barracks, and I was forced to drink water from a disgusting canteen over and over again. I couldn’t drink anymore and threw it up all over the place in the middle of the DI highway where I was. I had to clean it up and by that time the day was over, needless to say I had 3 night watches that night. I woke up and started getting dressed and a DI came over and slammed my head into the metal rack. I was punched in the gut I would say 3 or 4 times in my time there, I’m talking full punches with their arm swung back all the way.

Anyways I got through Phase 2 and got dropped again for bronchitis. I just didn’t have any will left, I was depressed and I just felt like I couldn’t got on anymore. Then I got a infected ingrown toenail and before lights out when the DI’s inspect you he saw it and put his heel on my toe and pushed down. He asked if that hurt and I said no with tears coming out of my eyes, I later was taken to the hospital where they put 3 shots in my toe to numb it before taking it out. The guy took some scissors and started cutting down the middle and I screamed with pain cuz I could still feel, after 3 more shots it was removed. I got back with another company and finished phase 3 without my blue’s because something was going on I don’t know I was never told. During the ceremony I never felt better, I never felt like I accomplished anything. I have never said Oorah because I just never wanted to, even when people say it to me nowadays. I regret ever going and I wish it never happened. My toe nail grows with a space in between the nail and it just reminds me of the pain everyday. I’m not saying that I got it worse or better, this is just what happened to me.

After boot camp the hazing never stopped and eventually I did a tour in Iraq. We returned to Iowa, and I never went back, I quit. I was given an Other than Honorable Discharge. I wrote this because someone got in my face yesterday and I just had a breakdown, so I had to get this out somehow. Thanks for reading and excusing my writing skills…

 

Submitted by “Michael Power”