Note: This is part of series to help ALL who served and their families to reminisce, remember and record memories and stories of your military service. Be sure to check out all the other posts and comment in the white space below each post!
I left for Army Basic Training on July 21, 1993. I had a boyfriend at the time, and he and my mother took me first to the MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) in Columbus, Ohio. We had to be there at 0400, and oh yeah, my flight didn't even leave until like 2000 that night. This was my first true introduction to "hurry up and wait", but as anyone who served knows, surely not the last!
Finally around dinner time we were told we could go to the airport. I spent the whole time in the car mopey and sad, second-guessing my decision to enlist. I remember being totally in shock, like Oh My God. This. Is. It. I am leaving. I had never been away from home before, and the newness and unknown paralyzed me with fear. I remember leaving my mom and boyfriend to walk into the tunnel to go down to the plane (when they used to let you do that), and seeing my mom cry. I was a mess on the plane. I sat with my new friend, Cheryl Conley, who would end up being my "battle buddy" and bunk mate all the way through boot camp.
Well, that is what I remember. More on the story of what happened when we arrived at Fort Jackson in the next blog post....stay tuned!
Your turn: What memories do you have of leaving for boot camp? Who was there to see you off? What transportation did you use to get there? What were your feelings at the time?
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