Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dirty-Thirty: Part One {Featured blogger: Sgt Johnston- McKitrick}

One thing that I love to blog about is my Marine Corps days, (which will become my continuing saga.. watch out for that!) and I like to find the humor of the craziness I had to go through.

I didn't go through it alone; however, I had quite a few other females that went through it exactly the same time I did. So, as I slowly contact all the girls from my bootcamp platoon known as, "Dirty Thirty", I would like to introduce, "Johnston".

I remember Johnston as being super tall and slender, and drove me crazy with her perfectionism. She was the one that made me want to throw her "One scoop and go!" at her in the chow line. It wouldn't be until we linked up a few years later, that we appreciated our time at Parris Island. So here is her take on what we went through...

Her Story:

At the request of Holly, I have sat down and sorted through all the painful, funny, and embarrassing moments that we shared during our thirteen weeks at Parris Island in 2004. You hear everyone in the military talk about how they made life-long friendships during boot camp/basic training. I scream LIES!! I know, I’m writing this at the request of a friend that I met during boot camp… the difference is we weren’t friends during it. I don’t know if anyone actually became friends with anyone there. Stress does not always bring out the best in people, especially when seventy women are all living in the same room for three months.

Any way, I digress… although at the time, boot camp was horrible, alienating, and downright miserable; looking back I have so many great and funny memories. Ask anyone who has ever served, especially a Marine, and they will tell you boot camp stories until you want to scream.

Our drill instructors were the most formidable women I think I have ever, and will ever come in contact with, but I don’t remember them being vertically intimidating. We of the Dirty Thirty had three Hispanic women who required us to say their names quickly and perfectly. Sergeant De Leon became very annoyed at us for how people squished it together saying “Deli On,” resulting in her yelling one night, “Big D Little E SPACE Big L Little E on” multiple times. Sergeant Gonzales got very irritated that when we had to write out information on duty every night people kept writing “Gonzalez.” This resulted in her yelling, “My name doesn’t end in ‘z!’ I’m not a fricking Puerto Rican!!”

I don’t know how entertaining this may be for anyone else… but at the time, this was so hard not to laugh at. I know how they felt, with my maiden name that I had the entire time I was in, nobody ever said/spelled it correctly. They would always use Johnson instead of Johnston, even when I would tell them “sTon” people would still screw it up.

Another funny story, which I promise is definitely more entertaining than name mistakes, has to do with why we were referred to as Dirty Thirty. We were Platoon 4030, Oscar Company 4th Battalion graduating 1 October 2004. In boot camp, there are specific methods to ask to do everything. If you didn’t say the long phrase correctly, you got yelled at and weren’t allowed to do whatever. Example: “Good Afternoon Ma’am, Drill Instructor Sergeant De Leon, Ma’am. This recruit requests permission to make a head call, Ma’am.” Just to go to be bathroom.

During the first few days of boot camp, no one wanted to step up and ask for permission to do anything. This led to many, many girls who needed to go to the restroom holding it, some longer than they actually could. In the first two weeks of boot camp, at least 4 women wet their pants, one of which continued to do so throughout our stay until the night she accidentally got the girl in the bed below her wet. I happened to be on fire watch this night, and all I remember is one of our shorter girls stumble into the center of the squad bay, arms and legs spread out to try and keep the wet clothing away from her body , crying “Fire Watch!! Philips* just peed on me!!”
*Name has been changed for camaraderie reasons*

You can find her here. :)