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Thread: "Boot Camp Journal" - Countdown to Iraq

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    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    "Boot Camp Journal" transcripts for 11/14

    Boot Camp Journal is a new segment on MSNBC's Thursday edition of "Countdown: Iraq". It follows three Army recruits through Basic Training, and is an 8-week series.

    Tonight, we begin our “Boot Camp Journal” series. Three brave young men raised their right hands and signed their life’s away to the U.S. Army earlier this week. Their first mission, to survive basic training. And they’ve agreed to let our cameras follow them every step of the way.
    (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
    HOLT (voice-over): It is the first of many mornings to come that Daniel Smith’s day will start long before the sun comes up. It’s 6:00 AM. He’s arrived at Fort Dix, New Jersey, the first stop on the first day of his new life in the U.S. Army.
    DANIEL SMITH, U.S. ARMY RECRUIT: I figured I had to do something with my life.
    HOLT: Less than 24 hours earlier, this South Jersey 19-year-old sat in his poster-covered bedroom, reflecting on the life-changing journey he was about to begin.
    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you giving up?
    SMITH: Not much, really. I’m just giving up my house, basically. I won’t be able to live here no more.
    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mom’s cooking.
    SMITH: Yeah, mom’s cooking. Everything. Just being a kid, basically.
    HOLT: In suburban Philadelphia, Paul Burger and Gary Parkhurst are enjoying their last few hours as civilians. They’re best friends, enlisting together.
    GARY PARKHURST, U.S. ARMY RECRUIT: I don’t want anybody else watching my back but him. I trust him more than anyone.
    PAUL BURGER, U.S. ARMY RECRUIT: And we’ll be together and be able to go do training. We’ll know what each other is doing and how well we’re doing it, and we’ll be prepared.
    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is the school nearby here?
    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. It’s actually right down the street.
    HOLT: Daniel is just five months out of high school and already knows he’ll be working in food service in the Army. Gary and Paul are both in their late 20’s. Gary has been working in the software business. Paul in insurance. Both will become signal intelligence analysts in the Army.
    Most of what they know of life in the military is what family tells them. Both of Daniel’s folks were in the service.
    UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Remember, when in doubt, salute.
    HOLT: Gary’s granddad was in the Army, too.
    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do what they tell you and listen. Don’t try to use your own judgment too much.
    HOLT: But a lot has changed in this new Army. To get best recruits where they’re most needed, the Army offers plenty of financial incentives. That’s why Daniel has chosen food service.
    SMITH: They gave me college money, $50,000 for college. A $9,000 sign-on bonus, all just for choosing that.
    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I’ll miss you.
    HOLT: With hugs and good-byes, it’s off to Fort Dix for processing.
    This obstacle course consists of a series of lines.
    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go ahead and put your bags up and keep your ID card out.
    HOLT: Paperwork.
    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You’re going to be (UNINTELLIGIBLE) warfare signal intelligence analyst with airborne training. You’ll be in the Army for four years.
    HOLT: And the pokes and prods of a physical exam. They have all been lifting weights and running in preparation for their next stop, Army basic training in Fort Jackson, South Carolina. They’ve heard it can be tough. As they board the bus for the airport, they are now just hours away from finding out how tough it really is.
    PARKHURST: Every day is not going to be great, I know that. He knows that. And hopefully the days that I really don’t want to be there, he’ll be able to say something and kick me in the butt and say let’s go. And vice versa.
    BURGER : And it’s a support group. I mean we’ll have support for each other.
    SMITH: They tell me it’s a lot of running and a lot of hard work.
    But it pays off in the end.
    HOLT: It’s well after dark when our recruits arrive at Fort Jackson.
    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out. Let’s go. Get the heck out of this van.
    Let’s go.
    HOLT: They’re home for the next 11 weeks.
    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hurry up. Oh, we’re just going to take our damn old time. We’ve got nothing else to do, right? What’s so funny?
    UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, it’s real funny, right? I got the funny right here.
    HOLT: Where they’ll learn to groom, dress and live as Army soldiers.
    (END VIDEOTAPE)
    HOLT: We will be following these three Army recruits throughout basic training and we want to take you right now to Fort Jackson, South Carolina, for a quick status report. Privates Paul Burger, Gary Parkhurst and Daniel Smith join us live from the base. Gentlemen, congratulations. You look awfully sharp in the camouflage.
    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
    HOLT: Daniel-or, I’m sorry, Private Smith, tell me what it’s been like so far. Have you actually begun the basic training or are you still getting sorted out?
    SMITH: We’re still getting sorted out right now. But it’s still been kind of hectic and everything and tough. But I’ll get through.
    HOLT: Private Parkhurst, tell me why the Army? You’re in your late 20’s. What made you decide to take this step?
    PARKHURST: I wasn’t satisfied in a career in the computer industry. I didn’t feel it was a career, and I want to do something that I would be proud of at the end of the day.
    HOLT: Paul, or Private Burger, patriotism guiding your choice?
    BURGER: Excuse me?
    HOLT: Is it patriotism that guided your choice to join the Army?
    BURGER: Definitely, yes, Lester. It’s something that I always wanted to do since I was 17 years old. And Gary here gave me more of the motivation to take the step forward.
    HOLT: Let me ask you this. Do they always yell at you like that?
    BURGER: Not always. They’re really nice people behind the scenes, yes.
    HOLT: We wish you guys the best of luck. And we so appreciate you letting us tell your stories. And we’ll be checking on you from time to time.
    BURGER: Thank you very much.
    HOLT: All right. Good luck, fellows.
    *trying to change the title in the thread.
    Last edited by Wolf; 11-24-2002 at 01:50 PM.

  2. #2
    Combat Missions Fan Wolf's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting the transcript, John! I'm definitely taping it this week.

  3. #3
    Combat Missions Fan Wolf's Avatar
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    I was able to get some Bio's for the 3 Army recruits who volunteered for the Boot Camp Journal.

    From MSNBC.com
    DANIEL SMITH
    From: Cape May Court, New Jersey
    Age: 19 years old
    Educational status: 5 months out of high school.
    Army job: Food service. “They gave me college money, $50,000 for college. A $9,000 sign-on bonus, all just for choosing that,” says Parkhurst.
    Sacrfice: “I’m just giving up my house, basically. I won’t be able to live here no more. And mom’s cooking. [I’m giving up] Just being a kid, basically.”
    Expectations: “They tell me it’s a lot of running and a lot of hard work,” says Smith. “But it pays off in the end.”
    Journal update, Nov. 14: “We’re still getting sorted out right now. But it’s still been kind of hectic and everything and tough. But I’ll get through.”


    PAUL BURGER
    From: Suburban Philidelphia
    Age: 27
    Previous career: Insurance. “It’s something that I always wanted to do since I was 17 years old,” he says. “Gary here gave me more of the motivation to take the step forward.”
    Training to be: Electronics Warfare Signal Intelligence Analyst
    Support factor: “We’ll be together and be able to go do training,” says Burger of Parkhurst. Paul and Gary have been friends for 15 years and roommates for the past three years. They enlisted together and will go through basic training together and other additional training. “We’ll know what each other is doing and how well we’re doing it, and we’ll be prepared.”


    GARY PARKHURST
    From: Ridley Park, Philidelphia
    Age: 28
    Previous career: In software business. “I wasn’t satisfied in a career in the computer industry,” he says. “I didn’t feel it was a career, and I want to do something that I would be proud of at the end of the day.”
    Training to be: Signal intelligence analyst
    Support factor: “I don’t want anybody else watching my back but him,” says Parkhurst of Burger. “I trust him more than anyone...
    Expectations: “Every day is not going to be great, I know that,” says Parkhurst. “And hopefully the days that I really don’t want to be there, he’ll be able to say something and kick me in the butt and say let’s go. And vice versa,” he says of Burger.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    COMBAT MISSIONS junkie! BravoFan's Avatar
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    Wow, they (at least 2 of them) are a little older than I thought they would be.
    "They can only edit what you give them. They cannot manufacture a fictional character out of thin air." (Bill Rancic - 4/04)
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    Combat Missions Fan Wolf's Avatar
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    Last weeks' snip it, (because that's what it was. Only 5 minutes or so worth of coverage. :rolleyes), showed the 3 recruits Smith, Burger, and Parkhurst on their 1st day of Basic Training.

    Sporting their cheap haircut and all decked out in the latest fashion garments, our 3 boys are now lost in the sea of camouflage. None of them stand out, and believe me, in the military, that's a good thing! At Boot Camp in Fort Jackson, SC, the recruits are not even off the bus yet when they are encountered with a barrage of yelling by the 'I-know-I-have- bad-breath-but-ask-me-if-I-care" drill instructors. Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore!

    One of the drill instructors tell the recruits that they will be pushed to the point of breaking. Somehow, I knew he would say that. Their first under-pressure task is given to them. Everyone needs to form a perfect line in 2 minutes. Do what know? That's what everyone seems to be thinking while they are running around like chickens with their heads cut off. Needless to say, the task is a failure. Ya'll know what's coming. The dreaded Corrective Training. That's Military Lingo which means: You will pay for your mistakes. In other words, You fucked up and now you're ass is grass. All the recruits are told to do push-ups. Who knows how many, but by the looks on everyones faces, it's alot.
    After their corrective training, they are told to form the line again. They failed again. It's Corrective Training again. Can anybody say: Groundhog Day! They do this, oh about 3 times. Finally, on the 4th try, they get it together and form a perfect line within the 2 minutes. That corrective training sure works wonders.

    Smith, Burger, & Parkhurst will be at the same Basic Training barracks. They are assigned to Delta 2nd Platoon Company. For the next nine weeks, the recruits to their left and to their right will be their family. They get a last welcome by a Drill Seargent who tells them outload: "Welcome to Delta 2nd Platoon. The ride begins now, Huah!"
    So how was your day!

    Next week, the recruits get tested on their physical fitness levels.

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    Combat Missions Fan Wolf's Avatar
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    Did your momma used to make your bed?

    It's 5:30am!!!! If you're not a morning person, this would be like you're in hell. Privates Burger, Smith, and Parkhurst are up double-checking their perfectly-made bunks, or so they think. The drill sergeant comes in to do her 1st Bunk Inspection of the 2nd Platoon. She immediately starts barking at the privates, "Did your momma make your bunks all the time. That's why you don't know how to make the dog-gone bunk". Do you think she'll be mad when she finds out that momma wasn't here to clean the latrines either? Yep. She's mad.

    It's corrective training time! All the recruits are told to do push-ups. The Drill sergeant warns the recruits that she does not want to find her base all messy and shit. If she does, she will give them hell for the next 9 weeks. Unless these guys are gluttons for punishment, I'm guessing they will do their best to keep the drill sergeant happy.

    Now, it's time for the recruits to find out how physically fit they think they are. Most of them followed a workout regiment suggested by the Army before reporting to boot camp. Somehow, I think that will pale in comparison to the real hard-core army training. The soldiers are told to run a 2-mile which will be timed. Private Parkhurst completes the run at 18 minutes, 15 seconds. He says he will do better next time. I'm sure you will! Momma told me so! Private Smith is a little out of breath but manages to say that the push-ups and sit-ups were a pain, and that the whole platoon pulled together. Private Burger says he got tired after the run, but that the Army is all about team work. He adds that you can't do anything without your buddies. Well, I hope you can take a dump without your buddies!

    Oh goodie! The fun never ends. Eight more weeks of Army training, sirrrrrrrrr! (***Stripes quote**)

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    Combat Missions Fan Wolf's Avatar
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    A little bit of Thanksgiving Army-Style

    Nothing beats being being woken up by a fire drill on Thanksgiving morning. I bet some recruits are asking each other, "Now, tell me again why I signed up?" I know I would be. I was envisioning the Simpson's episode where the Springfield Plant had a fire drill and everyone was running around like maniacs and Homer was the only one that got out, but that's far from the way things happened here. All the soldiers, including Burger, Parkhurst, and Smith, exit the building in a calm and collective manner.

    Later on, it's time for lunch. The Army has gone all out to make sure the soldiers get their Thanksgiving meal. They have turkey, stuffing, corn, sweet potatoes, yams, pies - the works. Not exactly momma's home-cooked meal, but it'll do. The drill sergeants are all smiles and are happy to serve the meals to the recruits.

    Our 3 amigos sit together to enjoy the meal. However, Burger seems a bit uneasy and asks one of the drill sergeants if he is allowed to talk. Luckily, the drill sergeant tells him to go ahead and talk amongst themselves and enjoy the food. Everyone is warned not to take any food out of the dining facility or there will be payback. I don't think anyone wants to be humiliated like Coolio in Celebrity Boot Camp was when he had that muffin he removed from the dining room placed right under his chin while doing push-ups. Poor guy!

    The female drill sergeant tells our 3 privates to go ahead and eat all the goodies because tomorrow she'll make sure they all come out. Ouch!! Well, at least, they won't have to join a gym to get those extra pounds off.

  8. #8
    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    Great job in getting this info, Wolf! I know MSNBC has been pretty crappy about airing this stuff when they said they would.

    I wouldn't last 2 days in Basic Training. I have what's known in professional circles as "a smart mouth".

  9. #9
    Combat Missions Fan Wolf's Avatar
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    John, the military is pretty good about smacking the "smart-mouth" out of anyone.

    I know I would be rolling my eyes and handing tic tacs to the drill sergeants before they yelled at me.

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    Combat Missions Fan Wolf's Avatar
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    A Climbing We Will Go

    It's time for the Army's Fear Factor! Except you don't have to eat those nasty grubs, or do you?

    Today, the soldiers will climb a 40-foot victory tower. This will help them overcome their fears and help them build up their confidence. We've learned that Pvt. Dan Smith, the 19 year old, is afraid of heights, so this will be very challenging for him.

    The recruits are welcomed to victory tower by their drill sergeants and are also told Not to fear the tower. Sure that's easy for them to say since they've done it a gazillion times!

    SAFETY is the primary concern of the ARMY. So the drill sergeants go over the equipment inspection. To put the recruits anxiety at ease, everyone practices on a mini-tower first.

    Now it's time for the real thing - The 40 foot Victory Tower. So a climbing they will go!

    First up is Pvt Dan Smith . He agrees to wear a small camera with him. Pvt Smith grabs the rope, climb the 40 foot wall one hand over the other, and swing across. He's a little bit anxious, but he does okay. One step close to conquering his fear of heights!

    Pvt Smith says that, "I feel a lot has changed. I’ve become more disciplined, I listen more, I pay attention to stuff more.

    Next it's Pvt. Parkhurst's turn. He does pretty good.
    He says, "I really wasn’t afraid. The only thing I was afraid about was being the only one that would fall of the three of us because of bragging rights. I’m not afraid of heights.

    Pvt. Burger is the last one to go. He gets some last minute advice from the drill sergeants. He struggles a little bit, but he gets it done. He says, "I’m proud of myself. It was a little nervous coming in, but we got through it.

    TEAMWORK is what the ARMY is all about. The drill sergeants gave the recruits specific instructions as well as safety tips, and every one of the recruits worked together to make sure no one fell. They also cheered one another when some was having trouble.

    Next week, the fun continues with the Bayonet course. I'm sure the guys will love this one!!!!

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