Terminal Lance #394 “Can’t Stop Time II”
August 11, 2015
You have 1,460 days from the day you step on those yellow footprints until you get to return to your normal life. Well, legally and presuming you don’t fuck yourself somewhere along the way.
It seemed like since the day I entered the Corps I was playing an arduous game of numbers. Everything was a countdown to something.
You arrive at MCRD San Diego
(or Paris Island if you have a vagina), you have 12 weeks (84 days) until you get to go home on boot leave. You keep a makeshift, hand-drawn calendar in your notebook and you mark every single day.
You graduate recruit training and go home, you have 9 days of boot leave before you have to return for SOI (School of Infantry). You count the days because you like to eat real food and have sex. You get to SOI and you think you’re about to start counting the 2 months of MOS training, but instead you get thrown into Guard platoon for 2 weeks. These 2 weeks seem like they take forever, but it might just be because you’re counting them by the hour.
When you finally finish your 60 days at SOI, you get to the fleet. You’re told you’re going on a combat deployment in 6 months.
You start counting those days.
The day comes, you’ve arrived in Iraq (or wherever) and the clock resets: 7 months this time.
You manage to come home without losing any pieces (gratefully) and you’re told the battalion will be making a return in 6 months to a year. You start counting again.
You’re back in Iraq, the clock is reset again to 7 months.
You come home, you have 6 months left until your EAS date.
…You start counting.
The entire experience is a game of counting down and a game of numbers. Waiting for the next thing to happen, but the one beacon of hope at the end of the tunnel remains the same… That day you drive out the front gate with your DD-214 in hand, ready to resume the life you left 1,460 days ago.
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