Monday, October 5, 2009

Army Training

The first month of my 30 month commitment was the army training.  Thinking about my 4 weeks in boot camp, I have mixed feelings.  Some of my time there was good, some obviously bad.  Around the third week of training, I was at my lowest point, and wrote a letter to my college friends that really expressed that well.  I wrote the letter by hand, and emailed it to them once I came out. Instead of trying to summarize or write something about my 4 weeks, I think the letter shows a decent slice of my experience with army training.

Dear Friends,

It has been 3 long weeks in the Korea Army Training Center, and recently I've been thinking about what I would tell you once I get out of here.  But life here has been quite meaningless and I am now jaded.  I feel like my mind will forget my thought I have now as a defense mechanism, so I write this to you now.  Today is Sep. 3, exactly 21 days since I came here.

As you all know, I am part of the public service training center (now that I think about it, I never told this to you).  Trainees in my regiment only have to train for 4 weeks, instead of 5, and will work in various public service institutions, such as district offices, public parks, subway stations, etc.  Overall training, therefore, is less intense.  I am no more buffer than I was in May.

Life here is extremely frustrating.  It is not exactly like Macalester, if you know what I mean.  From 6am-10pm, there is severe control from above.  eating, sleeping, training, clothing; imaginge your everday life, and how it would be in the military.  I've been voted as a squadron leader, so I've been a bit more intense with life here.  There aren't much perks with the position, except for 1 or 2 extra phone calls.  I have no contact with the outside world except from 1 or 2 phone calls to my brother so far, and a couple of letter correspondence with him.

I detest this institution, military.  The lack of freedom is picking on every nerve I have.  There are some kids I can't stand here.  I've had many bitter banters with them.

On the positive, I've made some friends who are quite enjoyable.  I've become accustomed to the shitty barrack, which was built over 30 years ago.

(I wrote about a funny anecdote that happened but I feel that it is too gross to share at the public sphere.)

I wish I could share more with you now but to be honest, I am already forgetting what has happened here.  I have no will to think deeply into my memory, but feel free to ask me any specific questions, as I would be glad to satiate your curiosities.  I just do not have any desire to think deep into my life here.

I long to get out of here, and the next one week will feel extremely long.  I am not happy here, but life goes on.  I will be better by the time you read this (and I AM!).  I hope the best of you, and look forward to seeing you again.



Of course life in the training center wasn't that bad all the time.  I've met some really decent people and really felt good helping a kid with slight mental disabilities.  But to give a punch line, I'm glad I'm not doing this shit for 2 years.

 For bonus, a picture of the 28th Regiment 3rd Battalion 10th Company of the 437th Training Session.


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