Word from recruited son
Editor's note: Wilson Wehmeier of the City of Grosse Pointe attended University Liggett and is a graduate of the University of Michigan. His following letter is dated Feb. 23, 2003.
All of our civilian property has either been sequestered or confiscated Ñ every single iota, save for toothbrush and deodorant, so I would appreciate it if you could fax this letter to all intended.
On one hand, I'm glad I asked the same questions of the more than one recruiter (because I kept getting inconsistent answers), yet on the other hand it didn't really matter as I have learned: The left hand doesn't know what the right is doing. For example, it's not that the recruiters "B.S.," it's that the only people who know what's going on at any location at any time are those who are there at that time.
Example No. 2, I am still processing and nobody knows when we will ship down-range to boot camp. I have no address yet and won't know it for probably a week.
This place is "Never-Never Land/The Twilight Zone" because nobody's really in the Army yet, however we're not civilians. It's almost like we're ghosts who get fed and clothed by taxpayer dollars.
We have inspections, and line up in squads for roll call, etc., four to six times per day. The food is better than I expected, however you have to get it all in your stomach in five minutes max., and then double-time it outta there.
Being in the South means that the fruit is good because it's close and sometimes you might just get a fresh vegetable.
I think there's between 1,200 to 1,500 people processing here right now.
Everybody has diarrhea of the mouth here and the posturing is humorous. With everybody yapping their trap, it's very easy for me to keep mine shut. I just listen and smile Ñ there's more than enough B.S. to go around.
My favorite Ñ this week Ñ is hearing all the people talk about what they "have;" "I got this hot rod auto," "I got this cool toy that's better than anything you got," "yada, yada, yada." And what they fail to realize is that they don't have it (anymore).
On one hand, people (the public) talk about how proud they are of those who serve for our country. Yet having seen these young guys it is a very scary thing Ñ giving such young and immature kids guns and the ability to take a life. What a grave and heavy responsibility we place on their shoulders. No wonder there is such importance placed on "breaking" the individual and remolding them.
Since we have to be prepared for inspection at any time around the clock and we get up at 3:30 a.m. every day, we have learned to sleep on the cement floor next to our bunks in the barracks with our canteen as our pillow. A little cold and a little hard, but you learn to improvise.
In the immediate area where I rack in Alpha Wing Barracks, there's a 28-year-old Costa Rican with a degree in criminal justice, who's getting training (for three years) so he can get into the CIA/FBI; a 30-year-old preacher with a wife and two kids; and a 32-year-old cop from Atlantic City (his 18-year-old son will be here this next week to process; how about that Ñ father and son).
This whole being a skin-head thing isn't any big deal because I can't see myself and I never look in the mirror, oh, and I don't have to shampoo.
Things are going just fine and I can't wait for things to really get heavy. I'll let you all know my address when I get it, and I'll get back in touch just as soon as I can.
30th Adjutant General Battalion
Fort Benning, Ga.
April 03, 2003