Sunday, April 4, 2010
A faithful reader from Florida (Hi, Connie!) asked for an update on Mike. The Tall One is at Air Force basic training in San Antonio. Today is the first day of week 7, so he has two weeks to go. We've talked to him twice, and gotten a few letters from him.
He's doing quite well, is an assistant dorm chief (he can see the top bunks because he's tall), an SABC (self-aid buddy care—sort of a field medic) for Beast Week (which was last week), and has taken some younger guys under his ample wing (when you're 6'4", you have quite a wingspan). In his last letter, he described a youngster in his first week (called zero week) as being scared to death. They have 10 minutes in which to eat. Scared Zero had one pork chop, a small bowl of spinach, and two glasses of water. Mike and his buddies surrounded the guy at the table and started throwing food on his tray: brown rice, a banana, a biscuit and peanut butter, a glass of Gatorade. Mike thinks they may have saved his life.
He sounds like a very different person on the phone. The first time he called I wasn't sure it was him. He used to be a very light-hearted, happy-go-lucky guy. He sounds much more sober now. Still happy, but more mature, like he's gained a broader perspective of life. That's a good thing. I can't wait to see him in uniform. I'm not sure I'll be able to take pictures through my tears.
Be thankful ~