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PS&E for those with a loved one in the USAF BMT

BMT from a female perspective

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This is from my daughter, AB Chloe’ McCabe. She graduated December 30, 2010 and is currently at Tech School at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio. She gave me permission to share this with you all.
Wrote this a few weeks ago, still don’t have wireless at the dorms :/
For those that I have yet to talk to about BMT, this is for you.
January 2nd, 2011
So, Basic Military Training here at Lackland AFB in San Antontio Texas has been quite interesting, to say the least. Honestly, besides a few small moments in which everyone was suffering, I’ve enjoyed it. I can do so many things that I never would have imagined myself doing before; I’ll list a few of these things later.
My flight, 062 of the 321st Training Squadron, the Predators, had some issues in the beginning, actually, all the way through 4th week. After receiving many threats from our instructors, we finally came together and our Team Chief, Technical Sergeant White, told us that he doesn’t want another flight after ours. I’m going to miss my two main instructors (Technical Sergeant White and Staff Sergeant Ricks) and Brother Flight’s instructors, Staff Sergeant Gabaldon and Staff Sergeant Roberts a lot, they’ve taught me so much, and taught me things about myself. I’ll never forget them. Despite our issues with attitudes, I’d do anything for anyone in this flight. I’ll admit that 8 and a half weeks has been enough with these people. However, anyone would feel this way after being forced to live in tight quarters for 2 months, seriously.
Okay, how the whole thing here at Basic works, I’ll break it down week by week. 0 week, which starts on Wednesday morning, is all processing and getting your uniforms as well as getting into the routine. This week sucked the most, I barely remember any of it, a little thing call Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, we all get it. 1st week is more processing and a million shots, including penicillin in the ass, physical training also starts this week. 2nd week, not as much processing, this was when the fun actually started. We got to crawl around in the dirt, yell at people, and hit dummies with our M16A2 rifles. 3rd week, we got to learn Self Aid Buddy Care. This is where you learn how to treat all kinds of wounds and keep yourself and your wingman alive until professional help arrives.
4th week was the obstacle course, which I missed :(. The gas chamber was also the week, it was freaking awesome and lots of fun. We also got our dress uniforms or “blues” as well as our name tags sewn to our uniforms. 5th week, was essentially preparing for 6th week, which was BEAST (Basic Expeditionary Airman Skills Training, a simulated deployment). 6th week was the BEAST itself, which for me, was lots of fun, many people will argue otherwise, but I enjoyed it by trying to stay positive even through the pain and having to wear 50 pounds of gear for at least 8 hours a day.
7th week is all evaluations, your living area is constantly being inspected, final PT evals are held as well as a written test. We also got to wear our blues this week, and we earned shaving privileges. Yes, we went 7 weeks without shaving. Yes it sucked, but we got used to it. 8th week up until the Airman’s Run and Coin Ceremony was evil and it dragged. We just practiced for everything since we had nothing else to do. Wednesday was the Airman’s run and Thursday was Parade, an event where we show off 8 weeks of hard work learning how to march. After that it was Town Pass and Base Liberty when we could go off base or go anywhere on base that we wanted to.
It feels weird now that it’s all over, but it’s been fun. The first few weeks dragged, but then it picked up speed all of sudden and the time melted away. Looking back, it’s like “wow, where did the time go?” just like everyone’s told me. I didn’t think that I was going to make it at several points, but hey, I managed. I can treat a sucking chest wound, burns of every kind, make a tourniquet, disassemble an M16A2 Rifle in 23 seconds and have it back together in 38, I’ve been in a gas chamber filled with tear gas without a mask on. I’ve crawled up a hill on my elbows and knees with my weapon as well as 25 pounds of gear, and I’ve gone 8 weeks without caffeine and 7 without shaving. I can say that I’ve done all these things, and it feels good. I know my strengths and my weaknesses now, and I know them well. I know that I’m part of something insanely larger than myself and that I’m protecting my country and my friends and family. I’m not just saying this because I’m “brainwashed” or anything like that. I mean it. I’m glad I’m here, and I’m here to stay as long as they’ll keep me.
I miss everyone a lot, but know that you’ve been my motivation this whole time.