Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My first blog.

Hello again everyone. I know it it's been a couple of weeks since I updated my blog, but this week will be well worth it. This is a very special blog. The reason this is a very special blog is because it is actually me writing it. My wonderful sister Angela has been transcribing all the past blogs from a letter that I send her every week. And thanks to the wonders of science and the help of a fellow soldier with a sprint internet card thingy, I'm able to do it myself. I would like to take this opportunity to thanks Angela for all her hard work a effort. You're amazing.
Anyway, things her are going so so. It's a completely different feel then basic training and yet the same. We have a lot of freedom here and at the same time we're still in a prison. Just like that, they can take any privileges away from you. My guess is that it's like being in a minimum security prison. You can see freedom, you can taste freedom, and yet...you're not free. It just toys with you.
So last week I had my first weekend pass. The sad thing is that I had the opportunity to get off base and be halfway normal and I didn't take it. I stayed on base and relaxed. The amazing thing is that I got to wear my normal clothes. No army greens!!! It was great. Other then that nothing way awesome has happened. Well actually, last week I actually pumped my first gas. I'm halfway there to becoming a full fleg military fueler. I'm even doing good on my tests, believe it or not, I'm top in my class. That's right, I'm top in my class. What does that tell you about this country's military? You should all be very very scared.
Well, I hoe you all enjoyed this letter, I'll try to tell you more about what's going on in my next blog. This is a new experience for me. Anyway, hope all is going well in all ya'll lives. Until next time, later.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

And Now for AIT Training

Welcome back, sports fans. It's me, Private First Class Jared Harding back after a 3-ish week break. I hope you're all ready to go.

For those of you who don't know, the past couple of weeks have been fantastic. First off, I finally graduated Basic Training. I am out of Fort Jackson, never to go back again. As soon as I had the chance I said "Nuts to you!", and I was out. It was a very nice graduation. Mainly for the fact that my mother and father were there along with the beautiful Kristy Marden. After graduation we started our journey to Virginia. Home of Fort Lee, where I'll be spending the next 10 weeks for my AIT training. On the way there we spent the night at Virgina Beach. If ya'll haven't been there, I'd highly recommend it. Anyway, at Virgina Beach we all ate dinner and then I took Kristy for a walk on the Beach where I told her my feelings for her and I asked her to marry me. And to my surprise, she said Yes. Can you believe it? And right after she said yes, fire works started going off. I totally planned and paid for them too. It wasn't just a pure coincidence that it happened smooth, right? That was the biggest news in the last couple of weeks. Other than that, not a whole lot happened.

I got to AIT Saturday night and it's been pretty okay here. It's kind of like having a 9-5 job, except you're at school. I wake up at 5-ish, do PT, have breatfast, start school at 9:00, take lunch at noon, leave school at 5:00, go to dinner, and I have the rest of the night off. On top of that, I'm off Saturday and Sunday as well. But the #2 best thing about this place is that they also treat us like actual people. It's amazing. Classes are boring so far but I think I'll like it here.

I think that'll about do it for this week. And just in case some of you were wondering, they even have a TV room, so I got to watch BYU beat Oklahoma. That was the 2nd best thing. :)

Anyway, love you all. Call me.

Jared Harding

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Final Stretch

Welcome back, everyone, to my blog. We're getting down to the final stretch here at the lovely Fort Jackson. Only two weeks left, YEA!!! I can't wait to get out of here. We've actually done a lot of stuff this week. Well, more stuff than the last couple of weeks. Monday we finished our last day on the firing range. I'm very very excited about that. And on Tuesday, we got our class A uniforms. If any of you don't know what a class A uniform is, it's the uniform I wear when I want to get all the ladies. Not that I will use it for that. I'm spoken for and would never do such a thing. Love you honey. Anyway, it's the way nice dressy uniform. And it looks good.

Wednesday I got to shoot some awesome weapons. I shot a M203(grenade launcher), a At4(a bazooka), a M249 saw(machine gun) and a M240B. That's the one that is mounted on a turret, hummer, or a tank. That one was my favorite. And to finish it off, we shot a 50 caliber machine gun. That one is just pure power with big bullets. It was a pretty fun day.

At the end of this week we had what's called Victory Hammer. It's a 3 day 2 night camp out in the forest where we do training. The whole time that weekend I was worried about getting hurt. Not that we're doing anything way dangerous. I'm just thinking that I'm almost done and I just have like 2 or 3 more required training events. I don't want to come all this way just to not pass because I got hurt. So do you want to guess what happened? On the first day of it I jacked up my back from carrying a kid that is around 230-240 lbs. So I couldn't even walk. It hurt so bad. My DS made me go tot he hospital to check it out. All they did was ask me what happened and where does it hurt. After that, he just gave me some Ibuprofen and muscle relaxers. So much for getting help. I was finally able to sorta walk and get through that day and the next. Unfortunately we still had our 9 mile road march, which I'm happy to say I completed. It was very painful and long, but I did it. I'm pretty sure that it was the most physically demanding thing I have ever done in my life. I thought I was going to be alright because back in scouts we did a 50 mile hike and one of the days we did 15 miles. The key word to that was "day". We did the 9-10 miles in 31/2-ish hours. Pretty much the best way to describe it was that it sucked, way bad. But hey, it's over.

So, as I end this week's blog, I'd like to thank you for staying informed on my experiences throughout these past weeks. There is a chance this might be my last blog while I'm here in Ft. Jackson. Next week I'm doing my final training which is a week out in the field sleeping in the tents, so I won't have access to mail. I'm still going to try and keep notes and send one when I get back from that. We'll see. And if I get really ambitious I'll write one next week right before I go in the field. Just keep checking back and see. I love you all. Take care.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Night Fire and Muscle Failure

Dear fellow bloggers,

How is everyone doing back at your nice comfy homes? Homes where people treat you like humans and you're allowed to actually talk to people, and eat at your own pace? Sorry, I'm not trying to complain, things are just getting annoying and I'm ready to get the heck out of here. The cool thing is that it is officially August, and I'm done with this stupid place this month. That feels good to say. What feels even better to say is that when you read this I'll only have 3 weeks left. :)

Honestly, things are going good. The best news of the week is that I passed the shooting portion of my training. All I had to do to pass was shoot 23 out of 40 targets. I shot 25. It's all about hitting that minimum. I know I'll do better next time, I'm just glad I passed. Also, we got to do a night fire. Which means we got to play with cool night vision stuff. It's really trippy, you only have it on one eye. So one eye you can't really see out of and the other can. It was pretty cool.

It's been overcast the past two days, which you would think is a nice thing, cause it's cool, right? That's what I thought too, but you see, when it's so hot, the Drill Sgt can't smoke you too long, depending on how hot it is. So when it was overcast, I could see the glimmer in the DS's eyes. They've been waiting for the day that they could have their way with us for as long as they wanted. And, boy howdy, they sure had their way. We got smoked for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. If you have never experienced muscle failure, man, you're missing out. I thought I was going to die. But hey, I'm still here and I'm stronger for it, right?

So that was pretty much the week. I want to thank all of you for reading this and leaving comments. Even though I can't read them, my amazing sister Angie tells me what you guys say, so thank you. I hope all of you are doing good. I'd love to hear from you (hint hint :)) But hey, I'm almost done. Remember to stay tuned next week for an all new edition of my blog. Until next week, God Bless.

PFC Jared N. Harding

Thursday, July 30, 2009


I can't believe it. Week five is over. I can now say that I've been here more days than I have left. And by the time this actually gets blogged, I'll have less than a month. Oh yeah. Of course, then I go to my AIT training and I'll be gone for 10 more weeks. But it won't be anything like this. For one, I'll have my cell phone. :)

Anyway, this week has been very long, hot, boring, humid, hot, tedious, hot and humid, and hot. This week has been pretty much all rifle range. Now that might sound fun to some of you. And if it was scout camp it probably would be. But here in the Army, well at least Basic Training, nothing is fun. We are on the range all day and we only get to shoot 2 or maybe, if we're lucky, 3 times. Not to mention the extra 30-40 lbs. of gear that you wear while firing. So all my life I've never really been a gun person and it shows it out here. I'm struggling with it. We did one of our practices today and I shot 24 out of 40. So technically I passed, but I'm not counting on me for sure being able to do it again. So, yes, still a little nervous.

This week was also my PT test. I did a little better than last time. My push ups and sit ups were pretty much the same. And not that I'm trying to give any excuses, but I have been a tad bit under the weather. Just throwin' that out there. I was kinda nervous about the run due to my rolling of it last week. Plus, since I did roll my ankle, I haven't run in over a week as well. Anyway, I ended up cutting off 16 seconds. I'm now down to 13:54. That means I've cut off one full minute from my first time doing it. Just in case you haven't been following, this was my thrid time running. So over all, PT is going good.

I think that'll just about do it for this week. Like I said, not a very eventful week. Oh, on good news, like three weeks ago I slammed my thumb in my locker. The good news part of that is that the nail is growiing back, it is a little deformed, but all in all it's good. Just thought I'd keep you updated. So, until next week, keep watching the skies.

PS I hate humidity. It's one of the many tools of the devil.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Oh, me? I'm still a gimp.

Sorry ya'll, this week probably won't be too exciting. It's been a boring week with not much happening. The highlights were I got to stick someone with an IV and I got stuck with one as well. I'm happy to report that I was only stuck once and I also passed on my first try. So now if any of you get dehydrated and there just happens to be an IV there, I'll be able to stick you. Lucky you.

We also got to shoot our weapons for the first time this week. The good news for all of you: If I ever get mad at you and decide to shoot you, chances are that I'll miss you. Unfortunately, if I go to war, that'll be a bad thing. We're going more next week so I'm guessing I'll do better.

Then the biggest news is that we had a road march on Thursday where we had to wear our helmet, knee and elbow pads, and about 30 lbs. of gear on my back. Sounds fun, right? So we were told that it was going to be around 3.5 -4 miles. Well, right around mile .01 of it I rolled my ankle and fell to the ground crying like a baby. Can you imagine that? I rolled my ankle, that never happens, right? Anyway, my DS just told me to get up and march or just quit and get in the gimp van. So me being my prideful self, I got up and marched all 3.49 - 3.99 miles on my crappy ankle. Of course I had to walk around the rest of the day as well. At night I was finally able to take off my boot and look at my foot. And DANG!!! It looked like I had a flippin softball in my ankle. It hurt so bad. Here it is two days latter and I'm able to kinda walk and now I have a fatty foot. It jiggles when I walk.

Anyway, that's pretty much it, not much exciting stuff going on. Hopefully it will be more exciting next week. So until then, take care. And if you ever get a free moment, feel free to write me a letter and let me know how you're doing. PEACE!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

You're faking it, right?

Welcome ya'll to this week's addition. I hope you've enjoyed reading them as much as I've enjoyed going through it. This past week has been very eventful. We started out by doing Land Navigation stuff. Which means they give us a map and some dots on the map, and then we find those dots with a compass and a protractor. It's really quite fun and I enjoyed doing it. That night we were supposed to sleep under the starts, but after we set up our little pup tent things, it started raining, thundering and lightning. So they had to bus us back. But since they had to bus us back at night, we still need to get back there in the morning to finish our training. So naturally we did one of our road marches. it wasn't too bad, it was only like 2-3 miles away. Anyway, this is where things get exciting. I'm sure I told many of you that one of the things I was worried about was the gas chamber, and guess what was on the agenda for that day? The GAS CHAMBER!!! So as a quick disclaimer, I don't think I can put in writing the true experience for you to understand what it is like. So if you would like to know more, just ask me when I'm home and I'll be glad to tell you. Anyway, so we get a little bit of training of it and they tell us some ways of making the pain a little easier to handle. Which was nice of them. They then told us to put on our masks, they marched us up there and they walked us in. So there are like 60 of us crammed in this room full of fog(gas) so thick I can barely see the other side. Of course the whole time this is going on we're getting yelled at. So they have about 10 or so people take off their masks and sniff in the tear gas. I wasn't in the first group, so I got to witness these people bending over in pain, looking like they're about it die. At this time I'm thinking in my head, "I wonder if this is all fake, there is no way they would put people through this." I then got instructed(meaning yelled at) to take off my mask. It was at that point I realized that it was all real. To answer my previous question, yes, there is a way they'd do this to me. So getting back to gas: First off, it burns your skin, that part wasn't too horribly bad. Second, it makes you feel like you can't breathe. While at the same time it burns your throat right down to your lungs. So whatever breath you can get, it kills you to breathe it. Also, your eyes are on fire, and any snot type substance that you once had trapped in your nasal cavities are now dripping out your nose and down your face. They only left us in there for like 30 seconds but it felt like forever. The only good thing that came from it was the knowledge that it's over and I don't have to do it again. :)

Well I guess this blog is getting kind of long and I don't know what people want to know but I think I'll end with one more quick story. This one is more of a pat on the back to myself. And I only mention it because I need some good to come from this week. About twice a week for PT we split up into ability groups. These are groups based on your 2 mile run. There is an Alpha group, Bravo, Charlie, and Delta group. Unfortunately I was slightly too slow on my first timed run that I got put into the B group. The other day we had a race between our group. It was pretty much a two mile run with some hills in there. Anyway, to make a long story short, I'm now officially the fastest person in the B group. Next time we test I should move into the A group, which means I will then be the slowest person in the fastest group. Hope ya'll enjoyed this week's updates. Just as a reminder, I would love to hear from ya. My address again is:

PFC Harding, Jared
C-Co 1/61 In Regt (2nd)
Fort Jackson, SC 29207