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My Navy Journey

My journey in the military was pretty exciting, I was nervous at the same time because I didn't know what to expect. It was a long process in the beginning, you start off by going to the recruiters office. They began telling you a little about the military, and the process you will have to go through. You first have to be scheduled to take the asvap test, you take the test and they review your score. If you pass then you move on to the next step, that's when you know for a fact that you are about to really join. Some people fail, and they schedule to take the test again and but they don't. Only because they end up thinking about it and start getting nervous and scared. Then, there are some people that pass on their first time, and they tell the recruiter they will be back to finish the rest of the process. But once again, they began to think about it and start getting nervous and scared as well, so they don't contact the recruiter back again.

Then there are people like me, I took the practice test and they saw I was ready to be scheduled for the real test. I took the real test and passed so I moved on to the next step, they scheduled me to go through processing. In processing they have you go through a series of screenings, and also you began signing a lot of paperwork and stuff. Once you go through all that processing, you then get a paper that tells you every job you qualify for in the military based on your asvab score. You then get swore in and everything and that's when you know you are really in. After getting sworn in you get your, deployment date and all your other information. It's usually months before you even get to go to boot camp, so don't think just because you get sworn in through processing you will be leaving the next week.

Month's passed and I was getting nervous as time began to really approach for me to go to boot camp. Remember I didn't know what to expect nor what I was getting myself into, the time finally came for me to get shipped off to boot camp. I had to take a plane to Chicago, that's where our boot camp facility was held at. As soon as I stepped off the plane, we had to all meet up at the Chicago's uso, which is a lounge that airports have for military members. We stayed there until we all got escorted to where everyone else was being held at before we loaded on the buses. It was a very large group, we all was sitting Indian style on the airport floor and we couldn't talk or anything. The buses finally came and we loaded by rows at a time, it was about an hours drive until we got to camp.

We finally arrived to camp, and it was very cold in Chicago at that time. As soon as we got off the bus, there was nothing but a lot of yelling and calling us recruits. Til this day I still hated hearing that word, we heard that word all through boot camp. Boot camp lasted for about 3 long months, it really did feel like prison marking off all the days until graduation. During those months, we were challenged mentally and physically which was really a drain. If one person messed up, in their eyes we all messed up and we all had to go through IT which stands for intensive training when we did mess up. The best time I had was when we passed our final test, after we passed the final test we were considered sailors instead of recruits from that point on.

On graduation day I felt so good, it was hard for me to explain the way I felt. I felt like I conquered and was going on to the next step in my navy life. After graduation I thought that I was going to be able to go back home for a break, but that was not so, I got to see my family on graduation day but the next day I got sent to my A-school, which was in Pensacola, Florida. Florida was not like boot camp at all, they treated you like a person and you had more respect. When you get to your A-school, you have to check in and then you are assigned to a room. You have one other room mate with you, which was cool considering that we just came from boot camp, where we were in a room of 35-40.

You are very relaxed in A-school, but you still have room inspections and also have to attend classes, that were in your rate. You got to go through phases on liberty, meaning you were able to go off base with certain freedoms. You don't get to stay out overnight unless you reach phase three, and even though you get to phase three if you do anything wrong they can take away your liberty. But you can only stay out over night on friday's and saturday's, but on sunday's you have to be back in your room before curfew so you can be rested for monday's classes. So, I graduated A-school and now they gave me a ticket to go home for about a month. I didn't stay for a month though, I wanted to get to my command so I can get used to the lifestyle. I got the command to go to Japan so I was very excited as well to see a part of the world I have not seen before.

I only stayed in my home town for two weeks of the month I was suppose to stay, I wish I would have stayed the whole month, because I didn't know that it was going to be a very long time before I got to come back home again. So I got on a plane and headed on my way to Japan, it took me taking about three planes before I actually arrived in japan. Good thing I didn't travel the whole way by myself, as I was with a buddy from boot camp and he also was my A-school room mate, so I had a friend to travel with as he was going to Japan as well. When we landed in Japan the culture was very exciting, it was a part of the world I wasn't used to. Everything was moving fast and I couldn't understand nothing anyone was saying around me. I finally got to my base where I was assigned and it was like a little city, it had everything we needed on base, it had a movie theater, bowling alley, mcdonald's and other eating establishments that I was used to in the states.

When I got there my ship that I was assigned to was not in port at the time. I was assigned to the USS George Washington which everyone called the GW. They had us staying on this other small boy, until we got processed on base and until the ship came back to port. The ship came back in port about a week later so I was basically touring the base getting used to everything. I still had to do other tasks as well until my ship pulled in, now that the ship pulled in they got me ready to get transferred to the ship's command. The USS George Washington was like a mini city, it was a nuclear powered air craft carrier. I was amazed by the size of the ship itself, you look like a peanut compared to this massive ship. I got checked in and while in port you do simple tasks on the ship, you have to stand different watches while you are in port. If it's your duty section day, you could not leave the ship at all, that is the only thing I had a problem with while in port.

I couldn't explore japan as much because when you first get there, you have to go through liberty phases just like in A-school. I was able to see a little bit of Japan's culture but not much when I first got there. So we are preparing for our first deployment out to see, all the other rookies like me where getting sea sick as the boat rocked more and more. I would say that it was a storm every other night while out as sea. It took me a long time to get to know my way around the boat, as it was very massive with turns and stairwells all over the place. My first port that I landed in was in Korea, Busan it was not much to do at all in Korea but it was still an experience. We stayed in Korea for about four days, then we headed back to sea. The next place we landed in was Singapore, that was a place that was very clean and looked beautiful as well. I had a lot of fun in Singapore as there was a lot to do out there.

The next port that we landed in was my favorite of them all, and that was Hong Kong. I love everything about HK, the culture and how everything is so lively. There were a lot of places to go and experience the Hong Kong lifestyle. We couldn't pull the ship in because the waters where shallow, so we had to stay out in the deep and we had a fairy boat come to the ship. It took us about 30 minutes to get from the boat to the docking point, but it was a nice ride either way. Hong Kong has a lot of things for you to do, trust me you will not get bored if you go to Hong Kong. All in all the navy was fun being that I got to travel and see things that I never would have saw. I plan on visiting again some day, hopefully that day isn't too far in the future.


Non-Fiction | Military


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