DS called at 13:30. He had an hour total time to call. He called his girlfriend first. Even though he was the easiest delivery, he's supposed to call his Mama first, not the girlfriend. We talked to him for 26 minutes. He had a lot of pushups and situps that were not counted on testing. They completed the 6 mile 'ruck'. "It was up a little hill. It wasn't that bad, really, not bad at all.' He told his mother 3 times that "our family vacations are harder." "We have to pass a land navigation test to graduate from Beast. I got a hundred. You use a compass, map, and protractor, and find 12 points out in the hills out in nowhere. a lot of people failed. we ran around a lot in the woods. it was fun." "I've spent seven dollars. soap and toothpaste. I need soap to wash my clothes. Lots of guys are having their parents send more money, but I don't need any. I have a lock box where I put my letters" "Can you bring my headphones, ipod, and a blanket? and black underwear. they don't ever check brand names for underwear, just as long as they don't show a brand when you are dressed. " "the past 3 days it's been really hot and humid, so we got to roll up our sleeves. The PT workouts are really easy." "We run up six flights of stairs six times a day. run the stairs, go to your room, run the stairs, go to meals, run the stairs, go to white time..." He went to the gunnery range. " We were lined up, not yet on the firing line, and I didn't have my safety glasses on, they were in my pack, i didn't say that, and I got in trouble. I had to write 300 lines of " i will not forget my glasses'. My cadre didn't pick up the list, I guess he forgot. One guy had to write 1100 lines "I will not talk". My room mate keeps forgetting his rifle. we keep them locked under our bunks." they shot targets at 300. 200. 150, 100, and 50 yards. Here he was obviously the most excited. "Targets pop up, and I hit 39 of 40 targets. but they didn't count 15. the machine was off. there was a guy there who usually hits 40 of 40, and the machine gave him a 25. A lot of people had to do it fifteen times. I know how to zero the sight. There were 2 negligent discharges. Those cadres were fired. Altogether we shot 30,000 rounds in one day. At the end, the guys in charge wanted us to hurry up, and had us put our weapons on automatic." "Our company was in first place right up until yesterday. everyone is really mad about that" (some controversy about a hotel.) "the company that wins gets a free pass home, travel paid by the Army." The next competition ends at the end of Beast. 2 girls and 2 guys have dropped out of his unit. "sometimes out processing takes six weeks. if you can check on that i would appreciate it...very much" Football tryouts are tomorrow. 'it will be like a combine' - sprint timing, max lifts. (why doesn't anyone tell anybody this information ahead of time?) I know some of the guys who went to USMAPS last year, and they're not even going to try out. they're considered walk ons, too. they already quit. About 21 are going to try out. But they say they hardly ever look at a walk on." . He has prickly heat. "everyone has it, but I don't have it as bad as most, because I don't eat any salt. I have it because I wore the same 2 shirts all week. I don't use the laundry, because you told me it is no good. Everyone sends their clothes to the laundry, then lots of people run out of PT clothes because the laundry doesn't come back. Now I just do a 'ranger wash'. I did dry clean two shirts. they did come back. they put gum in our MREs and that helps digestion. we had steak again, and chicken cordon bleu.' With five minutes to go, I told him to call his brother, and reluctantly said goodbye. Big brother called us back: "I think I might stay 2 years." Last letter, he said maybe one year. "that watch you gave me really helps, that vibratory alarm" (Casio Men's W735HB-1AV Super Illuminator Vibration Alarm) he gets up early with the alarm to get ready 'before the cadre start yelling at us. We had 8 hours sleep last night, we're supposed to have six, but usually it's about 4, sometimes 5 hours." Big brother couldn't believe this was his hard to wake up younger brother talking. "No, i haven't taken any naps. I fight it hard when I am in the room. i fought it once. You're not supposed to sleep at all during the day. Lots of people do. all the time. every second. if you get caught, they wake you up, make you do pushups, stuff like that..." and then he was gone. Mama's facebook USMA contacts are revealing some 'difficult' phone calls, and some didn't get any call. I feel badly for them.