The Marines wasted no time attempting to whip us — school teachers and myself — into shape this morning. After a rather pleasant dinner Tuesday evening the real experience kicked off Wednesday morning bright and early.
We filed onto the buses at 6 a.m. and headed from the hotel to Parris Island, where we were promptly greeted by a drill instructor (you can checkout that video HERE).
From there we got a step-by-step explanation of how the recruit depot works, and, more specifically, how the Marine Corps receive recruits.
From there we got into formation — dictated by our region: Nashville, Tenn., Atlanta, Montgomery, Ala., and Baton Rouge — and marched around the grounds for a bit. There's more of that in the video. Needless to say, we would not have made very good recruits.
After spending some time in the classroom, learning about the Marine Corps' values, history and education possibilities, we checked out Papa Company's barracks and then headed to the mess hall for some hot chow.
While there I met Cody Shannon Smith, of Mobile, Ala., who is in just his second week on the island. It's a 13 week process, but he was in high spirits and actually said it wasn't quite as bad as he thought it would be.
I also met Christian Estevez, of D'Iberville. He's on the opposite end of the spectrum and will graduate Friday. He said the proudest moment for him was completing the Crucible, which is essentially a 54-hour attack on the senses that all recruits must complete to graduate.
Because there have been some pretty bad storms — which caused the power on the island to go out — we unfortunately missed the opportunity to shoot M16s.
I'll have more photos and videos posted later today.