Boot Camp’s Mental Impact
Going to Basic Military Training for the United States Air Force was a life changing experience. It started with the intense dramatic change in my personal lifestyle. From living comfortably at my parent’s house, eating whatever I want to eat and being able to visit with friends and family on my own time. To being stripped of my own name and identity, only to be referred to as “Trainee”, losing all of my luxuries and freedoms I once took for granted. However I was not in it alone. Forty-nine other trainees were a part of my flight. They were like family for those eight and a half painfully long weeks. We struggled day by day together working as a team to achieve our goal of graduating and becoming proud Airmen of the United States Air Force. A day of traveling by plane from Harrisburg, to arrive late in the evening at the airport in San Antonio, Texas, started with my mom having a terribly difficult time saying good bye right before I was to go through airport security. Tears slowly began to accumulate under her eyes as she calmly reached out and grabbed a hold of me with both arms, squeezing me ever so tightly as though it would be the last time she would ever see me again. Moments went by before she finally released me from her bone crushing grip and watched me walk off on my own. After the long day of sitting in the airport terminals waiting and traveling alone, I finally arrived in Texas around ten o’clock at night. As I stepped off the plane I was slightly nervous. My mind was racing trying to piece together what I was actually about to get myself into. I continued on to follow signs to baggage claim to pick up my small duffle bag that was tightly stuffed with a week’s worth of clothes and little travel sized personal hygiene products. Once I got to baggage claim I noticed a large black sign that hung over a narrow elongated hallway with blank and dull white walls. In bold white lettering the sign said “USAF Basic Military...
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