Monday, January 23, 2012

BMT: Grilled Cheese and Jesus!

Someone cue the Craig Morgan, we're about ready to talk about Sundays at BMT...

Sunday is a magical day at BMT that you will come to love.  A Friday night or a Saturday morning doesn't mean squat at BMT, but a Sunday...

There's a motto for survival that goes around BMT, "Live day to day, Sunday to Sunday."  It's easy to get overwhelmed by how much there is to learn and how difficult it is, but you have to live day to day, with your days peaking on Sunday.

What I Love About Sunday - BMT Remix
  • You get to wake up an hour later.  Damn skippy!
  • No PT.  Let me type that again for you - NO PT!
  • Sunday is the day the "weeks" change.  You officially progress to the next week of training (WOT) when you hit Sunday.  It's a great feeling waking up and know that you're that much closer to being done and seeing your family.
  • Related to my last point, when going to church you get to see all of the newer trainees filter in, as older trainees march the Sneaker Weekers to church.  It's a great visual reminder that you're making progress.
  • Sundays are typically minimal supervision days, at least after the first few weeks are done.  Aside from the MTIs working CQ and chow time, the majority of them won't come in until later in the afternoon.  For us it was no later than 1400, when it was time for squadron clean-up.  This means you can eat breakfast in relative peace and accomplish what needs to be taken care of in the dorm.
  • Church is a big reason why trainees look forward to Sundays.  Even if you're not really religious, it represents a chance to get out of the squadron and unwind.  I attended the Contemporary Christian church for most of the Sundays that I was there.  It's a very popular service, so two squadrons are assigned to the church at a time, with differing slots throughout the morning to fit all of the squadrons.  It will fill up, so the earlier you get there, the better.  Before entering the chapel, you are able to socialize with other trainees (male and female) in a relaxed atmosphere, which is not the case in the squadron.  Once inside, they play music videos on the big screen prior to the service (John Michael Montgomery's "Letters From Home," MercyMe's "I Can Only Imagine," Mark Schultz's "Letters from War").  In church you can sing, dance ever so slightly, and praise.  It's not uncommon to see trainees cry.  It's a very cathartic experience, after the stress that the week puts on you.  The Contemporary service also has milestones to look forward to.  They recognize the weeks of training and everyone stands up and says "PRAISE THE LORD!" during their respective weeks.  Eventually, you can opt to bring your family to church on Sunday after graduation.  The chaplain makes a point to have everyone applaud the new Airmen, as well as the family members and family members who may be veterans.
  • When you return from church, it's just about lunch time.  BMT has certain standard meals that fall on specific days, and Sunday lunch is one you look forward to - grilled cheese!  Everyone looks forward to "Grilled Cheese and Jesus" day.  Grab two sandwiches and be sure to get some ranch dressing to dip them into.  This is probably the best comfort dish that you're going to get.  I loved when we had fresh strawberries on the side as well.
  • Sundays are deep detail days.  No one loves cleaning, but you have to take some pleasure in being able to clean at your own pace, without being yelled at.  We would typically have a list of things that needed to be accomplished by the time our MTI returned for squadron clean-up, and we'd delegate tasks.  Cleaning weapons cases, dusting the exterior of the flight office, dusting the fire escape door, cleaning empty wall lockers, checking laundry marks in shoes, etc.  I'm a list checker-offer.  These sorts of things worked for me.  This is also a great time to get laundry done if you're behind.
  • After finishing deep details, we had time to "work in our areas," which is a phrase you'll hear often.  Working in your area consists of rolling and folding clothes, clipping loose threads, remarking faded laundry marks, and so forth.  It's a very time consuming process that takes up much of your time at BMT.  When you hit second clothing issue (blues), you're going to need the time, since your wardrobe just doubled.
  • Squadron clean-up happens at 1400 hours, or at least it did in our squadron.  At that point, certain flights are required to send down ten trainees to assist with cleaning the outside of the squadron.  It's not a huge ordeal, and they were typically back in less than an hour.  The trainees remaining in the dorm open all of the windows and fire exit, and proceed to apply Wex-Cide (a multi-purpose cleaner) to damn near everything.  Floors typically get bleached at this point as well.
  • The rest of the evening is straightforward, and scheduled like most other days.  Class is not held on Sundays, so MTIs will use the time for in-dorm instruction or drill practice.
You'll never look at Sunday or grilled cheese sandwiches the same again!  At BMT, it's the little things!

4 comments:

Megan said...

do we have to attend church?

Erin said...

@Megan - Nope! You can choose to stay behind, but know that you'll end up on EC duty while everyone's away, and you'll most likely be doing extra deep-cleaning duties in the dorm. Everyone will do those duties, but you may need to do more or more time-consuming ones while the bulk of your flight is gone.

Megan said...

I'm just not a religious person and the act of going to church makes me queezy...(no offence) I guess I'll just make that decision when I'm there.
Thanks!

Erin said...

@Megan - No stress girl. I'm not really religious (not practicing at least) anymore, so in the end I opted not to go to church so I could get more things done in the dorm (preparing my personal area). In the beginning I was going just to get out of the squadron and have some down time.