Thursday, July 15, 1993

Endure - 1993

"No matter what you set out to do, Joe, you will always succeed... You'll just always have to struggle for it."
Elementary school.
High school.
Boot Camp.
"A" School.
It's a given.

They say the more you have to struggle for something, the more you'll appreciate it.
That used to be true.
Until I realized that as soon as one struggle ends, another begins... So, what's the point?

"To endure to the end."
But it's when I'm struggling that all the reasons not to endure pop into my mind.

"And what are they?"
Being here, I wish I were still in boot camp. If only I knew then what I know now. P.T. I wish I were as strong then as I am now. It's not much to write home about, but if only I were like this when I got there. How much better I would be now.
"How did you feel at boot camp?"
I hated it. I wished I had never gone. I wished I had stayed in college... I still wish that sometimes.

...was a lot of work with little results. I tried so hard to succeed, no, excel... and I just barely scraped by. Had I put as much effort into high school...

...I wouldn't have been a half credit short for graduation. I wouldn't have had to have taken that correspondence course.
I missed the basics of elementary school and junior high.

"But you had problems there as well."
I know. I have problems with everything.

"When you were in elementary school, did you ever think you would be able to handle high school?"
No! Elementary was hard enough.

"But you made it. And then you were in high school. How did you adjust to the new system?"
I adjusted... to a whole new set of problems.

"While you were there, what were your feelings about college?"
Apprehensive, to say the least.

"And when you finally got there?"
I don't know. Some of it was difficult, some of it was alright, but I still worked my tail off to barely scrape by. For a while, I thought boot camp would be easier.

"That wasn't how you felt when when it came time for you to leave, remember?"
Yes. I was never so scared before in my life. I hadn't a clue as to what was going to happen.

"And when you got there?"
It was... academically simple, mentally and emotionally stressful and physically difficult. Tests were fairly simple. Living with Dad for nineteen years prepared me somewhat for the verbal and emotional beatings but the physical part of the training was my main shortfall.

"I remember when you were assigned to PFTU. That hurt you very much, didn't it?"
Yes. It was humiliating. I wanted to go home so badly. I hated not being able to. I hated missing Christine's graduation..

"How long were you there?"
A week.

"The run kept you there?"

"How many times before you passed it?"

"But you did pass."

"Just like you made it though the rest of boot camp. Just like you made it through college and high school and elementary school. I know you're having trouble now, but you'll make it through this too. You will succeed."

"I know... As one struggle ends, another begins. You're probably very apprehensive about going to Pensacola."
Of course.

"But have you noticed a pattern here?"

"Every time you reached a new struggle, a new challenge, you adjusted. You endured. That's all you have to do... Endure. There's a reason behind it. You may not know what it is... I'm not even sure myself... But you must endure."