Friday, February 17, 2006

Cadre at Fort Sill PTRP Thinks Abuse is Funny

The cadre (command group) over the Fort Sill’s PTRP (Physical Training & Rehabilitation Program) and related areas think their abusive tactics toward their own soldiers are funny. Those in command of these injured soldiers in the PTRP check out my blog and use the information in it to ridicule and harass their own men. Some of them make cute comments (that I choose not to delete). The cadre knows who’s who, of course. The identities of the soldiers are not a mystery to them.

When I first began this campaign to draw some attention to the sickening circumstances the injured soldiers at Fort Sill’s PTRP were enduring, there was a part of me that hoped maybe, just maybe, it was one or two “bad apples” (sound familiar?). I have come to understand that the situation is far worse than that. And so the rest of my post is:

An Open Letter to Members of the Cadre who can’t Stop Laughing and to Those Who Claim to Have No Knowledge of Any Abuse:

Dear Cadre members,
I understand that you think that the abusive tactics displayed by you and/or those in your command are funny. You share that with some people in a little place called Abu Ghraib. They had some bad actors, too. I wouldn’t call the company that you share “good” but I’m beginning to understand a great deal more about how that situation must have come to happen. It all starts when you have no loyalty or compassion for your own men, your own soldiers.

That’s’ right. Like it or not, these are your own men. These are the soldiers you are charged with overseeing. I don’t know how you came to be at the PTRP or FTU (Fitness Training Unit). Maybe you are all poor achievers who have to step on others you perceive as weaker in order to feel better about yourselves. Maybe this is just a transition post for you, and you have bigger and better things to do than worry about a bunch of “Broke Dicks” (yeah, I know that and worse are what they are called). Maybe you are actually functionally illiterate and can’t read or understand the PTRP soldiers’ medical profiles sufficiently to command these soldiers daily activities.

In the end, though, it doesn’t matter. They are not failures. They are not weak. They are not cowards. You are all three of these things.

You fail them every time you curse at them for having injuries, or add just one more bully tactic to see if someone will break…and sometimes one does. Maybe that relieves your boredom. You fail them when you don’t set an example by your own behavior, when you lash them instead of leading them, when you insult them instead of inspiring them. You should be ashamed instead of laughing.

You are weak because you can’t resist the temptation to browbeat and beat your own men when they are already fighting to regain their physical abilities, fighting to live with daily pain, and fighting to make themselves put one foot in front of the other every day with no end in sight. You should be silent instead of laughing.

You are cowards because you have verbally and physically abused those who are unable to defend themselves. You who hold all the “aces” in your hands, sneer at them for taking your abuse, and hand out punishments when they can’t accomplish your latest whim, or can’t take it any longer and speak or act out. Don’t insult my intelligence with your talk of discipline and the good old days. You have deliberately driven some of them to the thin edge of their sanity, and a couple of them over it. These are the acts of cowards and bullies, not of brave men. Those of you who stand by and turn a proverbial blind eye (you know who you are and so do I) to all this are even more cowardly because you know better but you are too afraid for yourselves to help your own men, your own soldiers. Some of you use your rank as a shield, and in this case, it's a human shield made up of your own soldiers. You should be court-martialed, not commended.

You don’t deserve the soldiers you have in your charge. Despite all your efforts, they have, for the most part, taken care of each other the best way they could manage with little to no resources. They have, for the most part, developed a loyalty to each other. They have tried to help each other. They have endured your abuse for months (and more than a year for some), and survived. I would be proud to call almost any of them my son, beyond the one I already have in your "care".

In closing, I would like to express my fondest personal wish for you: May you have to walk two miles with a full rucksack in each of your own injured soldier’s combat boots with people like yourself treating you just the way you have treated your own men.

18 Comments:

Blogger Runuhway said...

pat deV, check it out. a soldier at Ft, Sill has posted a comment and a new blog about what is happening on the inside. comment is on: www.onlyvolunteers2.blogspot.com
from wicked jester. now those of you who don't believe what we are saying can hear it from the men inside. be sure to check out his onlyvolunteers3 also. i did. check out Ft. Sill Abuse Continues also.

3:58 PM  
Blogger Beast of Ender said...

If people posting on this site are military, it would be helpful to show your credentials by saying this. I am not sure if anyone has seen the news of the soldier who "interrogated" an iraqi prisoner by scaring him with a muzzled dog while the prisoner was blindfolded. He has come out and stated that 90% of the prisoners in Iraq are innocent (a fallacious statement which he has no proof of). The main stance of most military members say that this soldier was innefficiently trained and feels abused by what the military made him do.
Let us shed the horrible and unjustified statements of "war is wrong" and "we have no right" right now. This will greatly help us to have a better argument.
The truth is this soldier was not trained properly. The author of the blog says that he/she hopes the DI's could walk to miles in their shoes with someone treating them the same way. Are you not aware that the requirements for basic training in the military are much farther than they were 5 or 10 years ago? Are you also unaware that Drill Instructors make up the top 10% of infantrymen. I am not saying all Drill Instructors are correct because that would be a horribly general statement. But we must shed this belief that these kids don't deserve this and it is unnecessary. In my experience in basic training, Fort Benning, GA (home of the infantry) it was obvious that many soldiers graduated that should not have. That, if put in a position to rely on them, there would be no possible way I could feel assured that the men to my left and right would do their job to ensure that I got home. I am not blaming the Drill Instructors for this or the military, I am blaming this ideal that everyone can and should be able to be a soldier without a doubt from thier superiours. Some people are not mentally prepared to do what is necessary.
Are these horror stories awful? Yes, on the surface. But if I am running out of ammo in a fight and I am relying on Pvt. Smith to run the mile and half or so to provide me with the ammo so that the men to my left and right can get home to see our families, I am hoping and praying that some Drill Instructor trained this soldier properly to have the will and the mental ability to give the support I need. We all have horror stories from basic trianing/boot camp that we feel were unnecessary. But don't make the mistake in believing that just because your best friend, son, or husband were not given a fair shake on things. Replace your feelings of how these Drill Instructors did an injustice with the feelings you would feel if you knew your loved ones died because and improperly trained military tool did not succeed when he should have never been there.

8:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ma'am-
I believe that you have no room to critize the individuals who work at PTRP. You, as a civilian, could never begin to understand the life of a soldier.
Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training are no meant to be Summer camps. We are training boys/men/women to be soldiers. There is more to life than your protective shelter, which in itself, is a distorted view of reality. The enemy will not be so kind.
While, yes in every organization, there is a bad apple. You have no right to blame the Chain of Command. Any and all incidents should have been reported promptly. I am sure it would have been taken care of in an appropriate and just manner.
The worse part about this whole blog, is that you have nothing to substantiate claims. Only the cry of a young man who misses his family, which at the most is hear-say. Have you even asked the Commanders what is really going on? Probably not.
So until you take some initiative and find out more information, please be more mindful of the careers you are ruining. No one blogs about how rude you were one day when you answered the phone and how little it matters that you have to be at work when your infant was at home sick. But who cares, right?

6:07 PM  
Blogger Pat deV said...

Thank you, "beast of ender" and "anonymous", for your responses. It seems to me that you couldn't have read all of my Fort Sill entries. Then again, perhaps you just didn't like them. Beast of ender, I'm not quite sure where you are coming from. Whether or not I think war is wrong has nothing to do with the abuse at Fort Sill. In addition, to both of you: I did not say anything negative about Basic Training or AIT or Drill Instructors in general. I was speaking about specific incidents of abuse in the PTRP (physical training and rehab) environment at Fort Sill that were related to me by MORE THAN ONE SOLDIER and/or their family members. Some of these young men have already graduated Basic Training and AIT, but have been held back from their duty stations due to their injuries. They were/are in various stages of recovery.
I am mystified why some seem to think that abuse makes good soldiers. If you think that (for example) kicking a guy's legs out from under him just after knee surgery will make him into a better solder, then we really don't have any room for dialogue.
Fyi, I certainly spent a lot of time hoping that the soldiers who served with my eldest son were well trained. He just returned home from a year in Iraq. Don't lecture me about what I know about the life of a soldier. I'm not one (thought that was fairly clear), but both of my sons are...as was my father, 3 uncles, and my ex-husband (not counting friends, etc). So I have certainly heard a lot about it from many different perspectives in "my protective shelter."
As to the chain of command, if they don't bear the ultimate responsibility for their staff members, who does? Accountability doesn't stop with a "bad apple". Incidents at the PTRP were not only reported, they were witnessed by part of that chain of command. Complaints were made, and they fell on deaf ears because no one could be bothered to act upon them.
And yes, as the mother of 2 soldiers, daughter of 1 soldier, niece of 3 soldiers, ex-wife of 1 soldier, cousin of 1 soldier, friend of several soldiers, and as a mother and grandmother, when I found out that the cadre at Fort Sill's PTRP was reading my blog, I told them precisely what I thought of them. No regrets there.
In closing, I'm sure you'll both be pleased to know that documentation was gathered, reports were filed, and statements validated. Even now, changes have occurred... I am looking forward to reporting on those changes in the next day or two.

8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My son just left for Basic at a different installation, not Fort Sill. Firmly for the record, I'm not anti-war, or wasn't until recently. It has been very hard for me to turn against this war effort, but I have just about arrived now.

If I'd seen these blogs before my son jumped off the cliff (signed up), I would have locked him in a closet (figuratively) to keep him from doing it. So WHY have I heard nothing of all this until now? As it was, I did EVERYTHING in my power to keep my son from joining, to talk him out of it, distract him from it, whatever it took, and his [several] older brothers backed me up with all the talk and action they could muster. Had we known about Fort Sill, we'd have been much better armed to dissuade our loved one. As a matter of fact, IF THIS GOT OUT, there would BE no more recruits for the Army, PERIOD.

The only newspapers I read are the assorted small-town dailies where I live. I work, and in spare time, watch all 3 cable news channels "all the time". I watch it all, from Chris Matthews to Bill O'Reilly, and all angles of "talking head" in between. What could be more "perfectly opposite" than Chris Matthews from Bill O'Reilly? So why are they IDENTICAL in their sin of ommission regarding the astrocities at Fort Sill and other training bases? Why do our Soldiers and Marines make the news as rapists, perverts, and murderers, but these young trainees are IN HELL and next-to-nobody either KNOWS or BLOODY CARES? Why isn't this the leading news story around the world?

If I can make it news, let me know how, and I will spend every spare and stolen moment at it. If I have ever had a "mission" in my life, this is it, whether you advise me on how to proceed or not. Tell me what I can do. Tell me what it might be "unwise" to do while I'm this angry, that would only hurt our cause. If the opportunity arises (and it is a possibility for me), I want to stop working and devote my life to getting these abuses stopped, and the criminals punished, starting by making headlines of it instead of non-news! Virtually nobody knows about this, TRUST ME. If they did, recruitments goals would be at ZERO instead of UP. No kid who knows of this would sign up. Not one. They are signing up because they are starry-eyed, GOOD kids, who have no inkling. With all that is going on at school campuses in the way anti-war activity, why can't THIS story be printed and handed out, to all kids everywhere? See, this kind of curious OMISSION gives me pause.

However...you may be doing some good, slaving away behind the scenes, as I know you all are!! Things may be changing, not enough, but some, if my son's situation (evidently) is any indication. But if you stop pushing, things will go right back like they were, only WORSE to get EVEN with you guys.

I am not worried so much about my son as I am about EVERYONE'S SON, and I consider them all mine, past, present, and future young men, who have signed up out of sheer foolhardy courage, the BEST of our progeny, only to be tortured, despised, envied by their flabby superiors and even killed by them, tortured and killed and hated by the elders they look up to. I'd like to tell my son now, "Don't look up to that guy; he'd like to bang your girlfiend; he HATES you."

(Oh, I'll keep my mouth shut to my son. I am a mother, by the way, not a father.)

My father was a captain in the Army Reserve, retired in his 30's; he was also a civilian flight instructor at Fort Sill in the 1960's, incidentally.

Additional thoughts driving me up the wall, of no interest to the anti-war crowd, but maybe to some others of your readers: These drill instructors and trainers are not only not interested in winning the war, but may be out to cost us the victory on purpose. What better way?!? They couldn't be a bigger enemy to their country and fellow Americans if they were terrorist moles implanted on army bases expressely to destroy us from within.

Another thought (ouch): Sadism is inseparable from "unnatural" sexual gratification. Maybe if we could let these "sergeants" know that WE KNOW WHY they are so incurably, helplessly, avidly sadistic toward (wink-wink) YOUNG MEN, they'll be embarrassed enough to stop, eh? NOPE. Not if the chain of command is designed to support this kind of thing, and apparently, it is. So much for all of my illusions -- a lifetime's worth -- about the fineness of the military.

To think that these young men, boys fresh out of school many of them, enlist just to go to Iraq and fight terrorists, and they can't make it past the sexually aroused sadist in charge at Basic Training, any more than Little Johnny in the Boy Scouts could escape that one scout master who raped him for 3 years and threatened to chop up his parents if he talked.

(Yeah. I'm mad. Keep me anonymous for the love of God.)

I only learned of all this yesterday and it has been an arrow through my heart ever since. Just when I was being good, coping, believing, thinking good thoughts for the good of my son, myself, all of our sons and soldiers, and my country...I learn about THIS. The trainers at Fort Sill are not men, but pigs. How wonderful to know.

Me and my beloved America are no longer married as of now, but living apart in spirit while I think things over. Nothing is the same to me this morning as it was yesterday morning and all of my life before, nor will things ever look the same to me again. If America fosters this crime, and America IS FOSTERING IT (thanks a million, Senator McCain), then America IS evil. The absolute last words I ever thought I would hear myself say.

Last thought: I'm afraid that the anti-war angle is what is keeping the Fort Sill story out of television cable news headlines where everyone can hear it.

Where are the pro-war families? You need to be here. This is not an anti-war story.

I have not read everything yet, but will get to it as I'm able to stomach it, in large pieces if possible; so if I have made any comments damning anyone incorrectly, I AM SORRY! Forgive me, I just had not read that far yet.

God Bless You,
I Am So Sorry For What Has Happened,
A SOLDIER'S PARENT

7:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is to BEAST OF ENDER:

I'm interested in your statement that many soldiers have come out of Fort Benning who should not have graduated. This indicates that there is such a thing as "NOT graduating." Could you please describe, to better educate me, what "not graduating from Basic Training" means? How is it that defined, exactly? Can a Soldier receive a failing grade at the end of three months and be sent home, in order to maintain a fully ready army of properly trained soldiers, each able to count on the other without fail?

Or...is it a FACT that the only way NOT to graduate (in your view)is to be killed by your trainers, if need be, in the effort to make you ready for war? In other words: if a trainer passes a weak recruit instead of killing him, is THAT your definitipon of recruits graduating when they shouldn't?

When a young person enlists, is he/she making a contract to either become completely worthy by any means necessary, according to standards as yet unknown to them (in which case they've NO IDEA WHAT THEY ARE CONTRACTING TO DO) or let themselves be crippled and killed by those attempting to mold them into ready soldiers?

Tell me, do the recruiters know about any of this? Shouldn't you perhaps post at the military blogs, in addition to this one, in order to pass the word around? None of us, not the enlistees or their families, or our military recruiters, or indeed our Commander in Chief, is at all aware that once an American kid enlists in his nation's military, he is commited to train whether able or not or DIE. This is news! It needs to get around. Won't you please help?

One other little thing: enlistees don't get a psysical before qualifying, do they? Kids with abcessed wisdom teeth on the verge of eruption, or slow-burning appendicitis, or undetected brain tumors can sign up, and if after 2 days or 6 weeks they collapse, too G-damn bad for everyone (but OK for you). From what I've seen, recruits simply do a pencil check-list on their own, regarding health matters they don't even know about, are too young to know about themselves. Next they pee in a bottle, hand it in, and voila, they are good to go, ready to commit themselves in writing to putting Spartacus's little comitment to SHAME.

Aside from that, Beast of Ender, I think you've no right declaring the pitiful Abu Graib soldiers "improperly trained" without better information, which you could not possibly be privy to. If in fact you DO have special info on those soldiers, like that you trained them personally and were forced to graduate them without being permitted to train them properly, I think you should say so in your post, so all of us will know who you are. But if this is just something some DS from Fort Benning told you, it isn't fit to post. This is how SHIT gets started, mister. There's too much of that as it is, you agree? Thought you might.

The way I (and many others) see those Abu Graib soldiers, is that this is what you get when you "train" soldiers to feel like scum. Maybe you get scum.

Maybe training methods should be revisited often, as the centuries go by?

Nahhh!

8:46 AM  
Anonymous Disenchanted said...

I've been to Ft. Sill for Basic Combat training, and I would swear by affirmation of oath and under penalty of perjury that what this woman says about Ft. Sill is the truth.

Having that said, I would be a fool to believe this problem is exclusive to Ft. Sill.

Drill Sergeants are creative with their abuse. They know they can't hit you, so they'll have other privates hit you. That's right, I've been battered by other privates that were ordered by a Drill Sergeant to do so. And yes, they GET OFF on it. They seem to get a kick out of anything that violates a private, and the more creatively humiliating and degrading the treatment, the more kicks they get.

I recall one man passed out on the side of the road on a 10k march. The drill sergeant told us to "leave him there, let the pussy die." Fortunately for him there was a truck waiting at the end of the line to pick him up out of the ditch.

And to the anonymous quadruped that said these incidents shoudl've been reported so that they would've been handled in a just manner: What kind of basic are YOU talking about, sir? When I was there, speaking out of turn or drawing attention to your self was a death wish. I don't believe you can genuinely expect a trainee to report ANY abuse from their own drill instructor.

1:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

im gonna start off saying , that i am a soldier at ft.sill and i did get injured in AIT and now im in PTRP, some of the D.S's are kinda harsh and do push are buttons untill we snap !!! but on the other hand you have the D.S's here that help us heal and go outta of there way to sit down and talk to us .. and instead of them beating us up mentally , they kick are ass in the gym , by pushing us to get stronger , without re-injurying are selfs!! you guys dont ever talk about those D.S's

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Reissa Case said...

I was in PTRP at Fort Leonard Wood for 6 1/2 months after being told on several occasions that it would only be for a 6-8 week time period, then I could go back and finish THE LAST WEEK of basic I had left before I got hurt. I was in week 7 1/2 out of nine when I was prohibited from graduation for stress fractures in my right tibia (That in a three months time, broke all the way and required thirty days convalescent leave) and admitted to PTRP. It was not as bad as Fort. Sill. We had men and women together in the barracks...not in the same rooms, but we trained with both. The medical care that you get there is worse than the actual PTRP (FTC) company! I was told I was getting well enough to be able to run again, then three days later, I am in a cam walker and getting ready to go home for 30 days leave to heal better...made no sense that one day I am better, the next I am worse than before! When I got to PTRP in February 2006 (One week after my company graduated and went off to AIT) I hated it for a few weeks. Didn't like being with the "new recruits" and "fat camp privates" when I had made it to the end of my training just to be told I wouldn't continue. I was on crutches until that late March, early April. By then I had a lot of friends, male and female, and things were getting better. We got passes and CD players and DVD players on the weekends. Not too shabby. BUT WE WERE TALKED TO LIKE WE WERE S***! AND TRATED LIKE FAILURES! TOLD WE COULDN'T HACK THE ARMY, THAT WE WERE PISS POOR EXCUSES FOR SOLDIERS! But one drill sergeant was my favorite, and I still talk to him to this day. Me and my battle buddy and my husband (whom I met BOTH at PTRP) still talk to him VIA email. Anyhow, It was three weeks after I got off crutches that I was put into a cloth and metal cast-type contraption that immobilized movement in my leg from the knee down. No flexing my ankle and walking was hard until I got the hang of it. Two weeks after that, I was home again in Colorado for thirty days Con-Leave. I left May 3rd and returned June 1st of 2006. July 18th, I was sitting in the barracks at RHC, TSB, where I would have to wait patiently until my discharge was final. I sat there waiting for my medical discharge to ship me home for nearly THREE MONTHS! And that place is a joke, too! My then battle buddy, now my husband, was med-boarded just after me. Now, he wants back in, and the Army is giving him a hard time about it. Telling us they want another physical and x-rays, but it has to come from our pocket. We have no idea if the medical coverage we have from the army until March is going to cover it. The Marines don't want that, so why the Army? Anyhow, getting back in is now almost impossible. So good luck to anyone who wants back in now that they have had FAIR and AMPLE time to heal at home, not doing physical activity 5 days a week, then WALKING to the PX because DS's don't want you to take a cab. It wasn't bad, persay, but in a way, it was. Half of the people who go to PTRP on Ft. Leonard Wood get med-boarded, and I know that because I saw people come and go for 6 1/2 months. I also got med-boarded with about half of my platoon from PTRP. The odds of going back to training are slim to none, so once you get recommended for PTPR, it's pretty much a luck of the draw. One word of advice for anyone joining the Army: Don't get hurt! And if you do, try to work through it until graduation. You see what they did to me! Now I am at home, married to my battle buddy from PTRP (which was the only blessing I got out of it) and neither of us can get enough money to pay our bills (AND we live with my mother and only pay $400 a month) but somehow, we still can't do it! My husband wants back in now that he is better and we are married, but time is ticking and we don't have time to BS with the recruiters. So, we are pretty much stuck, thanks to poor health care and bad guidance at PTRP and with the doctors at Ft. Leonard Wood. Thank you, docs, for making life harder than it ever has been before!

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what happened to Warrior Rehab Company (WRC) in Ft. Leonard Wood? I left there in Aug 2006. And I heard that it got shut down but I can't find anything on the internet to support that. Any repliers from the Leonard Wood PTRP that would know? If it got shut down I'll be so happy. One small step...

8:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm the wife of an army national guardsmen who actually re-enlisted after being 8 years out, and everyday since he signed up I really wish he wouldn't have.

He got orders for deployment on Jan 1, 2008 to go to Afghanistan, but he already had a broken ankle from a training in December. They sent him anyway. They also made him train these past two weeks on that broken ankle, which has split again in a different spot. I'm so worried my husband will not be able to walk again.

They keep telling him that he'll be on a flight home, give us all the information for the flight, and then they don't send him home. I should be at the airport right now picking him up, but I'm not.

On top of all this, he isn't getting paid what he should be after be promoted and has one gotten paid without hassle 1 time since re-enlisting.

We have a 5 yr old daughter who keeps being told that Daddy is coming home, and then he doesn't. What kind of mind games should we have to go through?

The first time I called to find out his status, they told me they didn't know where he was. If they are going to put his life in danger and do not know where he is???

I have very little respect for the military after this, and I come from a long line of people who served for this country during WWII and Vietnam. This is just severely disheartening.

12:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, I've got something to say to this, and I know exactly what I'm talking about and have every right to say it because I was in the ptrp program at Bravo Btry 95th AG rec Btln, Ft. Sill, OK. for about a year for a broken leg (I know its a long time for something like that, complications ensued). YOU ARE IN THE ARMY!!! You should know that in the army (at least in tradoc) everything is done for a reason, and abuse is an every day thing in the army. Its not like they abuse the hell out of us, or get outrageous with the abuse. Its minor abuse, and its the same effing thing they do to us in basic and they do it for a reason! To make us stronger, to give us tougher skin, to make us really realize that we are not truly safe and we have to be able to brush off stupid crap, or take crap, or deal with tough situations. Life isnt supposed to be easy, especially not in the army. From my experience, at ptrp, they obviously excercise some of the minor abuse tactics and such that the tradoc does, but they do genuinely care about the soldiers. They will push you to do your best, they will treat you like crap if you deserve it, but you can always gain the respect back. You have it alot effing easier than you did when you were in basic or ait or whatever. Of course it sucks, and its repetetive, and boring sometimes, but you have to endure it so you can get back out there and train. If you can't endure ptrp, you can't endure the army at all then.
Also, keep in mind that the Ds's have gone through the same shit as you and worse, the tradoc area of the army was alot harder back in their day and you probably wouldnt have survived it. Would it be comforting to you if you went through that shit only to get older and train soldiers to succeed you in this pussified training that tradoc is now? They want to make sure that you come out a SOLDIER. Not a pussy. So quit being one. Endure the pain, endure the tough, and embrace the suck. Get better, get out of there and train so you can be a soldier.

10:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I joined, I knew it was gonna be tough, I knew i was gonna be treated like shit, I knew it wasnt going to be a walk in the park. Thats why I joined. Because I knew it would make me stronger. And I became stronger mentally and physically, than I imagined I could. I know that alot of kids dont think about this when they join up, they want the college money, or whatever. But for whatever the reason, they consciously or sub-consciously decide that it is worth it enough to join, worth it to endure the pain. If basic training was a summer camp or something of the sort, how the eff do you think we'd be doing in iraq? Its hard because they have to prepare us. You are never prepared for war, but they give you the closest to it. Do you want your kid to go there completely unprepared? I for one am glad that my basic training was hard, and that ptrp was hard, and that ait was hard. It prepared me for what I had in store for me. Thank you cadre at ptrp and D 1/19 ft. sill ok, thank you f co 232 med brigade ft. sam houston. I became a real soldier because of yall!

10:36 PM  
Blogger E said...

This issue is not exclusive to ft sill, After getting injured during training, I spent a great deal of time in the armies ptrp program, as well as rhu, the the next phase for those who are being discharged for either medical reasons or disiplinary.

All I am willing to say is I know plenty of great soldiers who wanted to be in the army and at there final duty stations and if able to continue to train or serve who have in a second.. because of the condititions in these programs I and others would have rather been in prison.

Now I must also say there were plenty of good drill sgt's who stood firmly for there soldiers and against other drill sgt's and higher in the chain who either participated or at least knew of these types of on goings.

more often then not though the individuals usually deserved what they got for one reason or another.

7:11 PM  
Blogger E said...

are people even following the subject of this blog. No one is talking about actual combat training we know that is supposed to be tough.

Do we all agree ? We knew that when we signed up. What the subject of this blog is the darker side of the moon where you go when you fall out of training.During basic or osut every soldier is there for 8-14 weeks with 3 drills in your platoon, that part was fine.

But if you get hurt try a year with a whole lot of angry drills who got this shitty assignment with a bunch of us "broke dicks" for who knows what reason.

That what we are talking about. And unless you have been through it.... as far as i'm concerned you have no rite to talk about it whether you served or not.

7:20 PM  
Anonymous 2cents said...

The irony here is sad. The misguided comments in defense of a great ideal that in many ways fails in both intent and execution.
Conceptually the PTRP is a great idea. A centralized place containing all of the traditional medical services for soldiers to rehabilitate in and convelesce following a debilitating injury, but in actuality, the place is truly like a prison. How do I know? Because I worked there for a long time. Let me just say first hand that the many stories are true, and don't believe for a moment that they are not.
Its a very, very sad situation. For you soldiers that post here, imagine being in a week one BCT environment for 8, 9, 12 months at a time. Not AIT but BCT. Frequent yelling and hazing, relentless belittling, breaking profiles, police call and area beautification on crutches, being denied the right use the commanders open door policy. It's a vicious cycle and a cruel environment to try to get better in. Oh but it's all good because you can get an occaisional pass or your cell phone/computer once in a while...that is of course if no one messes it up and nets everyone a round of the all to frequent "mass punishment"

...2cents...

9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just graduated from Fort Sill, Boot Camp. It made me laugh how easy it is. I would fail half of my platoon for being mentally and physicall weak and lacking motivation. I dont care what you say about Drill Sgts. Yes they are sometimes rough and demanding, but that is for the good of the soldiers. If your son or daughter can't take it, don't be in the Army. A couch potato does not deserve to be in the Army. They get paid good money to train, so that is already a motivation to succeed. Nevertheless, lost of them try to do just the minimum to pass. They hide behind bigger and stronger guys, they stay quite when it is time to stand up for what is right, they cover their dumbass friends so they dont get in trouble, they talk their ass of instead of learning military stuff. What I saw was pathetic. The Army needs to get tougher, Drill Sgts needs to step up their level of personal attention (NOT A GROUP PUNISHMENT) and I dont really care if there will be those that get injured or heart broken and get their ass kicked back home. They deserved that. I saw way to many soldiers that should not be in the Army. Too many dumb, lazy, weak, cowards.

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just Graduated St SILL and AIT
REPLY FOR
Reissa Case said...

You sound just like some of the soldiers I met that shouldnt be in the Army. Complain, complain, complain. YOu were getting paid good money while all was going on, all you had to do is wake up, go to formation on time, clean, get stronger. If you were out of shape in the first place, have weak bones due to improper nutrition and lack of exercise, is it the Sgts to blame for that? You met your husband there? Thats another red flag, since both of you obviously had better things to do than follow Sgts orders. Does fraternizing sounds familiar? I saw lots of females like you and you made me sick. Running at the end of the pack, doing things right when Sgts was right there looking at you, stanging at parade Pretty, being a flash light soldier, being dependent on your stupid electronics to listen to music instead of sucking it up like the rest, maybe reading a book, maybe learning your 3 general orders and reading your Basic Soldier book so you know whats up with Land navigation and what the hell SPORTS is.
When I was in Basic and AIT, I developed knee pain and foot pain...what I did was 1) sick call. There I realized I have 2 options, get recycled / MED hold or suck it up and hope for the improvement. Got 1week profile. During profile I did other exercises that I could do to keep in shape and get stronger, while other soldiers on profile prefered to sit and talk to each other. They really made great couples but they paid their price since some didnt make through the training. These same soldiers were drinking alcohol on weekends and having a good time while more serious soldiers were doing their studies. 2) I didnt take any pain meds even I was given a bunch so I knew the level of pain and if it gets worse or better 3) reduced my exercises, my walking, WAY MORE STRETCHING, warming up, improved DIET (ate food with more calcium, over 1005 of daily Calcium, Iron, and protein reqirements), later in AIT BOUGHT MYSELF (notice I am not even crying about this) CALCIUM PILLS, PILLS for JOINTS and CARTILLAGE, VITAMIN C, D, E, Fish Oil, bought soft inserts for my boots and running shoes, 2 inserts per shoe AND was SMART how, how much, and intensity of exercises I was doing. In 1 week I saw improvements! In 3 weeks I could bent my knee again. I graduated. THIS ARMY, it takes motivation, discipline, determination, and focus to WIN, you win in the Army, you win in LIFE! By the way, I have not met any significant other while I was there simply because I was way too busy staying on top of my Army game. You dont have to tell me your story, I saw a bunch like you in the Army, at easy private, you dont have to stand parade pretty.

10:50 AM  

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