I had to wait a few days to process the change in plans before sharing it with all of you. Gunnar relocated to Georgia and after a week of in-processing (aka doing not much of anything at all), it was announced Friday morning that he would be joining week #4 of Basic training. All along it was understood that he was exempt from Basic training since he is prior service. And because the WTC course in Oklahoma is a sort of refresher-course-in-place-of-Basic for prior service. Well the week #4 info came as one heck of a blow. Gunnar was assuming he would be put into week #8 or #7, worst case scenario. That was the word on the street anyway. Also, Gunnar's contract clearly states 14 weeks of Army training and this little set back makes it closer to 19 weeks. We were planning for an early-mid September graduation and now he is scheduled to graduate October 2nd.
Basic training is brutal. The drill sergeants are ruthless and he is really miserable. I understand this is how it is intentionally set up but Gunnar has been there, done that before and really doesn't belong there. All of his prior service buddies are in the same boat and all pretty upset about this. I'm pretty sure if they had known ahead of time that this was the plan, they all still would have re-enlisted, and would be better prepared, knowing what they're getting themselves into.
Gunnar's cousin (a fellow I've never met and lives somewhere in the southwest) is an Army recruiter. Gunnar gave me all his contact info in case I had any questions or needed anything while he's gone for the summer. I felt this little situation warranted an email to the guy. I asked Joel what in the world Gunnar is doing in Basic training at this stage in the game. Joel said he couldn't believe Gunnar was surprised to be in Basic again. Army policy states that any soldier out of the service for more than 48 months needs to complete Basic training again. Some good information that would have been nice to know a few months ago!
So it's going to be a long time till I see my Gunnar again. His phone was confiscated so we no longer can text or talk like we had been able to. He has called a few times from a pay phone but the lack of communication has been really hard. I can't believe it's going to be like this for another 10 weeks. He is sending me a letter every day, which is pretty awesome. But I am only sending him a letter once or twice each week. He has to do 25 pushups for each letter he receives. I feel terribly guilty knowing how hard he has to work to read what I write but I know he is thrilled to get the letters too. Damn drill sergeants.