Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rough week

Last week was really rough for Allen. He was called out a lot, and he's struggling with that. He did, however, get to go to a Lutheran service on Sunday. One of his good buddies, Villalobos, went with him, since they aren't allowed to go alone. Villalobos is Catholic, but gave up his Mass service to go with Allen since he knew that he hadn't been able to go to a Lutheran service yet. Allen was even asked by the pastor to help with Communion. He felt very honored by that. He's been shooting lots of sub machine guns and grenade launchers, which he likes, but of course the fun gets sucked out of it. Keep sending letters, cards. Please pray for courage and strength for him to get through the next weeks successfully. This will be the end of week 5 for him. 4 more to go! Thanks, everyone!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

First Class!

I know Allen sent out a lot of letters this week, but here's what he's been doing: He was commended by a DS at the shooting range last week. We all know how much Allen loves to shoot, so we shouldn't be too terribly surprised by this. The DS looked at his target and said, "Out-f***ing-standing, Blake! You'll kill some hadjies with shooting like that!" Don't be offended - I'm just relaying what he said. He also did really well in the grenade throwing. He only missed one target, so he earns a "First Class" pin for that "If I graduate." He still has that doubt in his mind, so please send encouraging messages to him! He's the only Lutheran out of 192 soldiers, so he's been going to the generic Protestant services. He says they're "ok," but he'd rather have a Lutheran service. His DS was less than enthusiastic about letting him go to a different part of base to attend a Lutheran service, but he's still going to try. His good buddy, Webster, will go with him if he can work it out. It sounds like those two are getting to be really close, which I am thankful for. Allen's not a 'lots-of-friends' guy. He's the 'one-or-two-close-friends' type. Webster is a family guy as well, and he wants to meet the people in Allen's pictures (I guess he talks about us a lot - imagine that!). Hey, at least he has new people to tell stories to! Keep the letters and prayers going! He really looks forward to any news at all. Even little stuff that you think is stupid makes him feel like he still has that connection. Also - prayers of healing for his knee, and prayers for his upcoming PT test on Saturday!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Saturday phone call

I was worried about this week's phone call, but Allen seems to be doing better. He said he's doing a better job of keeping his head above water, for which I am thankful. He's made some friends with the 9 guys that he shares a room with. One of them is a family guy just like him, so they clicked pretty fast. I'm glad he has someone to talk to there. This last week he got to go on the obstical course, work with the issue rifles, and throw live grenades. He said that the Army can suck the fun out of most anything. Throwing the grenade was pretty cool, though. His nickname is "Grandpa" or "hey, old man." He doesn't mind, and plays it up. They razz him about being the first one to bed and the first one up in the morning. They also remind him to take out his dentures before bed. He's doing better, but still needs lots of support from home. Make sure those cards, letters, and prayers keep going!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Crazy Outfit Day

For National Lutheran Schools Week, we had a dress-up schedule for school spirit. Crazy outfit day was Friday.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Another letter

We got another letter today. Yea! He went to the gas chamber. He says it's really, really nasty. I'm sure I could have guessed that. They go in with their masks on, and then have to take them off and stay in there for so long. He didn't say anything about puking on the DS's boots, so that's good, right Brad? :) There are some major screw ups in his platoon, so they're getting smoked a lot, and it's pretty rough. He's hoping that he gets some mail soon. He's practically begging for mail, so make sure to keep the letters (and prayers) going! Remember, he can't receive any food, or anything like that. His mail is inspected when he opens it, so if you send it, he'll get smoked for it. Not good. :(

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Allen's address updated

Hey everyone. I got a letter from Allen, and he's holding up ok. He wants lots of mail! In writing him letters, it needs to look like this, or it will get delayed. (First line)SPC Allen R. Blake (Second line)Co B, 2/10 (Third line)495 Iowa Ave, Unit 22 (Fourth line)Fort Leonard Wood, MO 65473-8958 (Reverse side of the envelope) 4th PLT

Monday, March 7, 2011

Allen's address

SPC Allen Blake, Co B, 2-10 Infantry, Unit 22, Fort Leonard Wood, MO 65473-8958 on the other side of the envelope put 4th PLT. Please send encouraging messages to him. He's really down because his knee and shoulder are giving him a lot of trouble. Graduation will be May 5th.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

First Mail

We got mail yesterday! Yea! Two letters, actually. One Allen wrote on Saturday, the other on Sunday. He said he was done processing, and would be shipped to his training unit on Monday. He already had blisters on his heels from his boots, but he has a pretty high pain tolerance. He said that he looks like a soldier, but doesn't really feel like one yet. I'm sure that's changed now that he's actually training. He's getting yelled at now, like a real soldier. :) He got to go to church on Sunday, which lifted his mood somewhat. Hopefully he'll be kept busy enough to not feel so down like he did in reception. He heard that the first 4 days are the worst, and he agreed. I should be getting his address within a week, and I will make sure to pass it on.