When last I posted here, I was set to ship to Navy Recruit Training Command, or Navy Boot. I did that. This post is about that.
On July 21st I flew out to basic. Arrival and P(rocessing)-days were as awful as everyone said they would be. Easily the worst aspect was dealing with all these fucking entitled 18 and 19 year olds that had never worked a job in their lives and went straight from mommy and daddy providing everything to the US government providing everything. Their drama, bullshit, and everything else was barely tolerable. Luckily there were a few other mid - late 20's guys that I bonded with pretty early one which kept me sane.
A year ago in August I had a Pilonidal Cyst removed, because apparently that's just one more way my genetics are fucked - on top of the heart disease, prostate cancer, melanoma, male pattern baldness, and horrific allergies my probably tennessee-inbred gene pool cursed me with. It was sucky. I was on a hold for 6 months after this surgery before I could do MEPS and start the bullshit process of enlisting. This is relevant.
I was in Delayed Entry Program (DEP) from beginning of march until I shipped in July. My recruitment office was in Denver, roughly a 28 mile commute from my apartment in Boulder. I had to make that drive at least once a week, sometimes twice, a few times thrice. This is on top of the lies, sick days, vacation time, and everything else I had to do to bend to the recruitment offices demands for my getting in - all the while being met with threats of being kicked out and not allowed to join. Lots of bullshit hoops. Lots of unnecessary stress to accommodate them while working full time. Very little leeway or meeting in the middle from them - i had to conform to their scheduling demands ONLY. There were multiple times when I did the 28 mile drive to the recruitment office to find that the recruiters had left to go to a meeting unannounced, with my own scheduled meeting at their office canceled unbeknownst or announced to me. Too much bullshit, but hey, I was joining to serve and it was the start of my sacrifice. It was worth it.
Real basic starts, and the bullshit early weeks go by uneventfully. I pass my swim qual. I pass my sit ups, my push ups, my run. I pass all the entrance medical exams. I do all the inoculations without issue. I get through everything annoying and start to get into the actual fun and interesting parts of basic training. I have all uniform pieces issued, including my dress uniforms. I'm in, I'm doing it, It's happening.
At the start of my fifth week of being at basic, my 3-3 day of training (p-days don't count and I was in them for a week and a half) I notice a pain near my tail bone with what I assume is a standard take a round of antibiotics and it goes away abscess. It fucking was, but that's besides the point. Since I'm on base and have tri-care and the government gives a shit about its property, I go to medical. This was August 16. The support officer that sees me diagnoses me with a glance as having a recurred pilonidal cyst, since this condition can recur and I've had it already. He immediately puts me in for a I&D. He cuts me open, drains it, packs it, and bandages it incredibly shittily.
He then proceeds to shatter my hopes and dreams in a single conversation.
He tells me that this is a medically disqualifying condition and even though it hadn't recurred after my surgery MEPS should never have allowed me to come to basic knowing this condition existed. This was fucking bullshit because it is NOT a medically disqualifying condition.
He tells me that because this could cause issues in the fleet which would have me off my feet for possibly weeks at a time and would hurt my shipmates, the Navy has been very wary about anyone with this condition. First I'd been fucking told about this.
He tries to tell me that I made fraudulent enlistment by joining with this condition. This was also fucking bullshit as all my paperwork from the procedure a year ago was in my file. He acknowledged this begrudgingly 25 minutes later.
He tells me that I am going to be administratively separated. He doesn't say it like that though. "Because you already had surgery on this and it happened again, we're sending you home. If you fight it and try to stay, you're going to be set back in training possibly a month and you will for sure lose your rate (job)." This hits me like a meteor.
Because it was a Sunday, and he wasn't the actual medical officer, he couldn't actually process my separation. He tells me I have to come back tomorrow but that I should prepare that I'm being kicked out of the Navy for this medical issue. He tells me that he's never seen anyone that'd had surgery on this condition with it recurring at basic get to stay.
I'm devastated. I cried more on August 16th than I ever had in my life. It was awful. I go back on the 17th, and am told I'm being separated for it since I'd already had surgery. I could fight it, but chances were very slim that I'd win since I already had a history of it. I ask if it was confirmed I had a cyst, to which I'm told that the Navy isn't going to do anything invasive to remove and test, but that the symptoms reflect that I do. She was actually kind and felt bad for me, but I'm pretty certain she had orders to not allow this condition through, regardless. She assured me that if I had another surgery after I got home, and then waited a year with no recurrence, I could then start the process over and re-enlist! She didn't realize she basically told me that I'd have to do all the hoops all over again at basically 31 instead of 28, and that there'd be no guarantee I'd get a job I wanted even if I did that. Oh, and I'd have to re-do all of basic including p-days.
I'm ASMO'd out of my division. They graduated this past Friday, the 18th of September. I was in SEPS (Separations) for 2.5 weeks. It was fucking hell.
SEPS is basically minimum security prison on base, but it's non punitive! They repeatedly tell you that being in SEPS isn't punitive. They wake you up at Rev, they inspect you for shaving, they lock you in a room, they take you out for morning chow, they bring you back, they lock you in a room. This rinses and repeats all day. They put you to bed before taps. Day in day out. You can write, read, talk, watch shitty movies on a tiny tv. You can't PT or do any kind of training. You can't leave or make calls or use internet or do anything freely - you can do these things at certain times at the NEX if time permits, which it never does. You have no freedom.
SEPS was fucking awful. It's seriously minimum security prison.
They sent me home on September 3rd. Unfortunately, I sold my car, quit my job, let my lease run out, and gave up my insurance to join the Navy. As a result, I'm now living with my parents in my shitty fucking home town in north east bum fuck tennessee. I'll be here for a few months at least to save and buy a car and move somewhere. My father isn't in the best of health so I'll probably stay closer for a few years at least, before heading back to the paradise that is the west.
The navy fucked me. And now I'm at square fucking one at the age of 28. Starting the grind all over again. So fuck off.
Or Kill Me.