My Journey in the Military: Trip to MEPS Day 1

I met with my recruiter again to sign more paperwork. It was a blast since this was the third time I initialed and signed some of these forms. When I got done I went over to the Armed Forces Recruiting Center to wait for a shuttle van.

It was actually kind of hard watching the guys going to boot camp say their good byes to their families. There was a 30-year-old who had his wife and kid with him. It was obvious they had said their good byes earlier and he was just trying to enjoy the time with his kid. The other one was a young man, I later discovered his name was Alec and he was only 17. His mom burst into tears and then left while his younger brother and his dad stood pretty solid.

The ride to MEPS was awkward. We tried to do some small talk between the eight of us but two guys who got on earlier had a real negative attitude. They were split option, so they had already gone to basic and were now going to AIT. I did talk with Alec a little bit. I was amazed at the fact he was only 17. His birthday will occur while he is at basic training. He was really nervous and shy, I hope he makes it ok.

When we got to Milwaukee we dropped off everyone but their were two of us who had to go to the federal building and take the AVSVAB that afternoon. I wished Alec good luck and we parted ways. The shuttle driver took us over to the MEPS building and after getting through security I was in the military world.

I was actually a tad disappointed in the size of the facility. Somehow I pictured hundreds of people processing at once. I do think they like confusing us new recruits as most of the directions they barked out consisted of 7-8 steps with multiple left and right hand turns. I did chuckle whenever I saw anyone mess up or look super lost; almost without fail they were joining the Marines. I feel sorry for Dave.

I’m not sure how I did on the AVSVAB, I didn’t know a lot of the math equations and the automotive killed me. I got done early, picked up my bag and wandered over to the hotel. We were staying at the Howard Johnson that is about a block and a half away. Its a nice place although it has an old building feel to it. After signing a bunch of rules I was issued my key and meal ticket.

My roommate had just finished his junior year of High School. He is on the Split Option and was already to MEPS once before, he had to come back because of a logistical error. All he has to do is take the oath and meet with a counselor; he’s not looking forward to waking up at 4am just to sit around until 1:30pm. He was a computer geek so we talked about UW-Whitewater and the MCS program for a while. He’s from Janesville and is most likely joining the Military Intelligence Unit in Madison; I’m guessing it’s the same one as me.

The night was very uneventful. I talked with a few guys at dinner about their experience. Most were split options and going to AIT. After dinner I just hung out in my room. The game room didn’t look too exciting and the fitness room was a joke. I was hoping to talk with Alec and one of the other guys I rode down with but couldn’t find them. I’m still a little nervous about tomorrow but it’ too late to chicken out now so I’m stuck. I was hoping to hear from someone from camp but nothing yet; hopefully all is going well with the Cubs…

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