Wednesday, January 2, 2008

David's Dec. 11 letter

We received the following letter on Jan. 2, 2008. It was written Dec. 11-16, 2007 so this letter was actually written before the Dec. 23 letter previously received.

Dear Family,
Well, we are up North. It is cold here in the morning... like 45F. Since we do not have coats we can wear we freeze at "snapping in". All it is, is aiming at a barrel and practicing dry firing in different shooting positions. So we have had 2 days. All we have learned is the prone position and how to sight in our M16 H2 rifles.
Today, we had a 3 mile hump with about 30 lb. packs. Well, got to go to church Bible study.

16 Dec. 2007--Sunday!

I have been really busy. All day we would practice shooting positions and shooting techniques. Wednesday, we went to the range and shot at 30 yards to sight in our rifles. I failed but my sights were so far off so that is why. Every evening, we play stupid mind games and rip off tags that we have sewn onto our bags. So I am getting quite good at sewing little X's to connect tags to bags. Meals up here are probably better than down south. Also, everything is dirtier. We are cleaning constantly in free time. We have been preparing for field week. (like practicing setting up our 2 person tents. Everything about shooting is leading up to next week. This week, we shoot every day and we practice till our shooting test next Friday. In the test, everything is done without resting the rifle on anything.
(Then David includes a fairly detailed chart of the test and diagrams of several targets.)
Each score is with a max if 5 points, so a max. of 25. 220+ is expert. 210+ is sharp shooter. 190+ is marksman. 189 and below is a fail.
So now you know what shooting I am going to be doing. It is tough. So you can pray I pass. I would like to shoot expert, but we will have to see how well I shoot. If I fail, I am dropped back a week and I will give you a phone call.
Now we do not receive mail as much here, but it is exciting when we get some. Let me tell you what happened last night:
All Platoons in MIKE Company marched to the chapel. Then, we went into it and had a contemporary praise service. All of MIKE Company! It was led by Calvary Chapel of L.A. Next an older gentleman who is a marine who fought in WW II Pacific Iwo Jima, Okinawa...and then fought in Korea and was one of the frozen chosen of the Chosen Reservoir. Then a pastor spoke on Hell and the need to accept Jesus. A great Salvation message! Finally, they had an altar call and probably 80 Marines went forward. Praise, the Lord! Then, they passed out dog tags with Joshua 1:9 and "Marines for Jesus" on it. This was something everyone was "forced" to go to! Christianity is still alive in America. Anyway, I had better go. Please write back! I love getting your letters and hearing what you are up to.
I have found a little time to read my Bible, but it is still a challenge.
Christ's Soldier,
James 5:7-9 (the passage for the message today)
P.S. Yesterday, we did a 5-8 mile hike with 50-60 lb. packs and combat gear-up and down hills. It was fun except I had to scream out knowledge the whole time.

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