Not your typical summer vacation

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Not your typical summer vacation

Senior Alex Newton spent his summer at Army National Guard boot camp.

Senior Alex Newton spent his summer at Army National Guard boot camp.

Trevin Robinson

Senior Alex Newton spent his summer at Army National Guard boot camp.

Trevin Robinson

Trevin Robinson

Senior Alex Newton spent his summer at Army National Guard boot camp.

Trevin Robinson, Staff Writer

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Saint Louis High School is home to hundreds of students, and all students have their own interesting summer breaks like senior Alexander Newton. Alex Newton went to basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina for the Army National Guard. His expectations were high for basic training, but they were not met. In Alex’s words, “ For me, I expected Basic Combat Training to be harder. It didn’t meet my expectations as it was disappointing on the activities we did and how calm the Drill Sergeants were.”

Newton was in basic training for a total of 10 weeks. One week was at reception and the other 9 weeks at the actual camp training and learning the basics of combat. Newton added that he did have free time and he stated that,  “In my free time, I would write letters, work-out and talk with the friends I made there. Although I didn’t get much time to do those things, I made the best of it.”

Newton’s living conditions were relatively normal compared to living at home. He said, “I lived in barracks or bays and had to keep them clean and tidy for inspections. Overall, I would say for the military it was pretty normal.” He also added that what he did every day depended on what phase the day was on. During the red phase, he would wake up and work on personal hygiene or during the white phase, he would go the range all day to work on his aim.

The National Guard’s main use is to respond to all national emergencies and be trained and ready for mobilization of war. As stated in their mission statement, “ During peacetime each state National Guard answers to leadership in the 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia. During national emergencies, however, the President reserves the right to mobilize the National Guard, putting them in a federal duty status.” 

While Newton was gone for 10 weeks he felt like he was missing out on things at home. Newton stated, “While I was away, I felt like I was missing out hanging with my friends and family activities.“ He added that thinking about his friends and family was difficult, but he still pushed himself through the day.