The first page of today’s New York Times featured a photo of soldiers at Fort Jackson in their PT uniforms. I’ve been at Fort Jackson since Friday, acclimating myself to Columbia, the military base, and the weather. It’s hot down here in South Carolina, but the humidity of the weekend has pleasantly turned into a dry heat. At 6pm this evening I ran five miles in 95-degree weather and hardly broke a sweat. On my way to the track I scoped out Semmes Lake, a man-made body of water located on Fort Jackson; the trees surrounding it will look absolutely spectacular this autumn. I intend to spend some weekend afternoons there in October, sitting under a tree and reading a book.
I won’t bore you with details about my routine in the basic officer course. This week largely involves in-processing. I have just a few comments. Every time I drive along the main strip in Fort Jackson, Strom Thurmond Blvd., I’m going to think of racism and pork barrel spending. Today I went to the Strom Thurmond Soldier Service Center to get a decal for my car. I live in a one-bedroom apartment on the base and receive daily housekeeping services. My thirty-six classmates seem okay to me and the class advisor is superb. I’ll keep you updated periodically; but don’t worry, I won’t give you a daily account of my experiences here.