Douglas grad completes boot camp in Georgia

Davis Wanket graduated from Douglas High School in 2009 and just completed 14 weeks of vigorous training in boot camp at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia. He is assigned to the 2nd Battalion 58th Infantry Regiment. This was a huge climate adjustment for Wanket after spending his young life between San Diego and here in Douglas County. While in Georgia he said the temperature was over 100 degrees every day with the heat index putting the temperature upwards of 128 degrees on some days. When it rained, he said two drops would fall and then run for cover because it would just start dumping buckets.

The average day started at 5 a.m. with one hour of physical training. Chow was at 6:30 a.m. He really thought the food was excellent quality with many choices at each meal. They would return to the barracks to pack up the gear they would need for the day and at 9:30 a.m. drive up to the range. The gear was then unpacked in a very strict order. The young men would break off into smaller groups and they would alternate between stations so each soldier would be able to do each drill. A drill sergeant would teach how to cover fire; a pair at a time would practice alternate bounding. The next rotation was the shooting range which was Wanket's favorite. They practiced with M4 rifles, automatic M240 machine guns, AT-4 grenade launchers, hand grenades and claymore mines. While out in the field the kitchen sent out a buffet style chow line for them to help themselves.

By the time they returned to the barracks it was time to clean their gear and complete weapons maintenance. After dinner they cleaned the barracks until 8 p.m. when they were granted one hour of free time if they earned it for showers, writing home or reading. Lights out at 9 p.m. One thing I found peculiar, if he received more than one letter or package from home a day, he would get penalized 25 push-ups.

They day before graduation they all dressed up in their Class A uniforms and were presented their blue infantry cords. Wanket spent this past 16 days here at home catching up with family and friends. Last Sunday Wanket flew out to his duty station in Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks, Alaska. That might mean I'll have to take a road trip sometime in the next few years.

Be safe Davis, we will miss you until we see you again and happy 20th birthday. Love Mom.

Lisa Welch is a Johnson Lane resident and can be reached at 267-9350.


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