Personal Narrative: Oceanside

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I had arrived for a two-week stay at the transit barracks of Camp Pendleton in California. We would stay here temporarily until we flew to our overseas base destination. They had told us that we were not allowed to leave the base prior to our flight. They probably believed that some of the newer soldiers might get themselves into trouble in Oceanside, or head for home with cold feet rather than leaving the United States for the next year.
There was not a lot to do or see on the base. I can only recall a few guys throwing a ball around outside and going to the base movie theater at night a few times. At least that is all I seem to recall of the time there. The area we were in was very dry with sparse vegetation, quite unlike what I was accustomed
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Twelve hours is a long time to sit in a confined area, even if you are able to get up and stretch a bit at times. I suppose leg room is a luxury on a plane after all. I looked out the window and viewed the ocean in all directions, seemingly as endless as the flight itself. The clear weather soon took a turn for the worst, the light fluffy clouds below turning darker and more ominous. Soon the plane is completely engulfed in the clouds. The seat belt sign lights up as the aircraft enters the turbulent air and the pilot’s voice issues over the speakers asking everyone to return to their seats. The stewardesses appear walking down the rows, checking everyone’s seat belts and ensuring all bags and loose items are secured. The turbulence gets worse and the pilot changes altitude to get out of the choppy air, but it was to no…show more content…
I arrived at a barracks building that looked much like the others. They were lined up in a row on a hillside, the view was excellent, and I could see the ocean and the coastline and most of the base below. As I walked into the building with my sea bag on my back, I immediately noticed a vending machine. It was filled with… beer? I thought to myself. A beer vending machine inside the barracks. This is going to be interesting. Perhaps that was the intent to help us cope with being away from home for an extended period of time.
I walked up a flight of stairs and entered a large open room, this was considered an “open squad bay” there were no individual rooms, just wall lockers and high-backed desks formed together to make pseudo rooms for three people. Each contained one bunk bed and one single bed. This was home. I set my bag down on the floor and headed downstairs to the working area. I was to report to the Chief Warrant Officer of my assigned unit. I looked forward to meeting the soldiers I would be living and working within tight proximity for the next year. I was nineteen years old. It turned out to be an interesting
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