Sunday, February 28, 2010

Tomorrow it begins...

Tomorrow is the first day of Brent's last challenges of boot camp. Sometime Monday, he'll have a chance to 'master' the "Confidence Chamber" exercise, also known as the Gas Chamber. (My guess is that Mark could shed more light on that exercise!) Then on Tuesday starting at 2AM, Brent begins the 'final exam' of his USMC recruit training. The Crucible is the culminating exercise that all recruits must complete in order to earn the title Marine. It's no easy chore! The Crucible is a physically and mentally challenging event that involves food and sleep deprivation and the completion of various obstacles for the potential Marine to negotiate. Each exercise and station is designed to reinforce the Marine Corps values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment. The Crucible includes:

*Traveling 48 miles on foot over the 54 hour time period
*Carrying 45 pound packs, their load-bearing vest (cartridge belt, bucket, poncho, cleaning equipment, and shelter half), their uniform, and an M16 A2 service rifle
*Completing 29 problem solving exercises and 36 training stations
*8 hours of sleep during the 54 hours, taken in two 4 hour blocks
*2 1/2 MREs (meals ready to eat) are available to each recruit during the 54 hours

There are over 400 recruits in Brent's training company, and all will participate in these exercises tomorrow and Tuesday 2AM to Thursday 8AM. When they finish Thursday morning, they will have earned the title Marine and will be awarded the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor emblem in a ceremony. Then they will receive their Warrior Breakfast--steak, eggs, pancakes, and juice!

Please keep Brent in your prayers as he finishes training. Some specific things to pray for Brent include:

*Health. Brent was very sick in January and has not yet fully recovered. He's been on light duty for a week because of a serious cough.
*Healing. He apparently has a wrist injury that has kept him out of some drills. He will need his wrists to work and be strong in order to complete The Crucible!
*Supernatural strength to finish strong
*A spirit of cooperation and teamwork amongst all the young men
*Awareness of the Lord's presence and a full reliance on God to complete this portion of his training.

As I was reminded again recently, my prayer during this time at boot camp has been for God to do what it takes to capture Brent's heart. My guess is he's pretty close to the bottom right now... I am excited to see what God can do!

PS I have some great pics taken today of the little guys in the backyard but probably won't post them for a bit. Brent's Crucible challenge is weighing heavy on my mind and heart right now.

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