Sunday, December 14, 2008

Packages for Katie

Sorry! I completely forgot to add that Katie can receive whatever you want to send her. She can have food, electronics, etc. AIT is much more lax than Basic was.


My children and I are sitting here watching "A Christmas Story" and enjoying it. It's one of our family's favorites.

Our wonderful friend agreed (thanks to his amazing and wonderful wife who is also my best friend) to come and take a family picture of us for our Christmas cards. I'm so excited to get them sent out.

Katie will be her in 7 days!!! She is flying in at midnight on the 21st. She flies back on the 2nd. Then she will graduate in March and be home for good. She isn't writing letters anymore because she has phone privileges so we talk to her daily. It's nice.

We have some great pictures of our trip back to see her graduate from Basic Training. I'll add some soon. It was a fantastic opportunity to watch all those soldiers make the commitment to serve our country. We had tears in our eyes and goose bumps littering our skin when they chanted the Soldier's Creed. The last line states firmly that they are American Soldiers. What an experience!

Jeffrey Tanner is taking his ASVAB this week, hopefully. He will ship out to Basic in the summer if all goes well. Then we'll have more letters to post from another soldier. :0)

You hear all the time about the blessings parents and families receive when they have a missionary. I can attest to you all that we are receiving some fantastic blessings from having our daughter serve our country. I truly believe the Lord blesses those who are willing to sacrifice their time, talents and energies.

Have a wonderful Holiday Season! We sure will. Our whole family will be together again. We understand so well how quickly that opportunity is slipping away. The children are growing and leaving and we are blessed to be together. Who knows what the year ahead will bring, so for now, we'll celebrate!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Katie's Address at Ft. Lee

She's there! We got her safely delivered after a long, but fun drive. I have pictures I'll post of our trip and her graduation. It was a fabulous experience and worth every minute! We got to see Savannah, GA and states I thought we'd never get to go to. It is amazingly beautiful back East.

Anyway, you can now write to her again. She comes home at Christmas from the twentieth through the second. Then she comes home for good, unless deployed, in February. The chances of deployment are pretty slim.

We're still waiting on the ok for care-packages. As soon as Katie gives us the what she can or can't have, we'll let ya know!

So for now here is her address:

Katelynn M. Sorensen
India Company, 262 QM BN PLT 7
Bldg 9300 A Ave
Ft. Lee, Virginia

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Letter 26: Graduation is here!

Oct. 29, 2008

Hi Family!

So I have the best news ever!!! Ok so Monday, I took my final PT test right? And I failed by 3 sit-ups or 5 points, technically. Well yesterday, the drill sergeant called some people's names and she said you all are the ones who got a 50% or higher in all 3 events , so you're retaking the PT test tomorrow with Alpha.

So today we woke up, went down there and took our PT test again. And guess how well I did!? Well I did 31 push-ups, 56 sit-ups and ran 17:32!! So in other words...


I get to graduate!!! I'm so freaking happy!!! Like I had to refrain from jumping up and down.

I just had to write and tell you that. :)

Mkay I'm going to sleep.



P.S. Mom when you guys come, can you bring Twix, Snickers, Reese's, Ding Dongs and a Dr. Pepper please?! I'm just dying for some sweets!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Letter 25: Some things good, some things bad

Oct. 27, 2008

Hi Family!

Ok I've got good news, bad news, good news, and other news.

Good news will be last. Bad news, I didn't pass my last PT Test. I was 3 freaking sit-ups away! I was so mad!! I did 50 altogether but it still wasn't enough. I should get two more chances to retake it but I don't know. I might have to redo it on family day. I really hope not. But I did improve. I went from doing 35 to 50 so that's not bad.

Ok good news: I may not have passed sit-ups, but I did pass my push-ups and my run. Remember how I need 19 push-ups and my run in 18:54? Well... last time I did 18 push-ups and my run in 18:36. This time (BIG SMILE) I did 34 push-ups and my run in 17:32!!! I was way happy about that!

Ok, my other news ... I need ya'll to stop sending letters. :( because we go to Victory Forge on Friday and then we clean and prepare for Graduation. I'll still write, you just can't write back. (pass on the information please)

I'm enclosing a few post cards too. Just of things I've done here. They're pretty nifty I think.

But I'll send you my AIT address when I get it.

Millions of hugs and kisses



Letter 24: Souvenirs Gallore

Oct. 26, 2008

Dear Family,

Hi! How's it going? Me, I'm doin ok. I have my final PT test tomorrow. Eeks! Wish me luck! I'll pass it though. I got a blessing today to help me and comfort me. So I should be ok. But wish me luck just in case.

We are finally on our 8th week! It's gone by so freaking fast! At first it seemed like the time was slowly ticking by and now it's speeding. That means only two more weeks with these freaking females! Thank goodness!!! So we go do Victory Forge on Friday. I'm so excited! That should be interesting.

Oh I bought my platoon t-shirt. Yeah I've spent way too much money here lol. I bought my platoon t-shirt, a sweatshirt, some U.S. Army shirts that are way freaking cool, and a jacket that is kinda like a Letterman's jacket only it's for the army. Then I bought my pictures and the yearbook and the DVD. Yeah it's fun.

Um I think that's about it. We did Omaha already if I haven't told you yet. That was fun. There were a lot of mud puddles on the range and we all dove into them! Our uniforms are so dirty! lol And it's funny because the other platoons came back not dirty and our DS was like, "That's what a platoon should look like" to the other platoons. He said they didn't do it properly because they weren't dirty.Yeah it was great.

But I'm going to bed. Long day tomorrow.

Love and miss you!



Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Letter 23: "Vegas, you're a fighter..."

October 18,2008

Dear Mom, Dad, Jeff, Kyle, Karlee, Maggie, Natalee, and Jacob,

Hi guys! How's it going? I hope you all are doing well. Me, at the moment in time am sore. We have done combatives for two days in a row. That was so much fun! The first day we did it I got my butt kicked. But that 's only because the girl I fought cheated. She used her finger nails and bit and grabbed hair. Yeah it wasn't fun at all. The second time however, I won. That was a much better fight because the girl didn't cheat. My drill sergeant (DS Pellew) came up to me afterwards and said, "Vegas, you're a fighter. I didn't think you had it in you." Ever since he found out I was from Vegas he's called me that. Which is pretty cool, I guess.

Um we go on our 3 day tomorrow. That should be interesting. I really ope my platoon doesn't screw up on that one. It would really suck if they did. Who knows what DS Stephens would do to us. We'd probably get 0 hours of sleep. It's a 6 mile walk there. Yeah, not too excited about that. I hope I don't fall out. Keep prayers for me!!

Oh I got good news! I did 50 sit ups today! Can I get a high five? I think I did them in 2 min. But I don't know. I'm planning on doing more tonight (timed) just to make sure I can do my 53 in 2 minutes. Hopefully I can. Cross your fingers.

Um what else can I tell you ... Um shoot I really don't know what else to tell you. Oh next week is supposed to be all mandatory training. We have our 3 day, Nic at Night, Omaha and some other stuff. Oh yeah and grenades! I'm excited about that one! Oh yeah and our final PT test is on the 27th. Eek! I'm kinda nervous but I know I'll do good. I'll let you know how that goes. Well I'm off to go knock out some push ups and sit ups before I go to sleep.

I love and miss you all!



P.S. We are now on our 7th week!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Letter 22: It's amazing what starts to look good when you're away from civilization!

Oct. 13, 2008

Hey Family,

What's going on? I'm bored. Today was one of the easiest days in BCT ever. We watched movies and did a mini talent show with one of the Drill Sergeants. That was interesting.

So the males here are starting to look really cute. Lol They weren't kidding when they said after a few weeks some of those males would look cute. Yeah. They were right. But I'm behaving of course. :)

I'm starting to get use to the food here. Now I'm not as hungry and I can't seem to eat as much as I use to. And I use to eat a lot. But I eat Cheerios at least once a day for breakfast. They're really good.

Oh! We got to sleep in till 5:30 this morning. I never thought I'd say that I jumped for joy because I had to wake up at 5:30 in the morning.

Um I think that's everything. I miss you all! Keep writing me and everything!

Love and miss you!




Letter 21: PT Tests

Oct. 11, 2008

Hey Family!

So we had our 3rd PT test today. I didn't pass my sit ups or my push-ups but oh my gosh I came so close. Like I'm suppose to have 53 sit-ups and 19 push-ups. My run is suppose to be 18:54. I did 18 push-ups, 35 sit-ups and my run was 18:36 or 38. I'm so proud of myself! I have so much more confidence in myself now!

Oh Mom! I need Mentholatum! No one here knows what it is lol. And I know it'll help if I get another cold or if I have bruises etc. etc.. I love that stuff! And pictures! I could use more pictures!

Um other than that there really isn't anything new to report. We do our 3 day next Sunday and combatives sometime this week or next. I can't remember.

Oh! If you want, mom and dad, you can drive me to AIT after graduation. If you want more details on that I'll tell you.

But I'm going to sleep. It was a long day!!!

Love and miss you all!


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Letter 20: IVs and a Great Day!

Oct 9, 2008


Hi everyone! So today has been the ultimate best day of the entire cycle!

We are the only platoon that is in White phase! All 3 of the other platoons are in Red phase! When the 1st Sgt. asked the platoon Sgts if they were ready I swear I felt like our DS was going to say we weren't ready. But we were! All 3 of the platoons were so jealous! It ROCKS! lol

I've improved on my sit ups. Today I did 49 in 3 mins. but that's not bad. Going from 15 to 49. Can I get a high five? Oh and tomorrow we get to shoot our M16s at night. That sounds like so much fun. We're also doing combatives soon. That'll be interesting.

Oh, lol we got to do first aid today. OMGOSH! That was an experience! We poked each other with IVs. Luckily my buddy paid attention. It was a great learning experience. Of course my veins were practically invisible but luckily I only got poked once.

Oh the coolest letter arrived today. I got my own personal letter from Elder Oaks from the 70. I was so excited. It really helped. I'll send it or a copy if you want it.

What else? Nothin else I can really think of at the moment.

How's everything in Vegas? Is it cold yet? What are you doing for Halloween? Are you going to Homecoming Jeff? Or did you go? Do I get pics?! lol Ok I think I'm good for the night.

I love and miss you all!



Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Letter from The Seventy

October 1, 2008

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Sorensen:

We recently learned that Katelynn has joined the military and is attending basic training at Ft. Jackson, SC. We are pleased to inform you that she has been attending the Church services on base and are grateful for the spirit she brings to the meetings. President Robinson is the Church leader at Ft. Jackson and will do all he can to help strengthen Katelynn's faith and testimony. We appreciate your support and know you join with us in asking that the Lord will guide and protect her during this time of uncertainty and turmoil in the world.

In these troubled times, it is heartwarming to see sons and daughters courageously step forward to help preserve our freedom and way of life. You can be proud of the part you played in molding Katelynn's character. Courage and patriotism do not come automatically; they are planted in the hearts of children by their parents. We express our gratitude to you for your selfless service in her behalf.

We have a deep and abiding interest in Katelynn's welfare and want to ensure the blessings of Church membership are available wherever she is stationed. As military members move around, occasionally they are unable to find out where and when the Church meetings are held. Our Military Relations Division can assist them. Likewise, we are able to help concerned parents locate the bishop or branch president where their son or daughter is stationed. In addition, many times we can assist in locating the name of a group leader aboard a ship or at a deployed location around the world.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact the Military Relations Division .... We know that the Lord is mindful of Katelynn and the challenges she will face as she valiantly serves in the military.


Robert C. Oaks

["...of the Presidency of the Quorums of the Seventy,(a retired four-star general and commander of NATO air forces in Central Europe)"] www.LDS.Org, 10-08-08 (search results)

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Powder Puff and Homecoming

Yes, it is Little Jeff. He is all dressed up with some where to go. He is one of the cheerleaders for his high school's Powder Puff game. The game is played by the girls who deck themselves up in the football garb while the boys try their best to ... well... try their best.

They do this yearly at Homecoming. It's quite a spectacle and a load of fun!

Speaking of Homecoming, I failed to announce Karlee's candidacy for Homecoming Queen! She was nominated for the Freshman Queen but won't find out if she was chosen until the dance. We'll keep you informed. :)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

In Other News ...

The rest of the family is doing really well.

Natalee made the chorale at her school and is very excited. This is a good place for her.
Jacob loves his new glasses even though the kids did call him four eyes. He decided it was more important to be able to see than worry what they had to say. Kudos to him.
Maggie is Maggie. :) She is writing and we are looking into some children's venues to submit a few of her things.
Karlee's volleyball team is doing really well. She usually starts and ends the games. She's doing fantastic and plans on trying out for softball.
Kyle has found his niche. He is excelling in Auto-tech. He always was a hands-on kinda kid.
Jeffrey Tanner has fallen in love with the guitar and practices non-stop. He is getting good!
You all know about Katie. :)
Big Jeff is plugging along at his job. Still looking for something new, but that will happen when it's supposed to. He had the privilege of baptizing a woman in our ward a week ago. He was touched by her asking and it was beautiful.
June just got notification that one of her stories will be published in a Science Fiction/Horror Anthology next summer. She's getting paid a whopping $14! And is thrilled that she is!

That's about it. We'll update again soon.

Letter 19: Gee Ma I wanna go but they won't let me go ...

Oct. 1, 2008

Hey family!

Wow it's October already? Time is going by so fast. And it's Wednesday! Wow. Well we did some more BRM today making it a LONG day! And some how we pissed off one of our Drill Sergeants and he made us sprint, army press and forward lunge all through a sand pit for a good 1/2 hour or more. Oh it sucked! And we were in full battle rattle. So I am exhausted!

I got Sister Taylor's letter. It helped cheer up my day.

Oh man you have no idea how bad I wanna go home right now. I mean I'm pushing myself but I just miss you all so bad and so much. Plus I wouldn't mind being lazy at the moment. lol No but mainly it's because I miss you all. I didn't think moving away from home would feel like this. sigh

Oh! Mom you gotta try this new thing. OK for dinner I had fried pork chops and OMGOSH! They were so good! All you do is make them like you make fried chicken except use pork chops! I highly recommend it.

I'm still on the verge of killing some females. I'm telling ya that is part of the worst parts of BCT. Um I still haven't gotten Elder Taylor's letter. Either it's on the way or lost. But I dunno.

What else ... We qualify with our weapons in about a week and unfortunately we are still in red phase. I really wish we'd change to white phase. That way we'd be closer to getting this over and done with.

Oh and I got paid!

Oh yeah and Jeff I figured out your birthday present. hehe But it'll be a late one since I won't be able to get it to you or buy it until I get back home.

So I finally have a best friend at basic training. Her name is Elyssa and she is way cool. We hang our at least every night at free time.

But yeah, I need to go to sleep.

I love you all!



Thursday, October 2, 2008

Letter 18: Is Cheesecake contraband??

Sept. 29, 2008

Hey Family!

Man I miss you guys! 5 more weeks to go! The heavens are singing! Keep me in your prayers!

Oh so I did finally find out what's going on with graduation! I don't leave early after all. I do graduate with my company and all that jazz. So I get my family day and everything! Graduation is November 14th! Ok? So you should be getting a packet that has all the info on graduation in a few weeks. But family day will be on the 13th Nov. 2008 mkay? I think it starts at like 8:00 or something like that. Oh well I don't care. I'm just so freakin glad that I get to walk across the field and have my family day!

Also I ordered my pictures of me in my uniform and all that. It was expensive as heck but it's worth it. I got one of me in my uniform (includes wallets and other stuff) one of my whole platoon, one of the cadre, one of me in my dress greens and also a yearbook and a yearbook dvd. All that together it added up to like $124. But that's not bad. And it's totally worth it. On the dvd is all of the pictures that they took during training. I can't wait to see them! So we'll have to make copies of the other ones to send out to people. Like grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc..

Um so today was an ok day. I'm really tired but that's normal. That comes from training and not getting enough sleep.

Oh Mom, it was so nice to finally talk to you! I never realized how much I could miss the sound of your voice. I still can't believe that you smushed Maggie's fingers! Maggie are your fingers ok? lol I send kisses to make them better!

So there's this guy here who's name is Tate and he's been here for 24 weeks! I feel so bad for him. He missed half a cycle because of surgery but he knows a lot about training so he helps people out a lot. Which is nice. Makes this less of a mell of a hess.

We go to the range again tomorrow. Hopefully I can get it this time. Cross your fingers.

Oh you'll never believe what I ate today. Cheesecake. I know I'm not supposed to eat it but it was so good. One piece won't hurt. :D hehe

Have you gone and seen any new movies that are out? I can't even remember what new ones came out. *sigh* I miss television.

Oh! Can you talk to David for me about working with him when I come home for Christmas cuz I only get a few leave days and after those get used up the start taking my pay. And tell him to write me! I could use a few more letters of encouragement. lol

There was something else I wanted to tell ya'll but I honestly can't remember. lol Christmas isn't coming soon enough though I can promise you that!

Um um um Oh Jeff, would you like me to send you some cadences? They're pretty much like motivational songs. You know like, "everywhere we go people wanna know who we are so we tell them we are the Army the mighty mighty Army". That's one. I'll send more if you want some. And I'll teach you some also. They're lots of fun.

But I gotta go.

Love and miss you all so much!



Letter 17: Food?? Where ... I'm starving!

Sept. 28, 2008

Hey family,

How's it going? I miss you all terribly!

So we are finally on our 4th week of BCT! Yay! 5 more weeks to go!

We did our zeroing yesterday and I failed miserably. I was so depressed. But what can you do? Guess I gotta try harder. Oh well.

I'm sitting in church right now. And I have at least 9 bug bites on my right arm and they are itchy! Really sucks.

Um there really isn't anything new that I can think of.

I'm always hungry. Yet I eat enough food for two people. Like this morning we ate chow at 8:00 or 7:48 something like that and I had two pancakes, a McMuffin thingy, a yogurt, an apple and something else but it was a lot of food! And somehow I'm still hungry. Oh well.

So tell me about Vegas. Is it cold yet? It's cold here and I swear all it does is rain. But it's kinda nice I guess. I don't really know ...

Oh yeah. Sundays rock! They're easy days and we get to sleep in for like and hour. It ROCKS!

Ok, I'm going to listen to the speaker but I love and miss you all!



Letter 16: Colder than a dead man in a freezer ...

Sept. 26, 2008

Dear Family,

Hi! I miss you all like crazy!

So we did our shooting and we are almost in white phase. I think by next week we'll be there! I'm so excited!!!!!! So for shooting, we had to group which is where you want at least 6 out of 10 of your shots in a tight 4cm circle. I got 8 out of 10! :D I was so happy when the DS told me that! And I was only like 3 clicks away from hitting dead center. I had to strain to resist myself from jumping up and down on the range.

So we are so close to going into white phase! Our DS said that possibly by next week we should be squared away and phased. I really hope so! That'll make my day!

It is beyond freezing here! It rained since about 19:00 yesterday to about 15:00 today it stopped but continued again around 17:00. Then I think it's done. But man it was colder than a dead man! Correction, a dead man in a freezer! I was so cold! Really sucked.

But anways how are all of you? Anything new happen? Are you writing me??? You better be! Or else! I will beat you when I get home and that's a promise!

Oh funny thing, there are geese that fly in on post and if you hit them, you can get fined 10 grand or go to jail. So one of the DS was yelling at them to get our of the way & off the road (yelling like they were soldiers) and they moved in a marching formation. It was funny!

Well I need to go to sleep.

I love and miss you all.



Monday, September 29, 2008

Letter 15: I think I like church now...

Sept. 21, 2008

Dear Family,

I'm sitting in church at the moment and they just finished with passing out the sacrament. You can see the difference in those that are members and those that are not. It feels wonderful to be at church! I can't believe how much I've missed it.

There are Elders & Sisters here and even a Patriarch. Lots of people are sleeping, which is really funny. I'm wide awake and alert. :D There's a couple of cute guys here too. tehehehe

The Bishop is kinda monotone but he's old. So I guess he can get away with it. lol

So we do our first field training tomorrow. We actually go and sleep in the woods for one night then train. We have 3 of them all together: a one day, a 3 day and a 7 day. I'm excited!

So for those that don't go to church they get stuck cleaning. Really sucks. But before I left I saw them cleaning with the buffer and it was so funny! Half the girls couldn't control it so they kept running into lockers and bunkers. Oh I was on the ground laughing so hard!

The guy that is talking right now, he's talking about family & it lasting forever and man it's making me miss you all more! *sigh* Wish I could be with you all. I'll tell you what, Christmas isn't coming soon enough.

Man I am tired. David wasn't kidding, church is a good time to catch up on some much needed sleep. But I'm fighting it cuz I wanna hear the talks.

Oh so there's this chick in my bay who I wanna beat the living heck out of. She is so rude! She called me fake. Put me in tears. Grr. Sorry ok, new topic.

I failed my 2nd PT test. But I did do better. I still need to work on my push-ups. Only did 4. But I did 25 sit-ups which was better than last time. Since it was only 14 I did. My run wasn't good though. I don't remember what it was though. I just don't wanna be recycled. Guess I just need to push myself harder, right?

It's starting to get cold here too. Really sucks cuz I'm freezing! But I gotta go pay attention.

Love and miss you all!

Love always,

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Letter Number 14: What a gas!

Sept. 19,2008

Dear Mom, Dad, Jeff, Kyle, Karlee, Maggie, Natalee and Jacob,

Hi! So the second week of basic training is almost complete! Hooah! I'm totally counting down. I even made a calendar on my notebook! lol

So today we did the gas chamber. Oh my gosh that stuff burns! And it feels as if you are getting suffocated and gagged. The gas makes your nose run off of your face and your eyes water. I dunno the best way to explain what it smells like, but in a way it kinda smells like the after smell of fireworks. Only it makes your nose burn and makes you gag. I think that was the least favorite part of my training so far. It was terrible. Ok when you first get in there, you get told to break your seal. You then have to sound off with your full name, social (full), rank and drill sergeant at the end. After that you reseal your mask then wait for the drill sergeant to tell you to take your mask off. Then you say the soldier's creed and they push you out with snot running down your face and your eyes burning. Yeah it really sucks.

Before that we did this obstacle course called "Fit to Win". That was fun! We had to climb over walls, under tunnels, through windows, on monkey bars, and in the mud, army crawl under barbed wire. It was so much fun!

I got another letter from you guys today, just haven't been able to read it yet. *sigh* I'll read it tonight and write you back tonight.

Well I can't think of anything else to write to you all, but I love and miss you very, very much!

I love you!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Letter Number 13: Anybody for a mud bath?

Sept. 17, 2008

Hey Family!

So today was a great day! We marched up to our place for bayonet training and mini combatives. The bayonet training was fun! We had an obstacle course we had to run through that was covered with dummies you had to hit, walls you had to jump over, pits you had to fall into and my personal favorite, mud! We had to jump in it, crawl in it, walk/run through it. Oh my gosh it was fun! And there are things we say when drill sergeants say things, like one time they say, what makes the green grass grow and we respond with blood! blood! blood makes the green grass grow! Crazy stuff like that.

Then we sing akadas which are songs/chants and they get stuck in your head all day long. But it keeps you motivated. I'll have to teach you guys some. Oh and Jeff you need to learn the Soldier's Creed. Very important! If you need the words I have them.

Um... I cut my hair. Did I tell you that? It's very short! But cute.

I am getting sick again, cold but nothing to worry about. And my legs are so sore from running! We run EVERY day. At least a mile or more. Really sucks, but I have muscle definition now. :D Makes me happy. Well it's 22:00 I need to go sleep.

I love you guys! Millions of hugs & kisses.


Letter Number 12: Hair? What hair?

Sept. 15, 2008

Dear Family,

Howdy Howdy Hi! So I keep looking at the pics you sent and I end up missing you more.

Today was an ok day. We learned how to fight with bayonets today. It was so much fun! We get to actually shank a dummy tomorrow along with hitting people around with REALLY big Q-tips. I'm so excited!

Um, on Friday we have the gas chamber dun dun dun. And Saturday is our PT test. Yay ... not. But the Drill Sergeant said that if you live in L.A. that you should probably not have any problems with it because of all the smog. Well Vegas does have lots of smog so I might get lucky. (crosses fingers)

:D You'll never believe what I did to my hair... I cut it. Yup it's all gone. It's about as short as Kyle's maybe but I have bangs that come to my chin and I pull them back but it's way cute! And so much easier!

But I need to go to sleep. Long day.

Love you!


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Letter Number 11: Victory and a mean Drill Sergeant

Sept. 14, 2008

Hey family,

Ok, so I did Victory Tower today and it was so freaking fun! That tower is freaking huge! The picture doesn't do it justice. I had a blast though! I climbed 3 ropes in 3 different ways, then climbed a rope again and a ladder. Then I repelled down that long wall. Oh my goodness it was so much fun! And after that we had to swing across a gaping hole that was on the 3rd floor tip top. So much fun!

I seriously don't suggest living with 60 other females. You get to the point where you wanna pull your hair out! I'm not even kidding!

So I met my other drill sergeant today. We have 3 but the other one was on leave. He's mean. But they're drill sergeants so what can you do?

My ankle's better. I was able to keep up with the company. Which was a miracle. Last foot march I wasn't.

My cold came back though. *sigh* Really sucks.

But I need to go to bed. Another long day tomorrow. I love you all!


She sent a few cards to us and enclosed was a picture of the tower she talks about. I will try to post a picture of it by tomorrow.

Letter Number 10: Ice cream for breakfast?

Sept. 11, 2008

Hey family,

Ok, so I went on my sick call and was in and out before my row march to Land Nav.. That was the longest walk I've ever done! So far at least. My ankle hurts so bad. It's still really swollen. :(
But I should be able to do Victory Tower on Sunday. I just gotta push myself. Keep me in your prayers!

We wore our ACH's and LBD's today. They are so hot. I never knew I could sweat so much in my life.

Oh so the "higher ups" wanted the drill sergeants to tell us that we have to eat ice cream. Which is really weird. So now it's a must have. For breakfast, lunch and dinner. Yum. Also in our MRE's if there's candy, in my platoon we can eat it. I'm like sweet! I had some Reese's Pieces and a poppy seed pound cake! (mouth drops) Oh it was good!

So since today was Sept. 11 we had a little moment of silence and all that, it was nice. Nothing to special though.

Ok, I lost my pen grr. Put it down for two seconds and it's missing. *sigh* Oh well. Oh by the way, I passed my land nav :) Got 3 out of 5 points but I passed! Have ya'll written me back yet?
I haven't gotten anything but they say it takes a while for mail to get here. Did I tell you I can do correct push-ups yet? I'm good on that subject. :) I need to work on my sit-ups though. *sigh*

But I gotta go eat some chow ... again. I swear that's all we do.

Love and miss you all!


Monday, September 15, 2008

Letter Number 9: Yes! Basic is tough :(

Sept. 10, 2008

Hey family,

So today pretty much sucked. My ankle is swollen to the size of a soft ball at most and my blisters have popped, closed, reopened and formed more blisters on top of that.

So Victory Tower, we didn't get to do it because it had rained and it would've been too dangerous to climb down. Also I wouldn't have been able to do it since my ankle hurt so bad. And we walked there, and I couldn't even keep up with the rest of the formation. So I was way in the back with the first sergeant. And this other girl Webb. We both were in so much pain. But she has bad circulation and mine was just blisters. *sigh* So now I have to go to sick-call to see what they can do for my ankle. Any kind of training I miss, I have to make up. *tears*

Oh. So we were at Victory Tower and our platoon wasn't behaving properly and were getting on the drill sergeant's nerves so we had to get into the front leaning reposition (which is push-ups)on the rocks. We must've been there for a good ten - fifteen min. and the Colonel and Lieutenant saw it so our drill sergeant got yelled at. So they said he needed to calm down, not cuss at us and don't yell. After that we had the easiest day. Hardly any push-ups, no yelling when something went wrong that kinda thing. But it got like a broken record after a while because people weren't doing the right thing so he'd continue saying the same thing over and over and over again. I was so annoyed!

UGH. I don't recommend sharing a bay with 60 females from the ages of 18-34 or something. You start to want to kick some females' butts on the for real! UGH!

OK, I'm going to attempt to sleep.

I love you and miss you all!


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Letter Number 8: *singing* ..."It's not heavy, it's your uniform"

Sept. 9, 2008

Hey Family!

Man I miss you guys! So how are things going?

So it's like the 4th day but it feels like it's been forever. Our days start at like 0500 and end at 2100. We're lucky if we get a shower. Really sucks. So yesterday we had our first PT test and I failed miserably. I'm so ashamed. I only did 4 push-ups and 14 sit-ups. When I'm supposed to do 19 push-ups and 53 sit-ups. My 2 mile run was good though. We're supposed to run it in 18:54; I got 19:12, so only a couple seconds off!

I got my HCH's which is like the uniform you wear in the field with the big green army helmet. That's really ugly. And they are heavy! That includes our pack that's full of crap and our M16's. You get all of it on, man it sucks!

Then we do more PT. I swear that's like all we do. And classes on stupid stuff but I guess it's important or else they wouldn't teach it to us. Then some D & C, which is like marching and weapon stuff. Oh we have to do extra PTs for the commander. She said because 2 people were spotted without their battle buddy.

Oh! Tomorrow we do Victory Tower! I'm so excited! I seriously can't wait! I never realized how much girl's camp would & has helped me! Like I know how to set up a fire, basic first aid, hike, repel etc.. Makes me happy. Then next week we are supposed to be doing the gas chamber. Kinda nervous about that one, but I'm sure I'll be fine.

So, I can so feel my muscles building. I am beyond sore but it's good for me. My legs are starting to get definition also. Yay! Oh, can you send me some stamps? I'm running low.

So what I've been hearing a lot is how lucky we are to be in Foxtrot because it seems like the other companies are lazier and don't really care either. And you can tell how undisciplined they are. It's really sad. But our company is still new so we're just a little bit better than the rest :). I laugh cuz I think about John and I realize my company is so better than his and he thinks his company can beat mine ... Ha!

Ok so for my siblings, how's school? Tell me all about your classes and everything! Are you all keeping up on stuff? Have you guys checked my webkinz? They better not be dead. And are you staying out of my stuff? I swear you guys better not be in my stuff or you'll be on the ground with the dirt when I get back :) And I'll be able to do it. Mwahahaha!

Oh we watched some movie clip on what we're doin for the next nine weeks and combatives looks like so much fun!

I also got lucky to get some laid back drill sergeants. As long as we don't piss them off then we have a pretty easy day. Which is great. I love the easy days so much better than doin PT all day.

So I have like the biggest cravings for chocolate and Dr. Pepper. It sounds so good. Oh Ma my one request for when I come home for Christmas is meatloaf and Cherry Chewbalies or however you spell that. I'm craving candy period. And soda. Really sucks. And I hate shoveling food into my mouth. It's not fun and it isn't easy to do sometimes.

But we're about to go eat and I gotta go but I love and miss you all!


P.S. It's raining like cats & dogs! It's been about 20 min and it's still pouring! You can tell I'm a desert girl.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Letter Number 7: Is that an M16 or Katie?

Sept 9, 2008

Hey Family!

So the second day of BCT has finally ended. It's been a long day! I swear all we do is train, eat, train some more, eat chow again, do some D&Cs, a little more PT, chow again, more training, personal time and sleep.

So my drill sergeant is awesome! His name is Drill Sergeant Stephens and we have Drill Sergeant Samsal then Drill Sergeant Pallou. We haven't met him yet. But the other two are cool. They don't put up with crap but they also have fun or at least try to when we earn it.

We got issued our M162A's today. HOLY COW those things are heavy! My arms are so sore from carring them and we literally have to carry them EVERYWHERE! Well except for the latrine. Then our battle buddy has to hold them. They are really tall too. Like it comes up to my middle. It's crazy.

We have our very first PT test tomorrow. I'm kinda nervous but I think I'll do ok. Other than that everything is fine and dandy.

Write me back as soon as possible with lots of pics!

I love you !


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Letter Number 6: Bug eyes *yum*

Sept. 4, 2008

Hey Family!

I am so sore! I fell down earlier and scraped my hands and knees it really hurts. I also got my BCG's and they are so ugly! I look like a bug! Ugh! Way gross.

So I found out that I'm in Platoon 4 and one of my Drill Sergeants is Drill Sergeant Samsal and he's pretty cool. I dunno who else we have.

I also got my dog tags and instead of Mormon they say Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints only in acronym form. It's way cool.

Um Oh I saw John again. He left for basic today haha for him!

My feet have popped blisters, my fingers are swollen, my cold's gone and when we eat it has to be gone within 3 min. or you don't eat. Really sucks.

I'm supposed to start BCT on Monday so wish me luck and keep me in your prayers!

Well I have to go. I love you all bunches and miss you like crazy!

Millions of hugs & kisses


I have an address! I have an address!

Here is her address ... finally! You have to address it just like this:

PVT. Sorensen, Katelynn
4th Platoon, Night Stalkers
F Company, 1st Bn, 13th Inf Regt
Fort Jackson, SC 29207

What she can recieve:

Plain white paper NO frillies for her to write back on
Black or blue pens ... no frillies
pictures; i.e.: 4x6 or wallet they must be able to fit in her locker without hanging out

What she CANNOT recieve:

candy, cookies, any goodies at all right now
no large pictures
no electronics of any kind
no fun stuff

Please writer her when time permits. Thanks everyone. She wrote the address differently but we'll go with this one for now seeing as how it was on the letter from her company. IF there are any changes, I will post them tomorrow after I contact the base.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Scroll all the way to the bottom to see her first letter. Sorry, if I had known it would put them in this order, I would have gone sequentially backward. (Is that even a correct phrase??) OR you can simply click on the right to bring up each individual post. :0)

A Quick Note

Hi everyone,

We thought we'd post Katie's letters to our family here, so that everyone could enjoy them with us. She is, if you can't tell, missing us but doing well.

The other reason for the blog is pretty simple, to keep updates on the family and such at an easy access.

Quickly: Karlee is in volleyball and they won their first game last week and play again on Wed of this week. Jeffrey Tanner was made Assistant Flight Commander last week and will be officially promoted to Flight Commander for ROTC next semester. Kyle is talking about trying out for wrestling. We think he'll do great there and he is LOVING high school. Maggie is, as usual, excelling at school. She is still at her magnet school and is trying out for a part in the play there. We'll let you know how that goes. Natalee brought home an award last week for her math! This is HUGE for her. We are so proud. Jacob is doing fantastic too. He is in Cub Scouts now and enjoys it.

Jeff wants a new job desperately and June is over her head with school work. (secretly she loves it)

That's it for now. As soon as there are more letters from our soldier, they will be posted. There is a link attached here so that anyone who would like to see where she is stationed, can take a moment to look.


Letter Number 5 : Smoked

Sept 3, 2008

Hey family!

Man I miss you guys! So we got our ACU's today and they are nice and warm. We got new boots and oh man! We walked two miles in them. I got two huge blisters on the back of my feet now. They hurt so bad!

Oh I got smoked today also because I was blonde and left some papers in my barracks. Really fun there. I could only do like 16 push-ups. Man I was sweating like crazy! It was nasty. But it was good exercize or however you spell that.

Also the Drill Sergeant told us that we should be graduating around Nov. 14th. Jeff lucked out! And we are suppposed to get our address so I'm hoping that I'll get to send it to you. If not ya'll are just going to have to wait a little longer.

Oh if I haven't told you already. I'm in Foxtrot Company. Yay me! And I got my real dog tags. Which is nice. Wow even my hands are swollen! Oh when you get my address I want a pic of everybody! I don't have one and I'd like to be able to see you somehow.

But I gotta go sleep. Love you all!


Letter Number 4: Bugs bugs and more bugs! Yuck!

Sept 2, 2008

Hi family!

So today, we met our Drill Sergeant. Her name is Drill Sergeant Lee. She's pretty cool. She's on mean Drill Sergeant though. Oh so we found out that we are put together in Basic by platoons and it's usually by our last names which is cool.

I know my Soldier's Creed. Took me a while to get it down. And my Army Values. Yay me! hehe

I saw John today. Twice actually. Once at breakfast and again when we went to get our medical done. He was complaining about his wrist. What a baby.

So my cold is starting to get better. It's not as bad as it was thank goodness. I keep sneezing left and right though. And my nose keeps running. Really sucks.

We're supposed to get our ACU's tomorrow. I really hope so! Oh I put my hair in braids to keep it out of my face. So we were all scared that Drill Sergeant would say we couldn't have them. So she points me out and says my braids were appropriate. Made me smile.

Oh I had meatballs for dinner and it was nothing like Mom's made me, want them so bad! Ok, now I'm hungry! Ugh this sucks.

There are so many bugs here! I swear I feel like I'm in a swamp! Oh I finally got my About Face down! I was so happy! It took me forever. But I finally did it with the help of my PG. Which is the head girl in our platoon. She's like a VIP Sergeant, except she's a soldier in training like the rest of us.

Feels like time is going by so slow! Ugh!

Ok well I have to go and finish my fire guard and work on my Soldier's Creed some more. Ok?
Write tomorrow!

I love and miss you guys.

Millions of hugs and kisses,


Letter Number 3: My date with Denzel

Sept 1, 2008

Hey family!

Man I am missing you guys today. So since it was Labor Day we did absolutely nothing. We ate, and watched movies from 8:30 this morning to 9:00 at night. Let's just say it was a long day. We watched two Denzel Washington movies. I don't remember what the first movie was but the second one was Man on Fire. Then we watched Ali with Will Smith. After that it was The Debaters with some actor that I can't remember who he is. Oh well.

So guess what. You know how you told me to watch out and make sure I don't get a cold. Well I'm getting one. My nose is so runny and I'm congested and just ugh. Really sucks but if I say anything then I'll be sent to medics all day and I'm good. I don't wanna hurry up and wait.

We meet our Drill Sergeants tomorrow and I'm so not looking forward to that. We are so gonna get smoked ugh! Not looking forward to that either.

But I gotta go to bed now. Long day tomorrow.

Love you!

Letter Number 2: All I wanted was a Dr. Pepper

Aug. 31, 2008

Hey Guys!

Yes I know two letters in one day. Pathetic. But I was reading Jeff's, Maggie's and Natalee's notes and was missing you guys like crazy!

Unfortunately they don't have an LDS chapel at Reception so I was unable to go to church. But I caught up on my sleep and read my scriptures instead. Then when we were getting ready to sleep, some of the girls asked if they wanted a prayer and so we prayed together as a platoon. It as pretty close to the way we prayed. I could feel the Spirit so it helped. It reminded me of our family prayers. Made me miss you guys more. And I almost cried! Sucked.

There are these girls in our platoon that are Puerto Ricans and we couldn't pronounce their names so we named them after fruit. We have Apple, Kiwi, Lemon and Mango. And when we refer to them we call them the fruit baskets. It's so funny! Yeah my platoon is crazy. But it's better than the others. They all are fighting. My platoon is the only one that gets along.

Oh! We figured out when graduation should be and we figured it would be around Nov. 7th. Sorry Jeff. So family day will be the day before (Nov. 6th) So Mom and Dad you should be here a little earlier. Like maybe one or two days at the most. But that's our estimate since most of us leave for AIT on the 19th. Which is pretty cool I think.

Oh so you know how I said that we were cool in our platoon? Well we got our hair in cornrolls (me included) and we also got our eyebrows plucked all nice and pretty. (also me) It's so cool!

By they way, this day rocked! We did practically nothing! It was AWESOME!!!

Oh yeah and Drill Sergeants ... man the girls are the worst! Some of the males are ok. It's funny cuz most of us were all talking about if there were any cute guys here ... there aren't. But I'm enjoying myself.

I can't believe how much I miss you guys! And I"m craving Reese's and Dr. Pepper. Psh be grateful you guys are all at home.

Oh Mom, guess what I've been doing, popping people's backs in. It's great.

Ok, it's 10:00 I should probably go to sleep. I love and miss you all.

Millions of hugs and kisses!!

Letter Number 1: *singing* "We're in the Army now ..."

Aug 31, 2008 (Ft. Jackson, S.C. BCT)

Hey Fam,

So, it's like 1:06 in the morning and I am doing this wonderful little thing called Fire Guard. OK, it's not so wonderful. All I do is sit and make sure there aren't any fires and then clean up certain things that are on a list. Really boring actually. So I just realized that this is my first letter home from the military! Hehe it's kinda weird.

OK, so, South Carolina's weather ... sucks! It's so humid and sticky. It's just nasty! I never thought I'd miss the dry desert air.

Oh I've seen the BCG's which are the "birth control" glasses (that's honestly what they're called." and they are ugly! They look like really big magnified glasses put together. By the way, it's freakin' cold here.

My BCT is scheduled to start on Sept. 5 and it's located like right behind reception. Oh so I took a shower yesterday and I was surrounded by naked chicks. That was awkward. I think that's the fastest shower I've ever taken in my life! :)

OK, the food ... is ok. But you have to eat EVERYTHING off your plate and drink at least two cups of crazy water or water. Crazy water is like sugared up Gatorade and is NASTY! You also always have to have a battle buddy. Which is pretty cool. Every time I hear something with battle buddy I always think of Veggie Tales with Jonah. And the little caterpillar who always says, "I go where you go, traveling buddy". Hehe can you tell I get bored?

What really stinks is we can't cross our legs at all. That is such a hard habit to break! Oh! ACU's stands for Active Combat Uniform ... I think. And I"m finally getting a hang o military time. Ha! So the underwear we are required to wear are granny panties. They literally go right underneath your belly button. They're killing me! And here I swore never to wear them.

So how are things with all of you? How are all my wonderful siblings? I miss you all! lol I could go for a buggy hug right now. OK, I could go for a hug from all my siblings. I didn't think I'd miss you guys this much! Yeah, yeah, rub it in my face with the told ya so's. I miss my friends too but I miss you guys more! Lots more!

Mkay so when you guys get this write me back and I'll send another one soon that has my address with it. OK?

XOXO Millions of hugs and kisses! XOXO