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