Thursday, March 09, 2006

Yes, sir, Drill sergeant

It's been a tough first week at DPS academy for David. He knew training would be hard, and he expected to have a drill instructor in his face some. But even knowing that it will likely happen doesn't prepare you for it when it does. Now, this is all part of the head game instructors play on trainees. They need to weed out those who earnestly want to be there and intend to succeed from those who just think they do. It's just like basic training for a branch of the military. You need recruits of both physical and mental fortitude because the job you're ultimately asking those recruits to do will require both.

Tuesday, David was a little slow on his push-ups. The drill instructor got in his face and ranted and raved and offered walking papers. David said, "no sir, I'll keep trying." Mind you, this is only his second day at training. He was pretty down about the whole thing when he talked to mom, but it had also just happened.

I called him Wednesday night to check on him. That day wasn't much better. He did push-ups fine, but he was slow on sit-ups. So he got another dose of the Drill Sergeant Tantrum, as we'll call it. He sounded tired and a little down when we talked, but he was certainly determined not to let the mind games get the best of him. He knows their intent with the yelling and screaming. He just has to remember not to take it personally. I believe his exact words were, "they can't make me quit."

Since his girlfriend literally lives about ten minutes from us, he stays with us a lot and will be staying on the weekends he's allowed to leave Austin. He's in visiting this weekend, as a matter of fact. He's resting up for the week ahead. He sounds much better than he did on Wednesday. And I think he's becoming accustomed to the Drill Sergeant Tantrum.

Please pray for David as he trains over the next six months. He needs strength of body and mind. He needs a sense of peace and constant encouragement. If you feel so inclined, write him a little note of encouragement. His mailing address is:
David Foster, Trooper-Trainee
Law Enforcement Academy
Texas Department of Public Safety
P.O. Box 4336
Austin, Texas 78765-4336

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