Recruit Training Command Great Lakes is in Great Lakes, Illinois. The recruit training commands for the Navy located in San Diego, CA and Orlando, FL were closed in 1995 and 1998 respectively, leaving RTC Great Lakes as the only command for basic recruit training.
Amanda shipped to boot camp on September 17th, 2007. She graduated boot camp in November and my family drove from New Hampshire to see her graduation ceremony. This gave me a unique experience, both with Amanda going before me and that I attended her graduation.
During her training Amanda sent me letters describing what she did each week, so I had an inside view of what was going on from week to week. Being at her graduation meant I could see the base before I was scheduled to leave as well. In the end seeing Great Lakes ahead of time gave me nothing beneficial for me once I was there.
On Sunday, December 16th, 2007 I went down to Boston so I could go through processing and ship out the next day. I don’t really remember much about the processing except that it was a lot of waiting and signing forms. The Navy put me up in one of the Hiltons in Boston before a bus took me and dozens of other armed forces recruits to Boston MEPs (Military Entrance Processing).
We waited some more before given our orders and bused to Logan International. Despite arriving at MEPs early in the morning I did not reach RTC Great Lakes until close to midnight.
That would be the beginning of a long 72 hours.