I have a recommendation for anyone who will be going to Burdur – learn to like the people you are waiting in line with as you enter the base.

Getting into the place everyone is jockeying for position and it is easy to get confused as to where to stand and it’s just as easy to lose your cool too. One person making fun of the other amidst the crowd is annoying. More annoying is the fact that the people you are in line with are the people you will be spending almost all of three weeks with.

Grouped into sections of 30 or so people this becomes your squad, or in Turkish ‘manga‘.

The first thing one notices as they get pass the beeping metal detector and into a room full of chairs lined up is the order of things. If there are 20 chairs, 20 people sit there. No empty seats and no skipping a seat to sit with your friends. You’ll be told once in a stern tone, but everyone continues to talk and then the stern tone becomes agitated yelling.

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This may seem obvious or trite to those who are or have been in the military. It does catch you off guard however because it is so different than the civilian world. In ‘real’ life you can sit where you want and more or less can feel as an equal to people you run across.

My first thoughts were:

  • Shit, I can’t do what I want.
  • I can’t complain or talk back about it.
  • I need to pee.

…as I’m filling out waivers.

Part 1, 2, and 3, here.