October 24, 2009

MCAS Cherry Point, NC

Well the journey to becoming a fleet Marine has ended. Every Marine with a non-infantry MOS (Military Occupational Speciality) must complete three things in order to be a fleet marine. Bootcamp, MCT (Marine Combat Training), and MOS School. It was not very long ago when I was borded a plane and then a bus to begin the journey of becoming a United States Marine. A lot has happened since then and everything that I have been taught and trained to do has culminated into me being stationed in Cherry Point, North Carolina.

After leaving Twenty-nine Palms, CA I was able to go home for less then a week. It was a good time being home even if it was just for awhile. I picked up some things, packed up my SUV and drove two days to North Carolina. While the drive was long it was a very scenic drive. The hills and the leaves changing provided a nice atmosphere compared to the blandness that was in Twentynine Palms.

I arrived at MCAS (Marine Corps Air Station), at 11:15pm on Oct. 7. I checked in at the TEQ or Temporary Enlisted Quarters, bought McDonalds, and called home letting them know I had arrived safe. I ate my food and went to bed. The next day would be early and long...and uncomfortable. I had to keep my Service Alphas on until about 1500 that day so I could report to the Sgt. Major and First Sargent. On top of that the AC where my shop was had just broke.

I was given a list of places that I needed to stop by and check in at. To this day, I have yet to finish it, but the majority of it has been compleated. I am with a communication/data squadron and enjoy the shop and people that I will be working with, though it will take a while to get completly comfortable with what I will be doing as there is much that I still need to learn.

The base here is really nice apart from the constant sounds of jets and planes taking off. Things are somwhat spread out so I am fortunate to have my vehicle here.

I miss the people that were in my class in Twentynine Palms and I wish them all the best. There are a few from my class that are here as well, yet we are in separate shops and I don't see any of them very often.

The Marine Corps birthday is on November 10, and this year we will be celebrating it on November 4th. There is a ceremony that takes place as well, and not to long after arriving I found out I would be in that ceremony. I am not sure what exactly I will be doing but I will find out this coming week when practice starts.

I don't have any pictures of the base yet but I'll try and post some soon. My address has changed as well and if you wish to write feel free!

PFC Cuestas, Joseph
MWCS-28 Data
PSC Box 8071
Cherry Point, NC 28533-8071

September 20, 2009

A Brief Update

Well....we're down to the last mile on the journey in Twentynine Palms. Graduation is less then two weeks away and then off to home for just a few days. We're closing alot of loose ends here and making alot of final preparations before graduation. We'll be taking a few class photos which should be very memorable as well. We've finished all testabe courses and overall I ended up with the second highest GPA. Overall, I am happy with how I did, but I know I could have done better.

This coming week we have a final Personal Fitness Test, which includes max crunches in two minutes, max pull ups, and a three mile run. The score for this is the deciding factor for who gets the top spot in the class. We also have a Charlie and Alpha Inspection this week too.

Graduation is set for Oct. 1st and we will all be leaving Oct. 2nd. I plan on being home for only about three or four days before heading to Cherry Point, NC where I will be stationed for the next few years. I will be part of the Marine Wing Communication Squadron. I'm not sure if being part of the air wing means I have to like flying...I hope not! While I requested to stay on the West Coast I am happy with where I am going. It is closer to home and a change of scenery from the brownness that is Twentynine Palms. I wish I could visit home longer, but I suppose thats what holidays are for.

As bad as Twentynine Palms is...I will miss it Not so much the place, but rather the people. I wish you all well...may God keep us safe and happy!

August 25, 2009

Class 26.5





Class 26.5 has been my family for the past few months. I remember very distinctly when it was finally time for class to start. I had grown accustomed to the routine that I had already fallen in and like anything new that may come into a person’s life, I felt a little apprehensive. Since that time I am thankful for the class that I am in and for the instructors that have been put in charge of us. We have been through a lot as a class. Some hard times, and some really good times. Either way we each pushed each other to continue pressing on.

Physically I am doing well and am seeing progress, although I have a long way to go. The pictures are from a five mile run that we did along the ridge line of some of the hills/mountains that surround our base. The terrain and the sand really make it hard. Believe me when I say I surely wasn’t leading the pack.

Academically I am doing well too. Since my last posting I have become fully A+ Certified. It is an entry level certification that shows the Marine Corps and the Civilian world I am skilled in computer repair and troubleshooting. We have also finished the CCNA courses which introduce us to networking fundamentals and the beginnings of understanding and setting up a network. It was split into 4 parts called Modules, with the 4th module being voluntary if you qualified based on your class average. Each module was at most 11 chapters long. It was very tough to study like I knew I should because it is just so time consuming. Nevertheless, I was able to do fairly well in it.

I am still number one in my class, but I say that in humbleness knowing that at anytime I could become prideful and arrogant and lose my spot. I still need to study hard to keep that intact and if my instructors see fit, they may reward me with a meritorious promotion to Lance Corporal.

Currently we are studying Microsoft Server and after that we will be studying Microsoft Exchange. Once again we will be graduating October 1st, 2009 and after that it will be off to my first duty station. I hope and pray that I get stationed at Camp Pendleton, but I suppose wherever I go I can make the best of it.

I have learned a lot while being here in Twenty-nine Palms. Both inside and outside of the classroom. Things in the Marine Corps can be really tough. Physically, mentally, and emotionally we are challenged. I suppose it would be the same for anybody who is living. Life is tough! So many decisions, so many choices. Thank God for the Light that lights our path! Though life is tough I am so thankful for it. August 26, 2009 will begin my 25th year of life. If only it didn’t have to begin in the middle of the desert!! Then again, some of God’s greatest leaders were shaped and formed on the backside of a desert where the only place worth looking, was up! May I continue to look up.

July 11, 2009

School Has Started!

Upon arriving in Twenty-nine Palms, CA I was placed in SRC or Student Receiving Center for about a week. After that I was put in BMAT or Bravo Marines Awaiting Training. For about three or four weeks, I forget. My last week there I was assigned to work with MCTOG, Marine Corps Tactics and Operations Group. There I helped fix the computer communications system used by Officers and High Enlisted Marines for there training and simulation exercises. It was a lot of fun and gave me a glimpse of what life in the fleet will be like. Long hours and lots of computers!

After MCTOG I started classes for 0651, Information Systems Specialist. We are using the Cisco Curriculum for all of our studies. We finished "IT Essentials" a 16 Chapter book in a week and two days! It was a lot in a little amount of time. I was able to finish that course at the top of my class. Me and three others in our class of twenty-eight will be able to take the A+ Certification test as a result of our high scores. We are currently studying for CCNA and are on Module 1. CCNA deals with networks and how they work. There is a lot of conceptual ideas that need to be grasped in order to understand how a network works, and lots of Acronyms that need to be memorized. This is new territory for me but we are taking it a chapter a day or a chapter every two days which makes it a little easier.

I have also been promoted from Private to Private First Class. July 4th, 2009 was my six month anniversary of being in the Marine Corps. So far up to this point I have enjoyed it. There have been moments when things were really tough but when its all said and done you realize that we are a lot more capable then we think we are. My goal right now is to excel in my classes and finish first. To do this will not be easy as there are a lot of smart people in my class. Even then I'd rather have this goal then be one of the many in my class who are content with simply getting by. If I can achieve this goal and am found to be in good standing with my Instructors, I may receive a Meritorious Promotion to Lance Corporal. My second goal is to be able to receive as many certifications as I can while I'm here.

As stated earlier, I'll have a chance to get my A+ certification soon. I think we will have the chance to get our CCNA certification and our Microsoft Exchange certification as well. To simply pass a course Cisco requires a 70% or higher. The Marine Corps requires 85% or higher to try and receive a certification. This goal seems more attainable but is still going to require a lot of work.

Graduation is set for October 1st, 2009 and after that I will receive orders for my first duty station. I have requested to remain on the West Coast but as with any request the needs of the Marine Corps comes first.

The days are long here and almost every hour is filled. If I don't write much know I'm studying! To all who read...Semper Fi

June 17, 2009

Draw Nigh

by
Joseph Cuestas


You’ve read all the verses, you’ve heard it preached. You’ve sat through the classes and if asked you could teach. You’ve read all the books and heard all the stories. You’ve heard countless accounts sharing His glory. It seems to make sense and you believe it all true; yet you wonder why God never speaks to you!

You see the joy that others have and the blessings given from on high. You see the faithful carry on and to the Savior draw ever nigh! You see His hand lead and guide others on their way; you see His goodness, grace, and mercy compelling them to stay. With all that you see it’s hard to deny it; He’s real! Praise God Jesus is true! Oh, heavy heart of mine, why does He never speak to me…only you!?

Where is my joy and where is my leading? Where are my blessings? Please, tell me I’m pleading! Where is Your goodness and where is Your grace? I beg You my Savior; show me Your face! Why do You hide and make it so hard to be found? Why!! Dear God help me or forever I’m bound!


Oh, child of Mine; I hear your cries. Lift your head, calm your heart, and dry your weary eyes. Lay here by My side and I’ll answer all your ‘whys’.

“I saved your soul with Blood shed by men. You ask for goodness; be glad I let them! You ask for grace, yet you fail to see; though once destined for hell, it shall never be! “Amazing Grace,” you should shout, yet, you wallow in tears. The grace that I’ve shown you can’t be measured in years! Countless blessings I had for you every day, but you wandered and you left Me; I asked you to stay! In all that you read and heard about Me, though given by men, it was My plea!

Crowded out by the world and the sin in your heart, the joy found in Me had to depart. I was grieved and saddened by the choices you made; things would’ve been better if with Me you would’ve stayed! Your ‘Whys’ have been answered, you know what I’ve spoken is true. What you choose to do next is all up to you. Whatever you choose let this fact be known, you’ll reap much more then you’ve ever sown!”

I trembled at His Words and I felt so ashamed. I caused my dear Savior such grief and such pain. “Forgive me,” I shouted from the depths of my soul! “Cleanse me, use me, and make me whole!” At that Instant I saw Him with unfettered eye. “Dear Child I’m here, draw nigh!” I took one step forward and stopped in despair. “Dear God you’re so far; this trip I can’t bare!”

“Draw nigh,” He said, “one step at a time; for as you draw closer so will I. Stay faithful, stay strong, keep pressing through; just a little farther now, you can make it too!”

With His words leading me I followed His plan and before to much longer we walked hand in hand. He guided me and led me with His Spirit so strong; such joy, such peace here, why’d I ever mingle with wrong?!

Dear Christian, dear friend, dear fellow man; with all that you see and hear…draw nigh! Quit living for self, quit living to please, seek God on high and draw nigh! If you’re questioning God, or are lost in your sin; if you don’t remember your last time with Him. If the pride in your life is leading you away; if you fear your Savior will not stay…Draw Nigh!

Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you. There’s no other way to make it through. Try it another way and you will fail; draw nigh to God and you will prevail! Quit looking around, quit questioning why. Quit the sad song; quit the loud sigh and just simply….Draw Nigh!

True happiness, true peace, true joy from on High comes only when we as His Children die to ourselves….and Draw Nigh!

As a Burning Candle

by
Joseph Cuestas

A candle lit by flaming fire, burns with no thought of itself.
It spreads its light as far as it can, conquering the darkness of earth.
As long as I need it, it burns steady on, wavering not, nor dimming with time. Yet, moment by moment that flaming fire eats at the wax and lowers the wick, it’s plain to see this candle won’t stick!

Complaining never and arguing not, it burns steady on, until all is gone.
The remains are few, yet the light brought forth remains, forever lingering on. For from its one flame many were lit, and the candle though gone shines forth in the other sticks.

So the lives which we live, once lit by the fire of His Spirit, shines forth among men for all to be seen. Giving off the Gospel light never to cease nor to dim. 'Till the time comes fast approaching when our wick is about to end. We gave all that we had, we spared not one part. We were consumed with a love for others, and now we’ve burnt out. As a candle burns for the benefit of others, seeking no gain for itself, so we who are lighted with the Gospel fire give all, though it cost us our self!
___________________________________________________________

II Cor. 12:15 And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.

To all who spent of themselves to give for me....Thank You!

May 26, 2009

Twentynine Palms, CA


Now I have left Camp Pendleton and have arrived in beautiful Twentynine Palms, California, home of…Sand!! I am literally in the middle of a desert! The lows are around seventy and highs so far in the high nineties to low hundreds. From what I hear it’s only going to get hotter!

I’ll be here for a few months at the Marine Corps Communications and Electronics School (MCCES). I will be studying to be a Systems Information Specialist (MOS 0651/0656), and from what I was told earlier today from our Sergeant Major is the toughest course at the school currently. I have overcome many obstacles in the past and with help from on high I can overcome this one too! I have yet to learn when classes will actually start and depending on when they do start will determine how long I am in Twentynine Palms.

I am looking forward to school and am excited about everything I will be learning. We will have lots of PT or Physical Training every morning and will also be doing a lot of MCMAP (Marine Corps Martial Arts Program). Before I leave here I hope to advance to a gray belt!

My Address here is:

Cuestas, Joseph

Loc. #609 MCCES

Twentynine Palms, CA 92278

Feel free to write or email...I have more time now, so I'll be glad to respond!

Hiking

Hiking is my least favorite thing to do. It wouldn't be so bad if it was just a nice leisurely walk through the forest or something, but of course there's the added element of hills, mud, rocks, sand, sore muscles, heat, sweat, fatigue, and everything else. I noticed how sometimes when hiking the smallest little thing can become such an annoying nuisance. The sound of your trousers brushing up against each other as you walk, that left boot that's slightly tighter then the right, that strap from your pack that keeps hitting your arm as you walk; all of these make you wanna go...AHHHHHH!!! Yet, you keep silence and walk on.
On every single hike the words to the Hymn Each Step I Take motivated me to keep on going. Psalms 37:23-24 were also key in getting me through the hills, The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD; and He delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with His hand.
I was thrilled to learn that MCT would include three hikes...ug...and the last one was a graduation requirement! The first Friday we were there we had a 5k hike up to the grenade range where we practiced throwing “blue bodies”, or practice grenades. Then we were ready for the real deal. The next hike was one week later and was a 10k hike. These first two hikes really wore me down, and although I completed both my body was really hurting.

The final hike was not going to be for another eleven days; it was a 15k hike and was one of the graduation requirements. There are scheduled breaks for these hikes. When the platoon you are in stops to take a break you have to be with the rest of the platoon within two minutes. If you don’t catch up to the platoon within the time given two times, then you failed the hike. If you failed the 15k hike then you had to redo the hike all over again the following Saturday while everyone else was on liberty! I did well starting off and stayed with my platoon until…we started going up…and up…and UP UP UP UP UP!!! If the land was flat I could hike all day, but the hills wear me out like no other. Well my platoon was way up ahead of me and I knew I wasn’t going to catch up so I mentally prepared myself for Strike 1 (Two Strikes and you’re out!). I caught up with my platoon and they marked my name showing I didn’t make it in time for the first break. I don’t remember what happened after we started hiking again, but somehow I had fallen back again. The hard part was over with the big long hill, we had rolling hills now which I used to my advantage. I would pace myself going up and on every downhill I would run. If had not been for me running (with 60lbs+ on my back), I would not have made that hike. The best part about it was that at the end of the hike I felt good! I could have kept going, but I’m glad we didn’t. Now after we rested for awhile I was as sore as ever.

I really pushed myself hard on that hike and prayed to God that He would give me the strength to complete it strong. He answered my prayer. It still boggles my mind that God would care enough to listen to me, and not only that, but to help me. No matter what our needs, no matter what our concern or burden take it to the Lord and He can help you. It’s really easy to pray when we know things are hard and tough, but just now I realize I need God’s help every moment of every day!

As we hike the roads of life let us remember first of all not to get annoyed at all the little things that may be bugging us. Hold your peace and keep on trudgin'! Second, realize we can't make it apart from God, and finally...don't give up!

Marine Combat Training - Camp Pendleton



Marine Combat training has come and gone. And if I would have had it my way, I would have posted these pictures of Camp Pendleton a while ago, but time and resources aren’t always available. It’s amazing how much you can cram into a day of training when you wake up at 4:30 am!


The first week there it was a little rough getting back into the swing of things after being home for about three weeks, but it doesn’t take long to adjust especially when you have no choice. Being new Marines fresh out of boot camp we didn’t

quite know what to expect. We were all hoping and praying that it was NOT like boot camp, and thankfully it wasn’t. The living conditions were better, the instructors were more relaxed, the food was better, what more could you ask for!

Training was varied from day to day and there was a lot of it. We learned everything from how to throw a live grenade, operate a communications radio, work in a FOB (Forward Operating Base),

dig a fighting hole (I lived in it for two days…I would look up at the vast dark sky and see all the beautiful stars and think to myself, “Self…You’re sitting in a dirt hole!”), and the operation of the AT4 rocket launcher and several automatic weapons.

MCT was actually quite fun apart from the hikes and I learned a

lot of new things. It's amazing

how much you really learn without even knowing that you learned it. To all the instructors thank you and to all reading.... OooRah!!



April 25, 2009

Here's Whats Goin' on Now!!

Well, boot camp is now over, and after taking a break for ten days, I was given the opportunity to help my recruiter (while staying home!) for an additional seven days. A lot of the time was spent not doing to much, and outside of that we would visit "hot spots" for new potential Marines. It was great being home for an extra week, and it would have been better if I was able to do more for my recruiters.

Now that my leave and Recruiters Assistance is over I am back in California at Camp Pendleton for MCT or Marine Combat Training, (not Mortal Combat Training as some people have confused it). Since being here for only four days we have learned how to use a Field Radio, thrown live hand grenades, hiked for 5K, ran for 5 miles, performed several tactical carries (carrying a wounded comrade in a combat environment), and refreshed ourselves on field first aid...and we're barely getting started!

The days are long and make for sore bodies, but all in all its not bad. We are treated with a lot more respect, and are able to see more and more what military life is really going to be like. We are able to get liberty or free time on the weekends where we can do basically anything we want. I'm in 2nd Platoon, Kilo Company which seems a little different after being in Hotel Company for the past three months, but I assume it will change every time I get a new duty station, I'm not sure though.

When I arrived off the bus on base, we were dropped off in the middle of two squad bays so I didn't really have a chance to see my surroundings. When I first stepped out and saw the scenery my jaw dropped! The scenery on this portion of the base is amazing. There are rolling hills all around us. Covered in green grass, bushes, and trees it looks amazing. Coming from Michigan (which is flat and bland) to this place makes it hard to not stare and think, 'Wow!" I plan on taking some pictures of the area tomorrow and hopefully will post them next week.

After seeing this beautiful terrain and listening to our instructors talk about how amazing the human body is during our first aid classes, you can't help but think how awesome our God is. Such beauty and magnificence in the hills and mountains and the complexity of the human body should point us all to Him. One of our instructors commented that the bodies healing capabilities was, "pretty awesome." I thought to myself, "He's (God) pretty awesome!" I challenge you all to read Isaiah chapter 40 and see for yourself how big and great our God is!

Marine Combat Training is only 29 days long, and I have a graduation date of May 19. If you happen to be near Camp Pendleton on that date, consider this your personal Invitation! After graduation I will be attending my MOS school (Military Occupational Speciality) in 29 Palms, Ca. I'm not exactly sure how long school will be, but from what I hear it is L-O-N-G!

Feel free to email me joecusmc@gmail.com and I will be glad to respond on the weekends when we have liberty. It's a lot easier then snail mail! As always remain, Semper Fidelis!

April 14, 2009

Pictures!


It took awhile to organize everything, but here are some pictures of some of the highlights of recruit training including the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor Ceremony, the Moto Run, and Family Day. The picture above is after graduation in our hotel room. I hope to post more pictures of Graduation and our trip to Sea World and the San Diego Zoo at a later time. Enjoy My Pictures!

April 7, 2009

Platoon 2170 - Picture and Video

Platoon 2170 was my home for the last three months (I'm in the first row in the middle). It is amazing how you can take 70+ individual men and form them all to work as one team. One of the main things that was emphasized while in training was that one persons actions affect the whole platoon. Something as simple as one man chewing while walking could land the whole platoon face down in the dirt doing push ups, among other things as well. Time and time again we as a platoon were disciplined and corrected for one persons doing. Sometimes it was my fault! We all had to learn one way or another to work together as a team.

It was often frustrating bearing the punishment for someone else's mistakes, especially if it was the same person over and over.....and OVER AND OVER AGAIN (you know who you are!). Even then, the lesson must be learned. When I am tired, I cannot quit for there are those who may fail, fall, or at the worst, die as a result. When I want to quit and go rest, I cannot because the success or failure of someone else is resting on my burdened shoulders. This lesson must be learned now and it must be learned well. You see, the stresses and burdens of boot camp are nothing compared to the stresses and burdens of war. As an individual we will most certainly fail; as a team we can accomplish anything.

Platoon 2170 learned this and many many other lessons. We went through a lot together and came out on the other end physically, mentally, and spiritually stronger. I wish all of you well and pray for your safety as you continue in training.

As Christians we must realize too, that we are but one member in the body of Christ, the church. We must all work together to do our part in what Christ has commissioned. When tired do we go soul winning, when rushed do we witness, when broke do we tithe? Though it may not be as apparent as it was in boot camp, our individual actions affect the whole body of our local church. And not only the body of believers, but also the countless souls of the unsaved who more then they know, need Christ! There were several times throughout boot camp when I thought to myself, "I don't want to do this", yet I literally had no choice in the matter. If we as Christians would only treat our church attendance, soul winning, and tithing as such. In all honesty we don't always want to go soul winning, or go to church, or help in some particular ministry; yet in our hearts we should say, "I have no choice", for we have been bought, redeemed, and sanctified by His precious Blood.

Fellow Marines and fellow Christians in all we do remember that there are those who are depending on us both physically and spiritually. If we fail we must realize the chances of their success are diminished. Therefore we must succeed in every mission given by our King of kings. To all reading...Stay Semper Fidelis!
video

January 4, 2009

Ok, So I Lied

I guess this will be my last post before I finally head out. I'm sitting in a Lansing hotel and who would of known...they have internet access. A lot of people have been asking me if I feel nervous, excited, or scared and truthfully right now I'm not feeling to much. I have an idea of what to expect, I know this is going to be hard, I'm expecting to get yelled at a whole lot! It's somewhat easier to go into something knowing kind of what to expect. At the same time it may just be that I'm so ignorant of what to expect that in reality I should be scared out of my mind.

Whatever the case me be, I know that I am excited about whats coming up soon in the future. Mostly the part of the future that excludes boot camp...haha! I'm going to have to tons of stories to tell I'm sure and I hope that once graduation is done, I'll be able to post some pictures of it

Mom, stop crying, I'm gonna be fine, you'll hear from me later tonight, and I'll be sure to write you often. Thanks so much for your help in taking care of things while I'm gone. I'm gonna miss you lots but it'll go by really fast I'm sure. Take care of yourself and don't get all stressed out. If the computer breaks well...umm...ok just don't break the computer. :)

From what I was told, I'll be at MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) for awhile tomorrow morning again. Apparently I'll be taking another physical, questions, and then taking the Oath of Enlistment again. I know I'll end up in Chicago for about six hours before it leaves for San Diego. I'm not sure if we're driving to Chicago or flying, I would assume we'd be flying if they expect us in California by night time. So as of now the majority of my time will be spent waiting and waiting and waiting. We're told often here to just, "hurry up and wait!" So that's what I'm planning on doing.

For those of you who are wondering the current ten day forecast of San Diego includes sunny skies with lows of 49 degrees and highs of 70 degrees. Nothing to be jelous about at all! I don't think there would be a better time to be in California then this time right now. Weather wise, it's going to be great.

Well, unless there's a computer in the Chicago airport tomorrow I don't plan on writing again until somtime after April 3rd. To all who read, please pray for me as it is greatly needed. I look forward to what God has in store for me in the next few years. I encourage you all to follow God's plan for your life wherever it may lead you. In Christ...Joe C.

January 3, 2009

Time to Go


Well folks, the time to go has finally arrived. The next time I write, God helping me, I will be a United States Marine. I spent the day cleaning up my room, washing clothes, and spending time with family and friends. I will miss everybody so much and I covet the prayers of all of you to help me stay strong both physically and spiritually.

January 4, 2009 at 12:30 pm, I will be leaving to go to Lansing, MI where I will spend the night in a hotel courtesy of Uncle Sam. I will wake up Monday morning at 5 am where, for the last time, I will go to MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station). Here, I will undergo basic questions ensuring I haven't disqualified myself since my initial enlistment, I will review my contract, and take the Oath of Enlistment again. Then it's off to the airport to await my flight to San Diego, California. From what I understand I will be arriving at Marine Corps Recruit Depot at night and processing will continue through the night and into the next day. I will not sleep at all Monday night. So if you're wondering what I'll be doing on the plane...take a guess!

Basic Training will be thirteen weeks long, including one week of initial processing. If all goes well I will be graduating on April 3, 2009. I will not know my mailing address until I arrive in California and I will have no way of posting it while I am there. If you wish to send me a letter you can contact my church at the link posted on my blog. Otherwise, feel free to leave a comment or send me an email (my email is listed on my profile), and I'll be sure to answer back when I am able.

I am looking forward to this next step in my life and I am glad to be able to serve both my God and my Country. Until I write again....Joseph Cuestas.