Mike was 18 years old while he was at Ft. Dix, New Jersey for boot camp. Below is an entry from his personal journal. I believe this was his first pay day at the Army.
30 SEPT 83
Today was pay day!!! I collected $561. It feels great to have all that in my pocket.
After we got our checks cashed we went to range 34 to practice firing. Range 34 is just like Range 35, the range we qualify on. We got 40 rounds to fire. We had to make at least 23, I shot 40 rounds & 30 targets went down. I qualified today as a sharpshooter. I hope to get at least Expert, that's 36 out of 40 or more.
While we were there it rained. It really sucked. I hope on Monday that the sun is shining. I got soaked today and sand all over.
Had C-rations again: pork slices, apricot halves, p-butter & cocoa. It was just as gross as it sounds, & it sounds bad!
We got back & cleaned our rifles. I think mine is the cleanest it's ever been. Now I'm ready for a shower & hit the sack...
Below is his actual written journal entry. If you click on the image, you should be able to view it in a larger format.