Brotherhood: Bound in Blood

Brotherhood: Bound in Blood

An intro to the VMI experience

The first day of college. A day filled with excitement, anxiety, smiles, hugs and a positive outlook on the year to come in a new environment filled with new people and things to do. Well, that is if you weren’t one of the 1,500 idiots that enrolled at VMI after high school. My first day of college was a bit unorthodox. As I looked into the face of the Brother Rat in front of me, tears streaming down his face, I almost laughed to myself. Not at him, of course. But at my own life decisions that had led me to this point. In that moment I cannot begin to tell you how much I wished I was in the shoes of one of my high school classmates. Oh boy, what have you gotten yourself into now

Just 30 minutes ago we marched from the basketball arena where we said goodbye to our parents and loved ones and started up the hill to Barracks. As we sprinted inside, it felt like a prison; fresh meat was arriving… We stood in formation, 500 of us in all, in the Barracks Courtyard, as our cadre, which were like our drill sergeants, marched in to meet us. The Institute, that was just at full throat screaming at us as we entered, now fell silent as a crypt. All we could hear were bass and snare drums and the feet of the most impressive young men and women I had met in my 18 years of life. They seemed larger than life. Chests puffed out in the iconic gray uniform with white trousers, close cut hair, muscular, chiseled. Quite a contrast from the high school graduates that faced them. We had long hair, slouched, and looked around like a fish out of water in our t-shirts and shorts.

I don’t remember much of the speech that was given to us by a high ranking cadet at that time but I do remember that our cadre were “the essence of VMI” and that “They will not give up on you, even after many of you have given up on yourselves.” That stuck with me. This place was different. That was clear to me in that moment. During the next 6 months, known as the Ratline, I got to learn just how different VMI really was. We learned to eat, sleep, drink, speak, walk, and live in a different way. Different from our civilian college counterparts and with the rest of the world.

Our struggles are tough, the sweat runs deep, blood, thick, and the tears, emotional. Our smiles are real, our humor is crude, our mouths are dirty and our love is abounding. These are the stories of the VMI Men and Women, from their own mouths. You’ll howl with laughter, you’ll cry and hopefully you’ll learn a thing or two about life when you see it through our eyes.

Rah Virginia Mil’!

Cadet Eli Forbes

1PSG Alpha Company

Class of 2018

Virginia Military Institute

Cover Image Credit: A Hard Knock Cadet

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.


Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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10 Ways To Start Your Days Off Right By Bringing A Little Joy And Positivity Into Your Morning

"Listen to the birds sign a sweet morning song."


I'll be the first to admit, I'm not exactly what you would call a "morning person." That being said, I think it's high time I bring some joy into my mornings. I mean, life is beautiful, and by not enjoying mornings, I think I'm missing out on a potentially enjoyable part of life.

So if you want to start enjoying your mornings like me, here are ten things you might want to try doing to start your days off right.

1. Make a happy and healthy breakfast.


Make some toast, eggs, fruit, granola, or yogurt. OR, break out the bacon and have a good time. Any of those options sound like a good morning to me.

2. Drink a fresh cup of coffee (or tea).


For me, I don’t think anything could beat the smell of a coffee being made in the morning. So whether you’re into coffee or tea, use a nice warm drink as a way to bring a little joy into your mornings.

3. Smile when you wake up.


Start your morning with a good old-fashioned smile. Look in the mirror, look at how wonderfully made you are, and take a moment to smile and take that in.

4. Try to stay off of social media when you first wake up.


I know, it’s all too easy to become glued to your phone these days, BUT I think that’s a few moments of time away from it, and away from social media, can be a good way to stay positive in the mornings.

5. Journal your thoughts going into the day.


Take a pen, pencil, and a piece of paper, and take a moment to write down your thoughts, feelings, emotions, or anything else on your mind going into a new day.

6. Put on clothes that make you feel happy.


Put on whatever outfit makes you happy, whether that’s a cute sweater or a t-shirt. Wear something that makes you feel good.

7. Watch the sunrise.


OK, so I know you might not be able to do this every morning, but I think that watching the sunrise is the perfect way to start any day. What could be better than taking in all of these wonderful creations?

8. If you can, sit outside and enjoy our planet.


On that note, take some time to sit outside and enjoy the early morning and the world around you. Start your morning off with some time to really just sit back and take it all in.

9. Spend some time reading something you enjoy.


Grab a good book, a magazine, or whatever it is you might like to read. Take some time to clear your mind, and then fill it with lots of good writing.

10. Listen to the birds sign a sweet morning song.


Arguably my favorite thing on the list, I truly can see no downside to listening to the birds chirping away in the morning. If you can, take some time to listen to nature’s sweet morning song.

Hopefully you can try one of these tactics to brighten up your morning, and in turn, maybe even brighten up your whole day. We live in a wonderful world, and I think that it's time we start to recognize that.

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