Hey all,

First of all, here is a little bit about me; I'm 19 years old, completed High School and went through one and a half years of college before dropping out and taking a break. It's not so much a break as it is the feeling that this is not what I want to do. So, I decided to drop and start working. I've racked up about ten grand in student loans, so there is a definite need for income.

Anyhow, I decided that it might be a good idea to take a tour in the service. I understand that 4 years is just about standard, but I think the experience would be a good one, it would give me a chance to serve my country, it would be a little bit of cash when I get out to get back on my feet, I might get some sort of college training should I so choose, and it would be a great time to sit back and think about what I want to do.

However, I had some questions that I really didn't want a recruiter to answer. It's not that I don't trust them, but after all, they are trying to sell the job and they need people to join. So here is a list of questions that I'd hope a veteran marine or someone who knows could answer for me;
1) What sort of pay did you receive in the service? After all is said and done, how much were the bi-monthly paychecks?
2) If you got any sort of school financial assistance, how did it work? I understand there is a plan for it, but I'm not sure exactly how things go down.
3) What is the day-in-day-out routine like? I guess this is a huge question, everyone has their own experience, but if you could summarize a general day in the corps I'd really appreciate it!
4) What is it like to get into volunteer programs such as Sniper school/Embassy guard duty/Recon or Force Recon/etc.
5) What was the whole training? I understand there I basic for about 3 months, then infantry school. Can anyone enlighten me as to the details?
6) How were the living arrangements? Did you live in a barracks or apartments? Again, I guess that one is pretty dependent on location.

Anyhow, thanks a bunch for any advise you can give me. Even if you have a friend or relative that was in the Marines, I'd love to hear your experience.

Thanks in advance!