Eight Great Ideas When Writing Letters to Recruits at Basic Training

When our loved ones are away at Boot Camp or Basic Military Training, we want to show our love and support by keeping a steady stream of letters (or emails if you use Write2Them) coming their way.  I know the whole idea of a blank piece of paper or an empty email with only the TO and From fields filled in is intimidating, but don’t be afraid..your Airman, Soldier, Guardsman, Sailor or Marine will be so happy to hear from you!

If you’re committed to writing letters to your loved one at basic training every day, as many of our customers are, or you simply want to send just one letter a week, this article is for you.

The most important thing is simply to write to your loved one at Basic Training and keep your letters positive.  You don’t have to write long letters; short little notes or random thoughts that come to you throughout the day are perfect.

You don’t have to be creative to get a short note out to your loved one. Remember all news from home is new to them!

Here are eight more ideas that you might put in your letter (or email) to your son, daughter, grandchild or spouse while they are at Basic Training.

1)      Updates on their hometown sports teams (high school, college and pros) will give you plenty of ‘newsy’ items to share!  Most national and local newspapers publish their papers on the Internet and many times you can simply ‘copy and paste’ the text.

2)      Stories about your day, what the dog did, what brothers and sisters are doing.

3)      Photos of family members and pets (no nude photos, please); we don’t want our recruits getting in trouble.

4)      Art work from young children in the household.

5)      Send jokes…no one needs a smile more than someone going through boot camp or  basic training.  I like Knock Knock jokes because they are either so corny that you smile, groan and shake your head or you smile and chuckle because they are amazingly clever. Either way your loved one should be smiling!

You can find a nice selection of Knock Knock jokes at http://www.knock-knock-joke.com/ or http://knockknockjokes4u.wordpress.com that are rated P-PG, no need to get your Soldier, Guardsman, Sailor, Airmen or Marine in trouble.

6)      Bible quotes and  other motivational quotes and stories (I’ll be putting together some suggestions in a later Blog)

7)      Each day you probably receive at least one forwarded email from your friends with the latest in cute animal photos or funny cartoons.

8)     ALWAYS tell them how PROUD you are of them and their decision to serve our country, how much you LOVE and CARE about them and how much you are looking forward to GRADUATION DAY when you can give them a big hug!

The bottom line is write to them and encourage other family members and friends to write too! When their name is called at Mail Call, they will be excited to get their “Letter from Home”.

About Helen Simmons

I am founder and Executive Director of Write2Them, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving communication between family members and loved ones in military service by turning email into letters from home. You send email and your loved one receives a letter. I am a proud mother of a Airman, a wonderful daughter, son-in-law and grandbabies and wife to my wonderful supportive husband of 34 years.
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9 Responses to Eight Great Ideas When Writing Letters to Recruits at Basic Training

  1. ANITA BECERRA says:

    Do they have a Navy mom page. My son went to boot camp on Monday 19.

  2. Carole Blagg says:

    Thank you for your suggestions for grandsons! We write almost every day! New ideas are so great!

  3. I send a little “Note Card” to my grandson who is in basic training at Camp Pendleton every day, and I have not missed a day since I received his address. I made a little template on my computer and I use this cute little card stock called “Brown Bag”. The front of the card is “Today’s Feature” which always is some kind of ‘screen shot’ photo, and the inside is my little note. My 92 y/o father who is in an Assisted Living Residence also enjoys getting mail so I attached a template for him and all I do is “duplicate” for his “Note Card” – sometimes I just have to change a few words around is all. There have been a few days that I have come close to meeting the mail person at the mail box pickup, and I always get it done. I love it because it feels like I am doing something for someone I love so dearly.

    • beth ferguson says:

      I love this!! I have about two weeks worth of letters saved up for my son in bootcamp, but I’m running out of ideas. This is perfect!

  4. Emily Mabry says:

    My son left for Cape May, New Jersey US Coast Guard basic training on Tuesday, August 12th. Today is Saturday, the 16th & we have not received word from him about his specific recruit company. If I mail him a letter will he receive it without that information in the address? Is is a usual thing for it to take several days before they have their address?

    • Hi Emily,

      Did you get a safe arrival call from him? Every service is a bit different, but you should hear from soon either with a call or a letter giving you his address.
      To answer your question, it is not unusual at all; though frustrating since you want to get a letter out to him as soon as possible. Depending on the branch of service and the time of year, some recruits may wait a week or two in a in processing unit before being assigned to their final training unit.
      Hang in there, Mom!

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Emily ,
      My son has been in the Coast Guard for 4 years now . I remember boot camp like it was yesterday ..if you are on Facebook they have a coast guard moms page, it’s wonderful + very helpful !! Best of luck to you … Trust me the anticipation gets better .. Hang in there + welcome Coastie Mom ⚓️⚓️

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