My husband, Jeremy, went through Basic Military Training for the Air Force December 2015 through February 2016. There are a lot of rules that go into writing letters to your trainee during that time, but even more important are the things they don’t tell you that will make BMT even better for your trainee. So here are my Do’s and Don’ts:
- Write as often as possible. If you can write every day, do it. Even if it a half a page about how you went to work and then watched Netflix all night. Your trainee will appreciate it more than you can imagine.
- Send pictures. BUT make sure they are tasteful. Keep your trainee involved in your life, make them feel less isolated from everything going on at home. BUT DO NOT SEND NUDITY.
- Make sure that your trainee’s address is accurate and legible. You don’t want their letters getting lost because a simple mistake.
- Use white envelope only. Your trainee will get picked on by his or her MTIs if you send anything flashy.
- Send packages, gifts, or cash. It will get take away or thrown away and your trainee will get in trouble. There’s no rule against cash; however, they have to do a lot of paperwork for each bill. They don’t need money for anything while they are there, so hold off until they’re home.
- Send cards. Similar to flashy envelopes, you don’t want anything that draws attention to your trainee. Stick with simple letters.
- Send porn or anything else inappropriate.
- Send food. It will be taken away or thrown away.
- Send bad news. There is nothing wrong with sharing that you’re sad or that you miss them, but don’t tell them their brother got in a car accident. There is nothing they can do, they won’t be allowed to leave, and it will just distract them and make it harder for them.
The important thing is to make them feel less alone, keep them in the loop and don’t stress them out. Try your best to be positive, but don’t lie to them. You know your trainee best and you know what they’ll be able to handle and what they want to hear.
It can be hard when you are writing every single day and you rarely hear back. Remember that no news is good news and they are busy. I know it can be really tough, but hang in there, it will be over soon.