Tuesday, March 31

Writing Letters To Military Recruits During Basic Training

Photo VIA
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 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! After all, this is going to be your main form of communication.

If you’re committed to writing letters to your loved one at basic training every day or you simply want to send just one letter a week, this post 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 in the mail to your loved one. Remember all news from home is new to them!

Here are a few ideas that you might want to remember when writing your letter or email to your son, daughter, grandchild or spouse while they are at Basic Training.

  • Buy a stack of greeting cards to keep on hand. Cards tend to be much less intimidating than a blank sheet of paper. You can write a quick note and be happy knowing that your soldier is still receiving mail that day. After an exhausting day, they may be just as thrilled to have a shorter note to read rather than a long letter.
  • 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.
  • Stories about your day, what the dog did, what brothers and sisters are doing. Write down the little things as they happen during the day so you won't forget. 
  • Send photos of family members and pets.
  • Art work from young children in the household.
  • Send jokes… no one needs a smile more than someone going through boot camp or  basic training. 
  • Bible quotes and  other motivational quotes and stories.
  • If you have questions that need answering, save them for the end of your letter. It will make it easier for your soldier to know what information you need. 
  • Fill them in on what's happening in their favorite television program.
  • Hey gals: Don't decorate the outside of the envelope, spray perfume on it or send girly colored letters. Yes, it looks cute to you. But the drill sergeants and his new buddies will give him a hard time about it. He doesn't want to call attention to himself at all and he certainly doesn't want to do that over your letters.
  • Don't send packages to him or attempt to enclose anything in the envelope other than letters and small pictures. They may not be allowed to receive anything other than letters. 
  • Enlist family and friends to write as well. There is NO such thing as TOO much mail to someone in basic training! 
  • You may want to include a message or small note for another recruit that may not have received mail. I feel for them all! That's the Mother in me.
  • ALWAYS tell them how PROUD you are of them and their decision to serve our country, how much you LOVE and CARE for them, and how much you are looking forward to GRADUATION DAY when you can give them a big hug!

No matter how insignificant you feel like your letters are, remember that your soldier still needs to receive them. You may feel like you can't possibly tell them one more time how proud you are of him or how much you support her but just remember that could be the pick me up they need after a rough day of training. The bottom line is write to them and encourage other family members and friends to write as well! When their name is called at Mail Call, they will be excited to get their “Letter from Home”.

Here is a great example of a simple letter to a soldier:
Dear Soldier,   We are so proud of you and thank you for your great service to our nation and to the world. We think of you daily in our prayers and looking forward to being with you soon.  We want you to feel the support and encouragement we hope you find as we reach out today. Thank you for all of your effort and dedication. You are missed, remembered, and honored at home. Love you!



  1. These are great tips! My uncle is overseas right now, so these are good tips to know. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Michelle. Our daughter's LONG time boyfriend has been through college and is now setting out for the Army. I thought it would be smart to research the military life. I know we will all want to write to him when he's gone.

  2. I love it. I remember basic training. I would have loved a letter like that.

    1. Patrick,
      I am so glad to hear this. Our youngest daughter's beloved has graduated from Texas A&M and headed to the Army next month. We are trying to collect as much information as we can before he goes. He's going in as an officer, I know the other guys will give him a hard time, we definitely want him to feel loved! It's really going to be a hard time for all. Thanks for stopping by.....you made me feel like we are on the right track.
      Ronda Chesser Porter

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