BF in Army Basic Training

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    Jul 18, 2010 11:37 PM GMT
    Does anyone have experience with a loved one in Basic Training? How did you handle it? How often did you write? What did you write about? Is it true that they read the letters out loud? What do you suggest?
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    Jul 19, 2010 12:10 AM GMT
    Speaking from the boot-camp side: send letter lots of them; very important to get mail—helps to lessen the sheer loneliness.
    No, they don’t read the letters; however, someone may get a hold of it and read it. I would keep the letter as tame as possible or a code of some sort.
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    Jul 19, 2010 12:18 AM GMT
    My son went thru marine boot camp and is still in the marines. letters are VERY important. You might want to keep it general though...it is possible they read the letter aloud just to embarrass them....they will do whatever they have to, to break these guys down.

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    Jul 19, 2010 12:25 AM GMT
    2 sons went through boot camp. Write often about anything. The weather, friends, what you're doing. Keep away from those areas that would cause harm or pain. Keep positive and give him plenty of encouragement and write often.
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    Jul 19, 2010 1:39 AM GMT
    They are totally shut out from TV and media. If you enjoyed watching shows together keep him up on the plot lines.. same with news programs you enjoyed...
  • JohnG16775

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    Jul 19, 2010 4:15 AM GMT
    One of my buddies who is much younger than me went to basic several years ago, he was kinda thin and un-shure of himself. I wrote to him every day , literally, and he really appreciated it. I kept telling him he could do it and now he is a Sargent in Iraq for his 3 rd tour. He is much different that the young man we sent off to war, now he is a man.

    Bart
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    Jul 19, 2010 4:20 AM GMT
    I think the Army might be the same but when I went through Air Force BMT the MTI/Drill Instructors asked certain ppl if it was okay to read their letters to the flight/platoon. As this was the Air Force I would take it back a few notches and think in the Army they might not be so nice about asking and may just read it. Unless he shows some reservations about it. Just make it generic and save anything mushy for after his graduation.
  • mtneerman

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    Jul 19, 2010 5:40 AM GMT
    i never saw that when i was in the air force, but every flight is different. i got some pretty personal letters while in basic, so it's a good thing they didn't
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    Jul 19, 2010 5:42 AM GMT
    mtneerman saidi never saw that when i was in the air force, but every flight is different. i got some pretty personal letters while in basic, so it's a good thing they didn't


    I remember specifically a few letter being read but the MTI's asked if the person wanted to share. It was the only time the MTi's were human. LOL
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    Jul 19, 2010 5:45 AM GMT
    in my experience at Army basic your letters were yours, and yours only. They never read my mail or tried to use it to embarrass me. The Drill Sargents knew that the letters were very important to us and never really messed with them. It really was our only luxury.

    I wouldn't write anything incriminating in the letters. Keep it tame and mild. Remember that everything in your locker is fair game for inspection.

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    Jul 21, 2010 2:50 PM GMT
    Thanks for the advice guys! Following it already...
  • wculess

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    Jul 21, 2010 3:05 PM GMT
    And don't send any pictures. When I was in basic they inspected pictures. If he is in a combat MOS, I wouldn't write anything that may give aways he is gay.
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    Jul 21, 2010 5:06 PM GMT
    wculess saidAnd don't send any pictures. When I was in basic they inspected pictures. If he is in a combat MOS, I wouldn't write anything that may give aways he is gay.


    Ditto. When I was in basic training, the Drill Sergeant did read my mail every once and a while and pictures were confiscated and locked away until it was time for me to graduate. Letter weren't so important to me as I was glad to be there and away from my family.
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    Jul 21, 2010 5:18 PM GMT
    Join a group: servicemembersunited.org - its a support group for those dating/friends/family of the LGBT militant members.
  • Space_Cowboy_...

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    Jul 21, 2010 5:24 PM GMT
    Day by Day
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    Jul 22, 2010 6:18 AM GMT
    When I was in BCT, my BF and I wrote letters, but we changed his name to a genderless name. We used Adrian.

    I recommend this, then you can be open and honest about everything and never be outed.
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    Aug 07, 2010 3:42 PM GMT
    i was in basic the same time as my significant other last year, and letters are very important. helps relieve stress and lonliness...

    they dont make you read letters, BUT they do make you SHOW PHOTOS. so if you send a photo, make sure theres no gay content in there....
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    Aug 11, 2010 2:56 PM GMT
    So I have already written 21 letters since he left. Ten have been returned and re-sent. And all I have received is one letter that he wrote on this third day of reception. :-(
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    Aug 11, 2010 3:14 PM GMT
    It is great that you have written so much; yeah, a lot may not make it through, even if you get the address exactly right.
    Personal experience: only received mail on Sunday, only a couple of hours to read it; no, real time to write back, or rather, write back anything coherent.
    A care package with his favorite candy and a local newspaper is good too…keep encouraging him.
  • rafiki87

    Posts: 331

    Aug 11, 2010 4:45 PM GMT
    Mine is just finishing his Common Army Phase this week. Albeit the Canadian Forces is more liberal than its American counterpart in terms of its LGBT service men and women.

    It was 3 months long and we worked with the once a month trips (thank God Canada loves their long weekends - to the point where you can expect one a month) to see each other and the weekly phone calls and Skype dates. He flew out to Montreal and Toronto to see me on the long weekends.

    The bf isn't one to write letters so I didn't expect him to do so. I tried writing to him but the letters ended up going in all directions but to him. So we didn't really write to each other per se.

    Instead I left cards in interesting places (in his toiletry bag, in the pockets of his combats, in between his clothes, in his boots, etc) whenever we met up. I normally did this the night before he flies back to base.

    The more important bit really is realizing that your significant other is NOT the source of your happiness but instead he adds to it.

    Also you're his support at this time, so don't expect him to take care of you instead YOU have to be the one to take care of him, encourage him, remind him that you're always there for him and that you love him.

    On your side, you just need to find something to fill your time with to get your mind off of him.

    Look at the distance as an opportunity to bring out the best in your relationship.
  • 2PecanDeBeurr...

    Posts: 302

    Aug 11, 2010 5:09 PM GMT
    as a former air force training instructor, write letters as much as you can.
    this helps the trainee's morale, the motivation of having support during this very challenging period, helps keep focus on why he choose this adventure.
    subject of letters should be of places, movies, friends, community, foods, sports, workout routines and questions of inspections, classes, career specialty, further advanced training, and where will he be stationed afte basic. what you shared in the above builds self confidence, personal strengths to endure. these topics help him to communicate, express with other trainees who do not receive mail. j.c