For a lot of recruits, Air Force Basic Training is the first time they receive and write letters to friends and family. With e-mails, texting and instant messaging, there isn't much reason to write letters to friends and family anymore.
Being unable to send abbreviated messages every other minute to your boyfriend or girlfriend is just one of the harsh realities of being in a basic training environment. Without these modes of communication, letter seems to be your only viable option and becomes the lifeblood of communication for your close circle of friends and family.
If you’re about to leave for basic training, make sure your friends and family are aware of the following guidelines about sending mail to recruits in the military:
- Do not send anything that is prohibited. A list of prohibited items can be found in The Ultimate Air Force Basic Training Guidebook in Chapter 10 - Packing for BMT: Helpful Tips on What to Bring.
- Avoid sending any food. Any packages received during basic training will be opened in front of Drill Sergeants and the rest of the recruits.
- Don't send clothes. Not only will the receiver of the clothes not be able to wear it, but they will have to pack it wherever they go, and space is very limited.
- Don't send letters that smell of perfume or cologne. This is a favorite for drill sergeants when they are handing out mail. This tactic gives the drill sergeants fuel to endlessly make fun of your favorite little recruit.
- Don't send pictures you don't want others to see. Any pictures that you send will be passed around. Provocative pictures will be confiscated and who knows, may even appear on the internet some day.
What you should send are letters filled with words of encouragement, love and support. Those words of encouragement go a long way and is exactly what your recruit will want to read.
SrA Nick VanWormer is the author of the ALL NEW book: The Ultimate Air Force Basic Training Guidebook available at UltimateBasicTraining.com.