January 18, 2011
It seems to be inevitable that new recruits will all get sick at basic training. I believe this is a combination of being within such close quarters of hundreds of other recruits as well as the physical and emotional stress that is placed on your body.
My husband was one of the lucky ones who got sick during basic training. He was sent to the infirmary for several days where he was treated for his illness. He was certainly not alone and by the end of training, the majority of his class had been there as well. Typically, as long as it is only a few days, the recruit will be sent back to his basic training unit after he is well again (or well enough) and continue training.
If the sickness is extreme or requires an extended period away from the unit, he may be recycled into another basic training class. They will try to avoid this if possible and get him back to his unit as soon as they can.
To avoid getting sick, it’s as simple as following basic hygiene requirements. Wash your hands, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing and get as much rest as allowed. If this means your family gets a few less letters, so be it. You need your sleep and your energy to not only deal with the tasks of the day but also to keep your immune system in good physical shape.
A note to families – it is a feeling of helplessness when he calls to say he is sick and you are hundreds or thousands of miles away. But rest assured that he is being taken care of and, if nothing else, he is able to rest and regain his strength while he is being treated. Do not send any extra care packages or try to send forbidden items with the idea he will be allowed to have them because he is sick. Only send exactly what he requests outside of letters and postcards. He will be back with his unit soon enough training to be a top-notch soldier.