I’m not the first person to tell you that those 9 weeks of Boot Camp are very tough. I have felt every emotion possible in such a short time frame. Writing letters is your only form of communication, so don’t be afraid to write as often as you’d like.
When my boyfriend got to Texas and called me to let me know he was safe, the last thing he told me was “..you can write as many letters you want to okay?”
The first letter I wrote to my boyfriend was nerve-wracking. I wasn’t sure what he would want to hear. But then I thought to myself, this wouldn’t be a letter from me if I didn’t ramble on about my day. So I did just that. I tried to keep things as short as possible, without missing important details. I know he won’t have all the time in the world to sit down and read my letters, so I don’t want to overwhelm him with too many words.
In his second letter, I sent him one of the cards I have in my shop. Once Week 2 of him being gone started, I began missing him more than I thought could be possible. I cried, and cried, and cried. I wrote him a letter during this time of sadness because I knew he would never believe me if I said I was never sad. I didn’t want to overwhelm him with my emotions though, so when I wrote in the card I made sure I stayed as positive as possible, and I assured him that after writing that letter and crying it all out I felt much better.
Tips on Sending Letters During Boot Camp:
- DO let them know you are sad. It is OK to have these feelings. Make sure your loved one knows this isn’t a walk in the park for you, but…
- DON’T make it all about you all the time. Think about what they’re going through and how emotionally and physically draining this experience is for them.
- DO ask them about how they’re handling things. But remember that there isn’t much they can tell you. They signed a contract of confidentiality so talk about what goes on will most likely be minimal.
- DO update them about what is going on in your life. Tell them about their favorite team, or even how the weather is. (My man isn’t big on sports, but he does love hearing about my day. I would update him about presentations or exams I got back. Every time I made a sale in my Etsy shop I made sure to tell him about it.)
- DON’T spray your letter with perfume, write in ink that isn’t black or blue, and don’t add any “pretty” little details on the envelope. Keep your letter as simple and plain as possible. You do not want to be the reason for your loved one to get an ass chewing.
- DO send pictures, jokes, or anything that makes you think of him/her. I have sent pictures of my works in progress, some of my Daily Lettering Prompts, and some lyrics that have really connected with me during this time.
- And lastly, DON’T get upset if they don’t write as much as you do. Please remember that they are a lot more busier than we are. They’re constantly being yelled at and some nights they just might not feel like writing. Don’t get upset if you don’t hear from them for a while.
Write often. I have read online on various sites / stories from people who were once in the military, and I have found that during Boot Camp they can get a chance to open letters as often as every night. Some people said it was every 5 nights, others said 2-3 times a week. It all depends on who is in charge, I guess.
When I read that I decided that I should keep my letters shorter and more frequent so that my boyfriend wouldn’t have to have nights where he doesn’t get any letters.
EDIT: Since posting this many months ago a lot has changed with my long distance relationship. The one thing that has stayed constant, however, is my need for sending my boyfriend cards. He has told me multiple times how these cards can make his day so much better. I wouldn’t stop writing to your significant other after Boot Camp is over. Getting something in the mail will always mean more than a text, though it is much slower. I definitely don’t send him letters or cards nearly as much as when he was in Boot Camp, but I make sure that I send something at least once a month so that he can still remember all the love I have for him.
Take a peek in my Etsy shop which features many LDR cards. Sending & making cards is what helped keep me sane through his Boot Camp and on.
Do you have any other tips or suggestions that should be added to the list?
Where to find me:
Etsy (where I post LDR cards & other artwork)
Instagram (where I post my daily hand lettering project & products of mine)
Facebook (where I post Behind-The-Scenes, etc.)