Letters from Boot Camp: The First Two Weeks of Boot Camp from a Wife’s Perspective
So I thought I would share with you all a little bit of what is going on in my life right now. I haven’t been blogging as much as I would have liked too in the past few weeks due to my husband leaving for Marine Boot Camp. It’s been a rough two weeks without him so far. On the bright side, only 10-ish more weeks until I get to see him (HA! That’s not long at all is it?)
Above is my man with our baby girl right before he left.
Right now I am just writing about my experience (so far) and things that I have learned.
If you are like me, you may have never had a loved one attend boot camp.
When someone very special to you joins the military, you are curious about EVERYTHING (kinda like pregnancy , haha!) So you google every question you can think of because you are too embarrassed to ask (or you don’t want to overwhelm the recruiters with the volume of all the questions you have!)
These are some things that I am just learning about the whole boot camp process so far:
There is no communication other than letter writing. That’s right. Snail mail. And they don’t even send the letter with their address until they’ve been there for like a week. I finally got my husband’t first letter 16 days after he left. I am actually glad it didn’t come earlier last week because we got 3 feet of snow but the mailman still put mail in our mail box. This resulted in the plow knocking over the mailbox and burying all the mail in the snow. I was so scared that my precious letter with his address, or even worse, a letter from him was now under 3 feet of snow! I was relieved to find two DRY letters in the mailbox today. On the bright side, it is very romantic to write letters. That’s actually the one thing I missed about dating when we got married, because we didn’t need to write letters to each other anymore.
Update: It’s been a week since I sent my first letters (um, like 12 of them) and I have gotten 5 letters from him saying that he still hasn’t gotten any of mine. Talk about stressful communication!
You do get ONE guaranteed phone call when your recruit arrives. Mine was the night he got there at 12:38 am. It was 17 seconds long. We had agreed he would call my cell number, which I kept by my side from the moment he left. I was actually asleep when he called, but I woke up, picked up the phone, and was lucky enough not to miss being able to hear his voice, even if it was just him reading off a script word for word. Other guys in the background were yelling their scripts, but my husband was just saying it in an authoritative manner. He sounded like he was about to laugh, which was a relief to me because I have heard of many guys almost crying (okay, maybe sounding “scared” was the adjective used) during “the phone call.” Right before he hung up I shouted “I love you!” knowing I didn’t have any time for anything more than that. I hope he heard it.
Above: My first boot camp letter from my husband.
It is really important that I send him lots of mail. It’s his one connection to the outside world. I have been stocking up on letters to send to him by writing him almost everyday since he left. But I told myself not to get my hopes up in regards to hearing from him right away (I gave him 2-3 weeks.) But the delay in letters from him isn’t something I am taking personal. It’s not his fault. He still LOVES me like crazy, but he just doesn’t have any free time (as illustrated in the picture below of the first letter he wrote me during boot camp.)
Above: An excerpt from his first letter to me.
It’s all a been a blur to him so far. He said that he has had zero free time. But I know that he will pull through it. He is very dedicated and disciplined so I know he will excel at it. And that’s what I tell him. It is so important to build him up & encourage him.
I may be the only one who plans on sending their recruit a letter everyday (or every other day) but I don’t care. All I want to do is to bring a smile to his face as much as I can.
Keeping the letters positive. I am not the most independent person. It’s silly, but I never even really went to the library without him. I’m no clingy, but we just do everything together. So it’s an adjustment for me to be doing everything by myself. With that said, I’ve made it a point to make sure not to “dump” any thing I am dealing with on him. He doesn’t need to be bothered by it. Especially if he can’t physically do anything about it. He’s already having to deal with Drill Instructors “making him into a Marine.” The less negative the better. As much as I miss him, I know it is harder for him. He’s the one who has to deal with the emotions of missing each other and training like crazy. Myhardest challenge is finding things to do, attempting to avoid the fact that it literally feels like my heart is missing without him (because it IS… he took it with him!)
Photos. He wrote asking for me to send some pictures, so I put together 3 8×10 collages (one with pictures of what the baby’s been doing while he is gone, one of pictures of all of us, and one of pictures of me)
I figured that this way if his locker gets dumped, they will be easier to get back in order than individual photos. Here’s to hoping!
Above is the Baby Collage I printed out and sent him.
I’m not supposed to send any care packages. They specifically told me that we aren’t supposed to send any packages (only letters and appropriate pictures.) However, they in my official letter which I received from his Senior DI, it stated that I can send small packages… but I am definitely NOT going to until I get the go-ahead from my husband. Yes, this means that I am also withholding from spraying the letters I send him with perfume, or putting lipstick marks on the envelopes (even though it’s SO tempting!!!) The less conspicuous the letters, the better for him.
I’ll be updating more about my boot camp experience. I just can’t wait for graduation day!