Operation Letters From Home Has Begun.

Yesterday I received the first letter from my son, Recruit Valtierra.

My daughter was thrilled, I was relieved.

Inside the envelope was a two page letter from his Senior Drill Instructor. Although it’s a standard form letter, I found it to be quite comforting. The portion of the letter from my son was addressed to “mother and father” and basically told me his platoon number and his graduation date.

July 27, 2012.

The letter was typed, but he did sign his name. I cried when I saw his handwriting. Tears of joy, tears of Oh My God, I Miss Him So Much.

My cousin is a Marine and he gave me some really good advice on writing letters to my son. He said that when you’re in boot camp, you’re extremely home sick. He said to keep the letters positive and encouraging. As I wrote my first letter back to him, I resisted the urge to be all “I miss you so much that I cry every and life is so sad without you.” Instead, I spoke of how proud I am of him, reminded him how strong he is and told him to always believe in himself and that HE CAN DO THIS. And then I told him how I cleaned under his bed yesterday and found 4,302 empty water bottles and why you gotta be such a slob, boy?

I just feel so much better about everything knowing that I can finally communicate with my son.

Related: How many letters is too many letters? One a day? Every other day? I don’t want to overwhelm him, but I also want to be sure he knows we’re here thinking of him, supporting him as best we can.

13 thoughts on “Operation Letters From Home Has Begun.

  1. Kathy Burns

    Yvonne, I know exactly what you are going through as my son is in Navy Boot Camp as I write this. I sent him a letter EVERY single day. Somedays it was questionnaires where I made multiple choice answers. He wrote back and said he loved doing the questionaires! I really liked them also b/c I that way I could get answers to questions that I had. I agree with your brother keep the letters uplifting and funny. Thinking of you as you are going through this. My son graduates on 5/18 and I.CANNOT.WAIT!

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  2. kathy from NJ

    When my nephew was in Air Force boot camp his mother sent something every day. His favorite aunt sent something almost every day. I have no idea how much his girlfriend wrote and I don’t know about other aunts & uncles, but he did get a LOT of mail. Sometimes I would send something from the newspaper, sometimes just a funny story. He got his mail at dinner and after a couple of weeks of Dan getting tons of mail, the guy handing out the mail started making jokes about the amount he was receiving. Please do send something every day, pictures (her artwork) from Gabby, a small note from his brother and something from Dad, too. It means so much.

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  3. Lyndsey

    Every day! When my ex went through boot camp he said letters from home were like gold. There was no sense of “oh my god his mom writes him sooo much” there was only happiness every time you got a letter and everyone felt that way.

    Reply
  4. Beth

    I wrote my son a letter every day if possible. Letters were the one thing that kept him going and the one control he had over the instructors. Once in tech school,he doesn’t care but he lived for the letters in basic!!

    Reply
  5. kathy from NJ

    PS – It will NOT overwhelm him if he gets 100 letters in a day. You might want to make sure all your friends and extended family have his address. And understand (and be sure friends & family understand) that he will not have the time or energy to write back. And if it’s anything like Air Force boot camp, he will not have access to a phone or computer. I think if you need to contact him for a true family emergency, you can call the chaplain. The info should be in one of the thousands of papers that you received.

    Reply
  6. Threse

    My twin brother is in the Navy and reading these entries brings back the same feelings my family had when we went to bootcamp (almost 15 years ago). I remember the first letter we received from him and it was heartbreaking. He is very stoic and in the letter he talked about how it was the first time he was able to sit and think about family and actually write to us and it was very emotional (not like him at all!) I thought my mom was going to get in the car and go kick some Navy butt and bring him home. Anyway, she promptly sent his mailing info to everyone he had ever known in his entire life and basically demanded that people write him letters because she didn’t want him to be lonely or homesick. At his graduation, when we saw him again, he laughed about how much mail he’d recieved and how it was actually a problem because it took up so much space in his tiny bunk area. To this day though, he still has every single one of those letters! All that to say, write as many as you want. I’m sure your son will cherish them all. Don’t be offended if he can’t keep them all due to space constraints though… :)

    Reply
  7. Michelle

    Yvonne,

    Every time I read one of your entries I get so choked up, I think it’s because of the sacrifice you and Andrew are making on my behalf so I want to thank you (and him). I hope that for both of you this time out of touch goes quickly.

    Hope you have your happiest mother’s day yet. . .

    Reply
  8. AA

    I think every day is fine. Especially for boot camp. If you send me his address I’ll write to him! Maybe he’d like a postcard from Texas! A huge thank you to you and Andrew and all the moms of servicemen and their sons.

    Reply
  9. Susan

    I wrote a letter every single day to my son. He said when they got mail for the first time that only 8 guys had letters and he was one of the 8. He kept all the letters he received and still has them to this day. He thanked me for writing and said it was his lifeline to the outside world. I would send football scores to him and tell him the stuff I read in the paper or saw on the news. He said that was a huge help as he felt disconnected to the outside world. Remember they have no internet,newspapers,TV,etc. So send lots of letters, he will appreciate them.

    Reply
  10. Julie Schomacker

    The questionnaire is a great idea. That way if he doesn’t have the energy he can circle the correct answer and still have a letter to send home.
    When my stepson was in Army boot camp they had to do push ups for each letter they received in a day. He had a birthday while he was there and received many cards, plus a package from an aunt which wasn’t allowed. It was full of candy bars, which the drill sergeant opened up and ate in front of him. He said that was the worst and he wished she hadn’t done that, so you might check the rules on sending packages.
    I’m so glad you received a letter from him. I know that he will love every letter he can get from home. It will be uplifting on those long days. And remember, when you see him in July, he won’t be a boy, he will be a man. It was amazing to see Jakob at the end. He had changed so much, matured. Not to mention the amount of weight he had lost.

    Reply
  11. Linda Tackett

    I think you should write him everyday, it will give him to look forward to after his hard day of training.

    Reply

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