Start writing as soon as your recruit leaves even though you don’t have an address and number the letters on the outside. Write often. The recruits look forward to Mail Call and letters and cards are a precious treasure. Letters and pictures often get passed around especially if there are some who do not get letters. You may want to include a brief letter or two in your envelope to be given to a shipmate who has not gotten any mail. Recruits can receive photos that are in good taste (the recruit must show all photos to the RDC), but to save space, you can print the pictures on computer paper and write your letter around them either by hand or on the computer. Use both sides of the paper if you have a lot to send. Do not send musical or recordable cards, or cards/letters with glitter or flocking that comes off, or contains confetti, or anything that will be messy or draw undo attention to your recruit. (Glitter and confetti are difficult to clean up and even one speck would be considered "gear adrift" and result in a "hit" on an inspection.) Some RDC’s do not permit newspaper or magazine clippings and others do. (One reason that RDC' s do not permit newspaper or magazine clippings is that the ink may transfer to your recruit's hands and then to clothing and/or objects within the compartment.) If you want to send articles (such as information on your recruit's favorite sports team), then copy the information either on the computer or a copy machine and then write your letter around it by hand or on the computer. Printing or writing your letter on both sides of the paper will reduce the number of pages. Write about anything and everything except things that will distress your recruit. It’s fine to let your recruit know that you miss him/her, but always follow it with how proud you are of him/her and how much you are looking forward to seeing him/her in his/her dress whites or dress blues at PIR as a US Navy Sailor. (GL changes over to dress blues the first full week of October and to dress whites the first full week of May. The command determines the switch over date and it could change from that if the need arose.) Be creative; send letters written as though they are from the baby or pet (one sister let her recruit's hamster chew a corner of a letter written as if from it and added hamster tracks on the page; others have sent a page of "woof, woof, woof..." and signed or have sent "meow, meow, purrr...." and signed ); include drawings and pictures (you may want to print them within your letter to save room); tell about your day, even hearing about a trip to the store could be wonderful for your recruit; include puzzles if your recruit enjoys those; add jokes; include information about your recruit's favorite television program (you may be able to find short recaps online) and things that are happening in the world that would be of interest to him/her as long as they are not distressing. The group, Letter-Writing Navy Moms also has suggestions for things to write.
You are very welcome.