Reading you message brought back memories of my son that left a little over a year ago. It is very hard on both the parent and the child not being able to talk when they want to. But once you start receiving the letters it helps a little. Make sure you join the ship and div once you know what it is. You will get so much more info and support from other moms then. And believe me it is so much better once they get done with boot camp and they have their cell phone, then you can talk with them every day. Just make sure that you are upbeat when you write to him and very positive this will help him get though it also. Also send his mail in a regular envelope and no musical cards or food/candy. I usually received my letters from my son on a thursday of each week since his mail went out on a Monday (that is once they assigned someone to do the mail) which took about 3 weeks.