Hello and welcome Jeanie!!
Sandboxx is an app that people use to send letters to their recruits. It's not recommended because of PERSEC, but it's a fast way for your recruit too receive mail (The FaceBook group does not allow for people to even talk about it). It does have a fee to use as well.
Although you don't have an address yet, you'll receive the form letter with 2-3 weeks which will give you her address and graduation date! (Yay!) You can estimate her graduation date to be 8 weeks from now, but it's just an estimation and is recommended to wait for the form letter to arrive!
There is a lot of useful information here, I recommend reading through some of the forums. If you know your daughters rate (job), you can even join the group for that and learn more about her future schooling and career! My husband is an AECF-ET, it kept me busy knowing what he will be doing while he was in boot camp!
Remember, no news is good news!!! It's a painful motto, but it reigns true! We're all here if you have anymore questions, there's a variety of experiences here as well.
I do want to add that I did use Sandboxx while my husband was in boot camp. You can attach a photo with a limited word count letter. It also sends the recruit a letter and envelope so they can write back and send you a response. Don't put any crucial information in it, as anyone can read it as someone has to print it out and send it. So keep it light, general, and hopeful. I often just wrote how proud I was and happy for his achievements! You never know who could read it!
I never used Sandbox as I knew nothing about it when my son was in BC. Others have used Sandbox and hopefully they will reply to you. One thing to keep in mind with Sandbox is that it is not a private means of communication. Think of it like a postcard, where it can be clearly read by anyone that comes across it.
There have been numerous comments on the BC Mom group regarding the pros and cons to Sandbox, so I am sure someone will reply to your query.
Hi Jeanie! Welcome! My daughter has been at BC for almost 11 weeks and myself and a few other family members use Sandboxx often. It does get to your recruit quickly and can even be tracked. I do recommend waiting for the form letter so you have the correct division and address. It is approximately $4 per letter but is a little cheaper when you buy a package of multiple letters. You can even book travel to PIR thru them and they offer insurance in case your recruit’s date changes, which happened to me and I have to say changing our flights was easy and stress free with them. Good luck.
This is copied from the Army OPSEC page...
I will say from personal Experience that Sandboxx is a nightmare once they get to the fleet! There have been numerous instances where deployed ships/ units have been delayed as a direct result of this App! My Sailor Bee was delayed a week and a half and returned in the middle of the night with less than an hours notice. As a result of the delay we were unable to be there for his homecoming. I know there was another unit that spent 4 days in an airport hanger eating from vending machines because of Sandboxx.
If you choose to use the app in Bootcamp just know that if there is any change in her address, Sandboxx letters are not forwarded.
You are at the hard part of Boot Camp. Start writing letters (Regular ones) and once you get her address you can start mailing them out. They need to train a Recruit Mail Petty Officer before any mail is delivered so sending anything before you get the form letter is not advised for this reason. The First 3- 4 weeks of No communication is the worst but once you get the form letter you start getting more regular communications! After that you will have the "Proof of Life-- I'm still alive" call. There may be tears (on both ends) but try and stay strong and positive! They may earn bonus calls as well. Then comes the "Grand Silence" The last 2-3 weeks is silence part 2 and letters may slow down as they are working hard and getting ready for Battle Stations. After that is the wonderful "I'm a Sailor" call! (Although they don't call it that, and most don't know to lead with that.) Hang tight!! We haven't lost a mom to Boot Camp yet, We won't start with you!
BelovedbyHim - Thanks for the input on Sandboxx - I was hoping you would have an opportunity to reply, as you are more versed in it than I am.
Hi Jeanie - if you look at the main page of the Navy For Moms site you will see a discussion I posted with info regarding the Sandboxx app. You can use it for boot camp but it is NOT recommended once they are in the fleet.