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Hi Moms. I need some advice please.

My future sailor hasn't yet left for BC but I wanted to get a jump on writing letters to be sent after he is at GL.

The issue is, I suffer from those very common afflications of Dads the world over - namely, Donttalkmuchitis and Acute Writeevenless.

Mom can't help me much on this one as I am widowed so I thought I'd ask the experts. I raised my sons myself since they were pre-teens and while we communicate well face to face, my skills drop off talking on the phone and sadly, are even worse by letter.

Any ideas for subjects or things to talk about when I write? I want to build up a supply of notes for him before he leaves because I know it'll take me a week to complete a letter so I'd better get ahead of it.

I've asked some of my women workmates but they just don't understand the BC experience and have suggested "Why don't you just text him?".

Umm, no, that won't work. :)




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Replies to This Discussion

hi and welcome!!  hmmm yup my hubs suffers from the Acute Writeevenless....

great idea to get ahead of long between now and the departure for RTC??  as you have this time together before he goes maybe you can listen for those key things he will miss...and you probably know some of his 'favorite' things...just need to think about how to translate them into letters-you can do this!!

favorite sports teams-stats, scores, news on trades/new son was at RTC during last years NHL had to give him 'other' sports...used to copy and paste full pages from ESPN with the 'stats boards'...

favorite music/band-tours, videos, news-yup means you get to watch MTV on purpose!!

favorite TV show/series-I had to watch 'Moonshiners' a few times...but it did give me info to write to him about

your own history-is there something that the 2 of you do together that you have a back story for and you can write a memory of a time together...

his future in the Navy-as much as you already know what he will be doing you can do research on it and write to him about the amazing things he will be doing...

oh and the pets...if you have pets they really like telling silly stories to those at the time that dad forgot to do something....and what happened because of it...

there is also a link to what happens at RTC that you can follow along with-my son told me that he couldnt figure out how I knew what he was doing....told him that momma knows alot....

I hope this has helped-ask again and congrats to you and your soon to be SR!!

Dr. Mom here!

There are some document files within this letter writing group page that you may use to "manage" some of your symptoms! These can be downloaded and personalized by you. Or you may be inspired by some of the documents and create something entirely your own. There are many prepared questionnaires (multiple choice and fill in the blank type) about aspects of the boot camp experience that can be modified. These are helpful to the folks in boot camp because they require very little time to complete. And they will, in fact, have very little time to write! 

You may also use "supplements" to further treat your condition! Read everything you can about boot camp on the RTC website ( There are also lots of documents within the Boot Camp, DEP and PIR group pages on the website. Stroll around to find those groups and join them to access their document files. There are also many Navy for Moms groups on FB. Find some you are interested in and ask to join. They have tons of document files on their pages also.

Learn everything you can about your "condition." There are great documents that explain the entire boot camp process, week to week and day to day, that your SR (seaman recruit) will go through. This info can also be found online - Google will become your BFF!

Make some new friends here and on some of the FB Navy for Moms pages. They are incredibly helpful and very supportive. 

Watch some YouTube videos about boot camp and about the Navy in general with your DEPer. This may prompt some meaningful discussions BEFORE he leaves. 

So here's my diagnosis: greatdadwholoveshisDEPer. The treatment plan is outlined above. If you have any further symptoms, the office is ALWAYS open!

Best wishes to you and your family!!!

That is hilarious, Dr. Mom!  Best diagnosis yet.

I can't add much to what they have told you. We printed family pictures on white paper and wrote our letter around them.
If you are *religious* at all (for lack of a better word) try some scripture.
What I really wanted to say was welcome to Navy4Moms :-) sounds like you've been both mom and dad for a while. (((NMH))) Everyone here is wonderful. You'll get a lot of info!

I totally understand. I wrote about everything! My husband couldn't think of really anything to write. He said he'd just be repeating me. Haha! He is a man of very few words. But, when my son was held back in RCU for an injury he sent the sports page each week. You can't really send that heavy of an envelope in regular boot camp without drawing attention.  Depends on what your son is interested in but here are some things I sent: collages of pics I printed on printer paper (he loved that). I took pics of friends, family, events, his dogs, anything I thought he'd find funny or interesting. Word Searches & crossword puzzles I tore from books, jokes I found online, Bible verses, sports articles or whatever he's interested in, Chuck Norris facts I found online, and LOTS of encouragement!!! Printing things 2 sided helps.

Thanks Ladies! Great ideas and I appreciate the guidance.

I'm sure I'll get through this fine.


My husband, who joined the army in 94, still speaks with great emotion about the one letter he received in boot camp from his father, a guy who really never opened up. I don't know the words his dad used, but he told him how he felt, how much he loved him. To this day it still means so much. So my advice is this, your son will understand if he isn't getting daily letters. He will appreciate whatever heartfelt note you can stuff into an envelope. 

Aside from simply telling him how much you love him, how proud you are, how strong he is, etc, you can add the little daily stuff. Does he have a favorite show? You can update him. A pet? Write a note from the dog. There are some great questionnaires here too that my daughter has sent back to me.

Also, are there any others you can ask for help? A few of my daughter's friends moms have sent her letters as well. Maybe a favorite teacher or coach?

Good luck! 

Make sure you write. Its important that he knows you are thinking about him!  Type it on computer. Just talk about anything,.. sports, family stuff, what you are doing at work.. etc. My husband wrote my son who is a bc now and told him about his work, our dog etc.. just anything. You can send article that is good. If news paper copy first.. just don't give any bad news if possible. Lol can't text or I would be every day!! I try send a letter every other day.Some moms do every day!! Good luck to your son.. Mine has been there 3 weeks. He said  he likes the letters!!

Take care!

It is great that you are preparing ahead for this important part of your son's boot camp experience.  My son told me that "mail call" was the highlight at the end of their hard day.  He won't care what you write about, it can be the most mundane thing, just do it.  Copy and paste local and world news, comics, funny stories, sports scores or anything in his field of interest.  My son gave me a list of things he wanted to be kept informed about before he left.    Ask others to write to him as well, that way if you miss a day, it might be covered.  My son felt so bad for some of the recruits who never got any mail.  He gave me their names and I wrote to some of them too, thanking them for their service and their friendship with my son, encouraging them that they made the right decision and sending some sport scores from their state's sports teams.    I always included an uplifting and encouraging Bible verse in each of my letters to my son.  One verse turned out to be the best thing for my son.  He told me that when he read this verse from Jeremiah 29:11, he was relieved and took this as a sign that his decision to join the Navy was the right one: " For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."         If you can't think of anything to write, just send photos and one line of encouragement.   ~ S

Again, thanks to all for the ideas and especially for the reminder that other SRs may not get any mail. I told my son to send me the names of any SRs in his division that are not receiving mail and I would send them something also. I can't think of anything worse than no mail or contact from anyone while away from home and at BC.

Best wishes - Tonypete


I write everyday,I use the computer for letter writing, this way I can stop and begin whenever I want-O try to make ever letter funny, silly things that happen throughout the day, I also attach a picture of something funny from my gallery- I just wrote him a letter telling him about a Katy Perry impersonator coming to the house for his little sisters birthday- well the most recent pictures of this women look nothing like Katy Perry- she has this God awful wart on her nose and is about 60 years old- I think Katy Perry is in her 30's

All young men like to talk about themselves, I learned this the hard way, they want to know they are doing things the right way weather they are or not, just like any other man lol. And most of all they want unconditionally love no matter how hard it is just be there for Him, don't put your troubles on his back and always take his on yours. And never ever ever take away your love no matter how bad he pisses you off. Be the grown up and say I'm sorry first. Using these simple rules, I've improved my relationship with my son three folds. Good luck to you and your son


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