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What is the best way I can help my son while he is away at basic training??

He is leaving for basic in 2 weeks, and this is all new to us. We will be attending his graduation on Dec 17 & hopefully will be bringing him home with us for Christmas (we have been told he will be able to come home for 2ish weeks, but I know things change in the military & don't want to completely depend on that) I know I can write letters, but what else will be helpful to him while he is gone? And what in the world do you get your child for Christmas who is in such a transition??

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Asked by RyansMom92 at 1:41 PM on Oct. 2, 2010 in Adult Children (18+)

Level 2 (4 Credits)
Answers (24)
  • Well if he's going in the Marines you can't send anything BUT letters from when my S/O was in, but that was a few years ago. My son was in the Air Force during Desert Storm, and we sent mostly just letters, not really much you can send, they supply them w/what they need. I'd try and get a few ideas from him as to what he'd like for Christmas, may depend on where he's stationed. My son went in the week Christmas, your lucky yousr is coming home, lets pray he's out of harms way. Maybe some military wives will post for you.

    Answer by MyAngel003 at 1:52 PM on Oct. 2, 2010

  • make sure you keep close contact with him and remind him how strong willed he is. basic is brutal and i don't mean to scare you but a lot of recruits do commit suicide because they feel they can't handle it anymore. write him every day, send him care packages. be there for him as much as you can because it is hard to get through

    Answer by aliishott2 at 1:54 PM on Oct. 2, 2010

  • Just be understanding and supportive, Try not to be upset if you don't hear from him. know that he may not be able to call and if he does it may not be for very long...he also may not have time to write back to you. Don't talk a lot about the trip home just in case he isnt able to make it. My husband wasnt able to come home for his 2 weeks until almost 3 months after basic training because of schooling and training. They feel like they have let you down when plans change even if it isnt their fault so if plans do change reassure him that it is ok and you are looking forward to when you do get to see him. The best things to get him would be things for his new dorm... They dont have many creature comforts, just the basics so anything that he likes to indulge in would be great. My hubbys favorite gift was him

    Answer by foxracing43701 at 1:56 PM on Oct. 2, 2010

  • I wasn't allowed to send care packages when my son was in the Air Force basic training. I sent lots of letters, sometimes a few a week-just lots of news about day-to-day stuff. That is what he wanted to hear. He also wanted lots of pictures of us and the family. As soon as he got settled in his "dorm", he wanted home baked goodies, he didn't have a lot of room for much for us to send him. (Unfortunately) He had used his wages to buy everything else he needed such as electronics and such.

    Answer by CoCoMom89 at 5:36 PM on Oct. 2, 2010

  • Don't SEND ANYTHING but letters until he tells you otherwise. Make them light hearted....the weather, pictures of everyone, what went on during the week. Look into investing in a web cam if you don't already have one - same for him - Skype (or other free video chat) will be great once he can do that. Good luck - support him and be proud.

    Answer by twinsplus2more at 8:39 PM on Oct. 2, 2010

  • Honestly I would send letters of encouragement. As far as christmas goes, I would not give big things, as the barracks are small. Things like dishes, sheets, things like that. Laundry detergent. Also, I know the best thing that really started off my family and both my brothers off well when they went into the army, was a visit to financial planning. It is free, and they have free classes on budget and finance, and it is very helpful to young soldiers who have real income for the first time.

    Answer by Sillybillymel at 10:18 PM on Oct. 2, 2010

  • aww, I have not been through this so all I can say is to be supportive of what he wants to do. Do not cry & let him know how worried you are. He needs to stay focused on this journey. Best of luck, Hon

    Answer by NicolesMommy at 11:34 PM on Oct. 2, 2010

  • He is going to be independent ---he is going to be in the military for goodness sake----and all you need to do is write him and be cheerful and don't act as if you are suffering from his absence. He is a big boy now and he doesn't want his Mommy to be fussing over him anymore. Let him be a grown up. Just give him support. That's all you need to do. He can take care of himself now.....
    If he asks for something he needs you to send him,fine,but he will be able to manage on his own.

    Answer by gertie41 at 11:59 PM on Oct. 2, 2010

  • Aliishott2....are you nuts?

    Answer by gertie41 at 12:02 AM on Oct. 3, 2010

  • The thing that I looked forward to was when I got letters from home, cards too. After the first two weeks we were able to call home more so it was great to be able to hear my moms voice. Pictures are always nice too. I think once my mom wrote to me as if my dog was writing to me....saying how much he missed me and that he would sit by the front door waiting for me. It was great to know that I was not forgotten.
    We were not allowed any treats in Basic Training. So pretty much letters is all you can do. As for Christmas get him pre-paid phone cards (we had to use payphones to call home) and pictures. Its always nice to show off pictures of your family and home town to your new buddies while you are away in your schooling or even when you are stationed somewhere.

    Answer by nettey79 at 1:51 AM on Oct. 3, 2010

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