Week 1 Survey, Basic Training at Fort Leonard Wood - Letter Ideas
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Items the soldiers can not have
Soldiers at Ft. Leonard Wood have access to health care, as well as a store. They’re given an advance on their pay when they arrive so that they can take care of any of their immanent needs.
The above information was last updated in Spring/2013. To make sure it’s current, check the note on the units Facebook Page.
Keep in mind that soldiers in this unit may have to do additional push-ups for each letter they receive, by all means, don’t let that discourage you from writing, write every single day, sometimes three times, but use that paper wisely, and make those letters count! Imagine what strong arms your soldier will soon have as well!
When my daughter left for Basic Training at Fort Leonard Wood, the 1st thing I wanted to do was connect with her. I was starved for communication with her! As we like to say, I missed her guts! :D.
I started writing letters to her before her plane had officially left the ground. I’d sent her with everything she’d let me send, because there are rules about that sort of thing. We bought bra’s she was allowed to bring, and hygiene products, we bought special bun rolling hair thingamajigs at Claire’s, and cut up some old socks to make more.
Still, believe it or not, and I bet you do believe it, I couldn’t wait to send her a care package! The first thing I learned is that your soldier gets in trouble for your bad behavior. So if you’re sending them contraband hidden somewhere in those care packages, you’re costing them privileges, and causing them pain that comes in the form of PT by way of ‘getting smoked’, sometimes for their whole unit, ACK.
So what CAN you put send to FLW in a care package for a soldier at BCT (basic combat training)?
The first step is to make sure the Unit actually even allows care packages. My daughter was in E148, and they did indeed allow the sending of care packages. There ARE units that just plain don’t allow care packages at all period. My daughters unit, like most BCT units didn’t allow food of any kind (at AIT at FLW this was because of a rodent and insect problem as well as poor hygiene and prior spoiled foods, so this DOES vary from base to base for sure.) The prohibition on food and snackage makes regulation cough drops VERY popular, we’ll get more into that below.
Of course no one knows your soldier better than you. My daughter wanted care packages. She called home requesting some specific items (Chap Stick and lotion), and we sent them. However, the Café Mom website points out that care packages can make your soldier stand out, when he/she REALLY wants to blend in.
Now on the other hand, here’s a fun quote from a soldier that posted on Café Mom:
When I got my phone on Sunday’s I would shop online lol put my mom’s name on stuff. One can’t help what parents send *innocent*. I even ordered snacks once for the entire company just for the lols. We were given 15 minutes to eat as much as we could (everything was gone save for the green chip at the bottom of a lays bag (I ordered candy bars, chips, fizzy drinks… You name it, amazon had it). Then someone (anyone) had to do 100 push-ups or we would all get smoked.
In Echo 1/48 (BCT) at Fort Lenoard Wood, getting a care package made you popular! It was like you were the lucky guy at Christmas time. You weren’t allowed to get food or candy. We could have toiletries, brown towels, shoes (company dependent), army green socks, white socks (ALL white, had to go past your ankle, so tube’s or crew).
Until you know if your soldier can have care packages at all you can send letters, 1 every day if you can. Spam your Facebook account with their address, pester their friends, and get them as many letters as you can! I carried around stationary and stamps so that everyone I came into contact with could write a quick note!
I sent TONS of letters, and my daughter still asked “Mom, why isn’t anyone writing to me!?!”
Many soldiers are only allowed photographs and letters. Most are allowed care packages, but you’ve got to be REALLY creative if you want them to feel like they got ‘treats’ in their care package.
As I mentioned above, my daughters 1st two requests were for chap stick and for her favorite lotion. Soldiers are given a $300 advance on their paychecks to spend at the PX when they arrive on base to buy anything that they need as well. One of the things my daughter mentioned were coal finger and toe warmers.
The most popular item in a care package really seems to be cough drops. That’s because they can’t have any candy or other food in their barracks, or their pockets, or anywhere but at meal times. They can usually only have the blue menthol kind. There’s a small chance they can’t have these at all and they’ll just get thrown out, but they’re pretty cheap, so it’s really not the end of the world if they do.
So in a nutshell we have:
Other popular items include razors, shaving cream, sun block, etc. Those hygiene items can be purchased at the PX. They’ll also eventually need binders, note cards, and other ‘school supplies’. Again they’ll probably buy these items at the PX as well.
Anything that they can’t have, with the exception of food will be held for them until the end of the cycle.
The very 1st letter I received from my SIT was on paper that was provided to her to keep notes in a class of some sort that she was attending her 1st week of basic. The best thing about this letter was hearing she was okay, that she was happy, and that she loved me. Then there was that blessed envelope, and it\'s forwarding address that told me how to get a letter to my daughter while she was at BCT at Fort Leonard Wood. It basically said \"Mom I love you, I\'m supposed to be taking notes.. I\'m fine, I\'m happy.. \" etc. 100 words tops. Just for your reference, I looked down at the word counter on this article, what you\'ve read this far of this article is about 100 words. It was shorter.
SIT\'s aren\'t given a ton of time to write home, in fact, early on they\'re barely given any at all. But we still want answers don\'t we? Amen!
Check out this survey idea from MsABCT:
I've arrived! I feel like I'm at Summer Camp ___ Band Camp ___ Lost in the Twilight Zone ____
My DS Yells more than Mom ____ Dad _____ Other _____________
But he/she reminds me of ________________________ on a good day ____ a bad day ____
My Battle Buddies are Nice ______ Funny ______ Strange _____ Scary _________ Don't ask ________
I like the food better ______ it's something to eat ______ ughhh _______
My bed is too small _____ too big _____ just right _______
The guy next to me has good hygiene ______ bad hygiene _______ we all stink so it doesn't matter _______
I'm OK ____ I'll survive _____ it's tough but I'm hanging in ________ Can you break me out _____?
Before I left, I forget to do ________________________________
and I forgot to tell you ___________________________________
Have fun with your SIT...
Meanwhile do you remember I told you I wanted to make some changes with house ____ myself ____ other ___ ?
Well guess what I did? I _______________________ and I love it ____ should have waited ______ still deciding ___
Be loving with your SIT...
The first thing I did was _________
I can't wait to see you ________
(insert your own) ___________
The next article reminds us that our soldier's miss their pets, and suggests that we make sure the pets send letters as well! LOL :).
Here's an excerpt:
Here is one from our own Admin Cyndi Baweck.:
Fetti is our house rabbit, Porky is the cat.
It’s Fetti. . . yeah, yeah I know. I’ll give you a minute to get over the shock. . . . . . . . . . you good?
Anyway, I’ve noticed that I haven’t seen you around for awhile. Mom says you’re at Basic Training. Really? You’re kind of big to not know the basics of training. Poop in the litter box, don’t chew on the furniture, and don’t chase the cat. Stop laughing, her smacking me in the eye doesn’t make her tough, just grumpy.
There are a lot of other fun articles by this particular Facebook Page, so be sure to check them out!