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  #1  
Old 07-16-2008, 11:47 AM
angieolinger angieolinger is offline
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Unhappy Miserable mom

My son left for basic the end of June. He was scheduled for Ft. Leanardwood, Missouri but because of the flooding was sent to Ft. Knox. I guess he has been in basic for a few weeks now and I have received two letters from him. They are mostly discouraging and talk about how he is not happy.
I wonder if anyone else has a loved one in basic right now and how they are doing?

signed,
worried Mom
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  #2  
Old 07-16-2008, 12:31 PM
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Fireball Fireball is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angieolinger View Post
My son left for basic the end of June. He was scheduled for Ft. Leanardwood, Missouri but because of the flooding was sent to Ft. Knox. I guess he has been in basic for a few weeks now and I have received two letters from him. They are mostly discouraging and talk about how he is not happy.
I wonder if anyone else has a loved one in basic right now and how they are doing?

signed,
worried Mom
That's more letters than many receive the first few weeks... so consider yourself lucky. It's a good thing they are "down in the dumps" letters... it means that one of the main purposes of basic (to break you down) is working... towards the end you'll probably hear more upbeat letters... or at least letters of a new understanding.

as I have said before on here... the worst thing you can do as a "supportive family member/friend" is to write back all worried, concerned and question all the whys... Keep your letters upbeat. Send letters to put a smile on his face - not keep him thinking about all the crap happening.

For example:
You may be tempted to say "Oh my gosh, I am so sorry you're having to go through this. I can't believe your Drill Sgt.! What a jerk. You'll get through it though."

You should say something like "I read your letter. It gives me encouragement to know how strong you really are, and that you are staying committed to your goal. I admire how very dedicated you are and I know you will work hard and rise above the what is in front of you - that's just who you are."

Don't end in "miss you" or "wish you were here" (in fact never talk about wish you were here) but rather always positive things... like "It will be so fun to see you in a few!" or "not too much longer - the time is going by fast!", "your awesome!" "I'll keep the letters coming!"

It is a given our guys are going through a hard time... they know we know it... but we need to be that stable force of positivity during the time of challenge and extreme fatigue. Stay HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY... then when they graduate you all can laugh about the pitty letters and how it took everything you had to keep on the up and up.

That's my advice... others may differ... Good luck...
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  #3  
Old 07-16-2008, 12:50 PM
Txmom42 Txmom42 is offline
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Once again Fireball is right. Keep it upbeat. My son went through basic last summer. The first few letters were pretty pitiful. They did get better and now he plans on making the Army his career. It's absolutely amazing the changes they go through. You will be blown away! It will be OK!
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Old 07-16-2008, 12:59 PM
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Right now he's in culture shock. He's wondering if he's a human being or a recruit. Don't worry. His confidence will be built up to the point where he believes he's a soldier.
When he starts performing tasks he never even knew existed he'll be a new man.
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  #5  
Old 07-16-2008, 01:15 PM
angieolinger angieolinger is offline
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thanks guys...I'm there already with the positive letters but it doesn't seem to minnimize me missing him. I remind the kid all the time that I made it through and he will be able too as well. Sometimes I even laugh when I read about the stuff he's going through... as it brings back memories but still I miss him so bad and I just wish this was all over with. His last letter talked about his blisters and than all the sudden I didn't think his letter were so humerous anymore.
It really is an emotional roller coaster for the loved ones as well as the new bees.
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Old 07-16-2008, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angieolinger View Post
thanks guys...I'm there already with the positive letters but it doesn't seem to minnimize me missing him. I remind the kid all the time that I made it through and he will be able too as well. Sometimes I even laugh when I read about the stuff he's going through... as it brings back memories but still I miss him so bad and I just wish this was all over with. His last letter talked about his blisters and than all the sudden I didn't think his letter were so humerous anymore.
It really is an emotional roller coaster for the loved ones as well as the new bees.
I know he appreciates your support. I remember calling home from AIT so upset because I had the worst shin splints. My mom told me how proud she was of me and that she knew I'd be ok. Years later as I was finishing a different school in the Army she reminded me of that phone call and said she was so worried and wanted to come pick me up but knew she couldn't. It's hard to be far away when you want to take care of your babies.
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  #7  
Old 07-17-2008, 08:03 AM
angieolinger angieolinger is offline
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Armygirl,
What you said about being far away and wanting the take care of our babies is what I am having the most problems with. Friday morning I sent my son a letter with a package of mole skin in it. The letter said how to use it and if he knew anybody that needed it to share with them and show them how to patch up their blisters.
That very same morning a new letter came from my son telling me all about his blisters for the first time. Gosh…I was just sick I didn’t get the mole skin in the mail earlier. It makes me feel helpless as a mom. I know I have to cut the strings but being prior service I kind of feel obligated to have taught him more. Oh well….at least he will get a pack of mole skin…better late than never. Anyway…thanks for your input.
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  #8  
Old 07-17-2008, 10:19 AM
Txmom42 Txmom42 is offline
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How many times did I just want to jump on a plane??? But, he survived. He is still surviving. I saved all of his letters from basic to put in a scrapbook for him. When I go back and read them, it really shows how much he grew as a man in that short amount of time.
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  #9  
Old 07-17-2008, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angieolinger View Post
Armygirl,
What you said about being far away and wanting the take care of our babies is what I am having the most problems with. Friday morning I sent my son a letter with a package of mole skin in it. The letter said how to use it and if he knew anybody that needed it to share with them and show them how to patch up their blisters.
That very same morning a new letter came from my son telling me all about his blisters for the first time. Gosh…I was just sick I didn’t get the mole skin in the mail earlier. It makes me feel helpless as a mom. I know I have to cut the strings but being prior service I kind of feel obligated to have taught him more. Oh well….at least he will get a pack of mole skin…better late than never. Anyway…thanks for your input.
He'll be a better man for having gone this. And you will be prouder than you ever imagined. I know you're already proud and probably can't fathom being anymore prouder, but I promise, you can be

There are some lessons we just have to learn on our own, that's where growth comes from.
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  #10  
Old 07-17-2008, 12:41 PM
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Try to get to as many graduations that you can.

I was at my son's Infantry School graduation at Ft. Benning (about 1000 miles from my home), missed his Airborne School & RIP graduation because they were all back-to-back from Infantry School, but made his Ranger School graduation (the most important in his thinking).

At Infantry graduation I was able to put his Blue Cord around his shoulder (a distinctive Infantry device worn around the right shoulder) & pin his Ranger Tab on his left sleeve at RS graduation. I was in my uniform & didn't think much about it at the time but he said he was so proud to have me there & his classmates talked about it & were pleased for him. They all were respectful of him since his old man was a retired E 8. He said it meant a lot to him that I came & especially since I came in uniform.
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