June 27, 2016

Writing to Your Trainee // An Air Force Wife's Guide to BMT

Hello lovelies!
Before Caleb left for the Air Force I rarely sent out mail. If I did it was usually something to do with a bill or school. Nowadays though I have spent so much time waiting for the mail lady to come! While your trainee is away at BMT, letters and an occasional phone call are your only means of communication. That's why it's so important to write to your trainee. Not only is it helpful for you to cope with missing them, but it also gives your trainee something to look forward to! 

When sending off your letters it's important to remember a few guidelines:
No stickers, lipstick prints, glitter, doodles, or anything else flashy on the envelope.
The envelope should have the return address, the mailing address, and a stamp. That's it!
White Envelopes Only and Black/Blue Ink
Keeping the envelope as simple as possible ensures they won't gain any unnecessary attention from their MTI.
Don't Spray the Envelope/Letter with Perfume
The same thing as above applies. Keep it simple!
No Musical Cards(regular cards are okay)
Make sure the card doesn't have any decorations that could fall off onto the floor or your trainee's uniform.
Don't send care packages, food, or cash
Unless your trainee specifically asks for something, don't send them packages, food or money. They most likely have everything they'll need there. Plus they are given a $400 cash card to purchase items on base.
Keep it Compact
They don't have tons of space in their lockers, so refrain from sending anything overly bulky like newspapers, magazines, etc. 

Mail call is one of the best times for your trainee and it would be a shame for them to receive extra attention from their MTI because of something as silly as these things.
It can be tempting, I know, but your trainee will appreciate it. Save the cuteness for when you see them at graduation!
* * *
Now here as some things you can (and should!) send:

Send them Pictures from Home(Keep it PG!)
I've sent my husband multiple photos and he is still asking for more! Caleb says for him it's a reminder of why he's here and motivation to keep going.
Newspaper/Magazine Clippings
If there is an article or story you'd like to share with your trainee, either cut it out or photocopy it to send in your next letter. Try to keep it short though!
Art
I love to draw and color, so I've sent my husband a few of my drawings. If you have little ones, send some of their drawings! 
Keep them in the Loop
They are pretty disconnected from the outside world while they are at BMT. So it helps to keep them updated on things they enjoy such as sports updates, tv shows, etc. For Caleb, E3 happened a few weeks ago, so I sent him an update with all the new Xbox and video game stuff coming out.
Bible Verses/Inspirational Quotes
I always try to include a quote of some sort on his letters. Something that could keep him positive and a reminder of how strong he is.
* * *
You should receive a call within the first 3 days after they leave. This call can come at anytime so be prepared! I got the call on the Thursday after he left around 3:00pm. The call will most likely be scripted(mine was) and very brief. I didn't get anything other than his TRS and FLT numbers.
The following Monday I received a postcard in the mail that contained his full mailing address. Once you receive the full address you can start sending your trainee letters! I was smiling from ear to ear when I saw that postcard sitting in my mailbox!

One thing that might be helpful is having the base of his/her mailing address ready before the call arrives. This way when they do call you can just fill in the blanks with their information. The address will look something like this:
TRS stands for Training Squadron and FLT is their Flight Number. 
* * *
I hope that y'all found this helpful!I have written to my husband every single day since he left and have received 4 letters from him so far. Seeing a letter in the mailbox is the highlight of my week! If you have any questions at all feel free to leave a comment and I'll try to answer to the best of my ability. Also visit AF Wingmom's Website! They have so much information regarding BMT.

xo,

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