When your soldier is in training, there is actually a very short list of the things that you can send to him and a VERY long list of what you cannot. Read on to make sure he doesn’t have to do extra push-ups on your account.
You CAN send him:
Letters – You can and should send him lots of letters while he is in training. You can send cards as well as letters. Many soldiers will tell you that any communication from Army wives, family and friends is like gold when they are in training. Do your best to keep your letters positive. Do not decorate the outside of the envelope in any way. No cute sayings, drawings of hearts, etc. He will have to pay in the form of extra push-ups and ridicule if you do this.
Pictures – They are allowed to have pictures with them at training. However, do keep in mind that they have limited space. He doesn’t need the entire photo album, just a few pictures will do. You may want to be sure you are sending him copies rather than originals just in case something happens to them. Also, be careful of the content of your pictures. If it is one you don’t want everyone to see, don’t send it!
Jokes, sports scores, etc. – While you don’t need to send him the entire newspaper, it is perfectly acceptable to send clippings from the paper or print-outs of ESPN from the net. He will also enjoy comics or some humorous jokes. Just don’t send anything lewd. NOTE: In August 2005, I received an email from the wife of a soldier at basic at Ft Benning and she said their DS did NOT allow them to have newspaper clippings. This just shows how much it can vary from DS to DS – be sure to check with your soldier first!
Phone cards – He is allowed to have a phone card with him. Its best to just include this with one of your letters. If at all possible, it is much easier if you give him one before he leaves. If you send a card later, it will be best to insert it in a greeting card as it will be more difficult to detect.
Stamps, envelopes and paper – Whenever I wrote to my husband, I would include a SASE and a few sheets of paper. Since I wrote every day, he never ran out. We found this method to be easier than him taking everything with him in the beginning.
If it is not mentioned above, he can’t have it. Do not send packages to him. There are stories floating around about the soldier who received a package from home full of baked goods (enough to last for several weeks) and the DS allowed him to have the package. He then forced him to eat every thing that was in it at one sitting! Don’t do this to your soldier.
Some Army girlfriends, Army fiancées or Army wives of a soldier may decide to send a pair of sexy panties to their soldier. Well, let me tell you a little story and you’ll think twice before doing it. One girl decided to do this and the DS opened the envelope. He then hung the girl’s panties in the window of the hallway of the barracks so the guys would see the panties each day when they passed by. On graduation day, the DS found the girlfriend of the soldier, handed her panties back to her and told her she had inspired many men during their training. Don’t be this girl!
I hope these tips have helped you in deciding what you can and cannot send your soldier during training. Please keep in mind this is only for training. If he is deployed, the list of what he can and cannot receive is different.