1. Your Name (as you would like it to appear)
2. Where did your soldier attend basic training?
Fort Jackson, S.C.
3. When did your soldier attend basic training (please include the year)?
4. How often did you hear from him (phone and letters)?
I received about 3 to 4 letters a week and a total of 4 phone calls the entire time. However, many of the other other companies received alot more phone calls, but my husband just happened to be in a very strict company who only let them call for phase changes and when they first arrived. All the families in his company never had a call longer than 5 minutes, and only received 4 calls.
5. How long was it before you heard from him the first time?
About 2 days after he arrived at reception he was able to call.
6. How long did it take to receive a mailing address from him?
It took about a week to get his mailing address and about 2 weeks before he recieved my first letter.
7. Were there any restrictions on what you could send him?
I only sent letters and he was allowed to have 5 pictures, but others sent care packages. They were not allowed to send any food, anything scented, reading material, etc.
8. When did you receive information about family day and graduation?
At about week 6 I received a graduation letter. but they had information on family day and graduation as fast as week 2 on the facebook site.
9. Did he have a family day? If so, please describe.
He had a family day. We were able to meet with him in the afternoon and spend the day on base with him. That was it. No special ceremonies, no show on the field, nothing like what I’ve heard other families describe. We waited in a building till the soldiers were released to families.
10. Please describe the graduation ceremony.
Graduation was at Hilton field and was very moving. The only issue was that in South Carolina in July it is extremely HOT!! Everybody seemed smart and wore cool comfortable clothes, nothing dressy. It was so bad that soldier went down with heat exhaustion during the ceremony.
11. Is there a website for his unit? Did you find a place online that has pictures from his basic training?
There is a facebook site for his battalion that had updates and photos. It was nice because we were able to get updates from drill sergeants and see what they were learning while they were there.
12. Any other tips or information?
Try not to get disappointed if you don’t hear from them. Trust me they are working hard. The facebook site was a blessing and a curse for me. A blessing because I could see what he was doing and how hard he was working, but when families of other companies were understandably excited because they were getting phone calls every week for an hour, the families of our company were getting upset and resentful towards the drill sergeants. I had to keep reminding myself not to take it personal, that the drill sergeants were all different, and some felt that phone calls to home were a distraction.