Aliyah Meehan, Director of Family Affairs, Proud Military Wife and Mother
So your child is heading to boot camp? There are countless emotions running through your mind as you preparing to send off your baby. We can agree that as parents we all want nothing more than our children to be healthy and successful at the goals and dreams they set for themselves. As a proud military wife and mom of three, I can certainly empathize with any parent during those few weeks leading up to the big day, and understand that you want to make sure your child is as prepared as possible for whatever lies outside the comforts of home.
Regardless of whether your child grew up in a military family or is a first generation military member, it is nearly impossible to be fully prepared for the physical and mental challenge of boot camp – and that’s ok. They’ve never done anything like this before. With that said, there are a few tips I would want to know before my firstborn walks out the door. Hopefully the following are lessons that you can share with your son or daughter to help them prepare for this very exciting and challenging chapter in their life.
1) Physical prep will put them ahead of the game
Physical conditioning is a big factor in boot camp. Surprisingly, many men and women go into training and are not physically prepared, resulting in undue stress. Therefore, encourage your child to start personal training ahead of time. This includes everything from push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups and running. Believe it or not, there IS a proper way to do a military style push up. (See video below) Ultimately, this is one of the few things recruits can control and the more prepared they are physically, the less challenging the first few weeks of training will be and the more likely they will be to make it to graduation.
2) Ensure their financials are secure
While your child is off the grid, their personal bills will continue to come in per usual. Help your child to make sure these payments don’t fall behind. This is especially important since many military jobs require a Security Clearance, which often includes good financial standing. Without good financial standing, the government will consider them as a person of risk. If your child allows, help them out by keeping track of their credit score while they are away to look out for any red flags. It’s worth mentioning that they can always plan ahead by contacting their phone company, insurance provider, etc. and asking about automatic pay systems.
3) Have they defined their mission?
Simply put, basic training is meant to be challenging. It’s also just as much of a mental exercise as physical exercise. Therefore, encourage your child to deeply think about what brought them to the decision to enlist – whether that’s a good career, physical health or character building. In the hardest of times, their personal mission is the only thing that will keep them going.
4) Make sure they know that they will hit the ground running
There isn’t much time for your son or daughter to get acclimated to their surroundings, as basic training gets right down to business. They cut their hair and test their physical fitness standards all in the first 24 hours. That being said, instead of your child partying before they leave, it is a better decision to rest up and get plenty of sleep because first impressions are important. Remember…a drill sergeant never forgets! The truth is, the upcoming six weeks will likely be the toughest your child will ever experience in their life, but the reward, once they graduate, will be well worth the hard work and sacrifice for both them and you.
5) Leave the ego at the door
Once again, no matter what background your child comes from, once they arrive at bootcamp, they are no longer in charge of their own life. They are a member of the United States Armed Forces, and the sooner they realize and accept that, the sooner they will succeed. This is a great learning period – the fundamentals of their entire military career. Every moment at basic training is an important one, so encourage your child to walk through the door with an eager and open mind.
6) Communicate with your Recruit through Mailboxx
This is probably going to be the first time in your child’s life that they will not be able to instantly communicate with their friends and family back home. That’s right –Twitter, Snap Chat, Email, Facebook and Google Hangouts are no longer at their fingertips. They will soon come to realize that Mail Call is the best part of their day while they are off the grid. I also understand that you hardly have time to sit down at a desk and write physical letters anymore. That’s why we created Mailboxx.
Now while your child is away, family and friends can keep them updated on all the special moments taking place back home as quickly and easily as you would send a text message. Pictures and messages sent from smartphones back home will be converted into a physical letter that we, at team Sandboxx, will print out and send straight to your soldier’s Mail Call. The best part? Each Mailboxx includes a stamped and addressed return envelope making replies from them just as simple. CLICK HERE TO WATCH HOW IT WORKS.
We know you have already downloaded Sandboxx as you are reading this because, trust me, I know how hard those first few months without seeing his or her Facebook updates or hearing their voice can be, but be sure to spread the word to your family and friends too. Have everyone download Sandboxx before your Poolee leaves so that they can receive Mailboxx after Mailboxx to brighten their days and lend encouragement. We wish your Poolee the best of luck as they head off to boot camp, and thank you for supporting your child as they serve for our freedom.
We salute you,