Sandboxx Stories: Lackland Trainee Receives Support From Overseas

The Yates

Military life is often a big adjustment for families with loved ones attending basic training to join the United States Military. But for the Yates family, military life is and has been the norm for quite some time. Stationed in England, the Yates knew what to expect when their 18-year-old son enlisted in the Air Force and headed to Lackland Air Force Base for training. They also knew to expect a long delivery time when sending their letters of support to their son Brendon, that is until they found out about Sandboxx.

After graduating from Air Force basic training in May of 2000, and now a Master Sergeant, Mr. Yates, and his family have spent their time at various different bases across the United States, and the world. England has been their home for five years now, “We absolutely LOVE it here. We liked our other bases too, so maybe it’s the “can do” Air Force attitude.”

Being stationed in England, the Yates have been fortunate enough to travel throughout Europe, something that might not have been as easy (or affordable) if not for the military. Making trips to Omaha Beach in Normandy, Disneyland Paris, the Eiffel Tower, Louvre museum, and many other attractions throughout Europe the Yates have been able to enjoy and make the most out of their time in England.

Brendon, their son, enlisted in the Air Force during his senior year, so that come graduation he could head to basic training as soon as possible. Two months after graduation Brendon left his family and home in England to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a United States Airman.  

Shortly after his departure, the Yates were eager to contact their son but knew with the distance that it could take 7-10 days or more for their letters to reach the United States.

“He wouldn’t get any word from us until his first week and a half was over. This caused me a bit of stress. I wanted to send words of support sooner than that,  but accepted my fate as it was.”

Luckily, Mrs. Yates had a co-worker, who just recently moved to England with her husband after he graduated from basic training not too long ago. After she told her new co-worker how frustrated she was with the amount of time that it takes her letters to arrive at Lackland Air Force Base her co-worker told her about Sandboxx.

Anxious to try out Sandboxx, she created an account and sent her first Letter.

“It was a week after he’d been in that I sent my first Sandboxx letter and it arrived before my snail mail arrived to him!”

Since downloading the app, she has sent over 15 Letters, not including her handwritten letters. Enjoying the tracking capabilities, as well as the option to include a photo she encouraged her husband and youngest son to also download that app so that they could send their own Letters.

The Yates, as well as Brendon’s girlfriend, have been able to use Sandboxx to get information to him quickly. Mrs. Yate’s shared this moment with us:

I checked his bank account often to see if he had any activity and saw once that he spent money at one of the vending machines. I read on the Facebook group page that that meant he had a good day, and received a tiny bit of liberty. That made my heart soar. I was able to write to him and congratulate him on a moment of reprieve the next day. Then, I saw that he had made a purchase at the clothing store on base and decided to drop a deposit into his account for him to purchase a few t-shirts for us to have when we get there to see him graduate. I was able to write to him, and tell him about the deposit and shirt sizes for him to buy the next day! Then I saw on his account that he used an ATM to check his balance. This made me so happy.

The Yates attended Air Force basic training graduation at the end of September, where they celebrated the newest Airman of the family. If Brendan’s father’s success in the Air Force is any indication of his son’s it’s safe to say he has a great career ahead of him.


Do you know someone who is heading to Air Force basic training? View our list of what trainees should pack for training, or what they should know before they go.

Learn how long Air Force basic training is, or get started on sending your first Letter to Lackland today.

Author: Nicole at Sandboxx

The daughter of a United States Marine, I grew up with a passion and love for our troops, which led me to pursue a career in a field where I could give back to the military community. In my free time you can find me spending time with my significant other who is currently an Officer in the Marine Corps.

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