Supporting A Loved One During BMT
Do you have a loved one headed to basic military training? Here's a few tips I have!
I've got a couple military members in my family, both active and retired, but when my brother left for basic military training, it was so hard. When he left, I was so proud and so sad at the same time. I did so much research and reached out to so many people to find out how I could best support him while he was away.
Our military and their families make such a sacrifice. Basic military training is really hard part and you'll find yourself feeling so proud and so sad at the same time. It is kind of crazy, but one of the most important things you can do is support your loved one while they are away. Supporting a loved one during BMT is so important and so appreciated.
Write letters, but keep them plain.
Write letters. Seriously, your loved one will enjoy hearing from you, but keep these plain. Write them on notebook paper in plan ink or pencil. Don't add stickers or color. Don't spray perfume on the letter. Keep it simple.
Keep them up to date on what's happening.
Talk about their favorite celebrity and sports team. Tell them about that joke your coworker told you. Let them know how family dinner went the other day. While in basic training, they are secluded from the world, so just talk to them about what's happening at home. Keep it fun and light!
When you visit them for graduation, plan time for rest.
Graduation is great. You finally get to see your loved one after weeks of little communication. While you'll be excited to see them and probably have some fun things planned, also plan time for rest. Your loved one has been going nonstop for weeks and they will probably really just want to take a nap and relax for some of the time you're there with them. Have fun and do make some fun plans, but also agree to some downtime.
Remind them that they have your support.
It will be hard not be emotional. I cried the entire day after I hugged my brother goodbye, but when you write and on the rare occasion that they can call, be strong for them. They are the ones away from everything they know, so remind them that they have all your support and that you're proud of them.
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You probably won't get a letter back each time you write, but don't be upset
BMT is no joke and your loved one is going to have nearly every moment scheduled with something. If you write multiple letters and don't get a letter back for each one, don't be upset. Your loved one will write you when they can. Just keep encouraging them!
AF Wing Moms is a great resource for anyone with a loved one at BMT. They've got all kinds of information about what to expect during BMT and what to expect after. They offer so much support and important information.
My fellow military families, my heart is with you all.