What to expect when your soldier leaves for basic training

Hey, Y’all! If you’re reading this, you’re probably preparing for what feels like the hardest day of your life. You have a SO leaving for basic training! First of all, yay for them! It is such a rewarding experience, yet such a heart wrenching one. When I was in your shoes, I was constantly searching the internet trying to get an idea of what the day is going to be like.

The day before your SO heads for basic training.

You’re SO will be required to stay at a hotel with other trainees the night before basic training begins. This is to ensure that nobody gets in trouble or parties too hard the day before they leave. For Dalton, he ended up having to go up to MEPS all day to finish last minute paperwork. MEPS stands for Military Entrance Processing Station. This is where they will go for testing or screenings they need. It’s also the place that your SO will swear in the day they are shipped off and where you will say your ‘ see you later.’ Don’t worry though, your soldier will more than likely still be able to hold onto his phone! So you guys can still talk the day before when he is not busy.

 Your soldier heads for basic training.

Fast forward to the day of, June 5th, 2018. We got to MEPS at around 10 am. You’ll want to carpool because when we got there, there was barely any parking! Also, you will not be allowed to bring any bags or purses inside.  The only thing you can bring is your wallet and cameras. Once we got insidebasic training and went through security, we all sat down for about an hour. A man from Red Cross came in and talked to us about what our soldiers were going to be doing. They also went over what to do if there is an emergency and a soldier needs to be notified. Around 11 am, we all went outside and watched our soldiers in training walk out and do their formation. They did their swear in and we were given about 15 minutes to say our ‘see you later’s.’ I was so glad I was able to keep the tears back, although I felt them the whole time. After the 15 minutes are up, they are assigned buses based on where they were going. We stayed and waited for that so we could see him off. At about 12pm he was on his way to Fort Jackson, South Carolina!

What happens when they get there?

In my experience, Dalton was allowed to keep his phone on the way to Fort Jackson and the whole time during the reception. Reception can take anywhere from a couple days to 2 weeks. Dalton was in reception for only a week, he had it taken up on June 11th. This is a good thing though, because the less time they spend waiting on other soldiers, the sooner their graduation day is! Reception is like I said, waiting on all soldier’s to get to the base and getting everybody sorted. I would tell your soldier to keep his phone out of sight, and always keep it in his barracks where nobody can see it. You do not want him getting his phone taken away early because a drill sergeant sees him on it! ( yes, they can do that and they will.)

When will I find out their address and graduation dates?

Okay, this is different for every soldier. For me, Dalton was able to tell me his graduation day during the reception. He got to call his mom a couple days after he got his phone taken up, and he gave her the address. Before they leave, you might want to have them tell you who they are going to call for that! If you do not hear from your soldier within two weeks after they get out of reception, you can call the base but you will need his full name and social security number. As

When will I receive a letter from them?

This one also depends. Your soldier will not really have any days off. The most relaxed day they will have is on Sundays. They can attend church on Sundays and may get a separate time to write letters. I didn’t get my first letter from Dalton until about two weeks after the reception! Once you get his address, you can send him as many letters as you want! Not sure what is allowed to be sent and what is not? I’ll be making a blog post about that next!

I hope that information helps ease your anxiety! I know it is such a rough time, but I promise you will get through it! As of today, I have only 12 days left until I see my soldier! Like I said, with all that information I shared, it can vary depending on the soldier. So do not freak out if things don’t go exactly like how mine did! One thing to always remember with the army is you have to go with the flow and you will not always know what is going on. That’s something that was hard for me to adjust to because I’m the type of person that plans out her whole day from the little things like my meals to daily events. So you can imagine the panic attacks I had, not knowing exactly what was going on lol!

I hope Y’all have a fantastic week and if you ever need somebody to talk to, or have any questions, feel free to comment below or message me on my ‘contact me’ page.

Ecclesiastes 4:9 

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?”

 

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