On this Veterans Day, my son will be home. Not yet a veteran, this young man is prepared to leave for boot camp in a few short months. The nephew of a two Gulf Storm veterans and the grandson of a Vietnam vet, he is proud and excited to join the United States military and become a future veteran.
A big part of my parenting days are over with him, but the one link to home he will have during boot camp and active duty will be my letters. This is stressed on many military forums and so, I have already started to consider this my new hobby. I have been encouraged to start writing letters to other young men and women I know who have recently made the leap into service for our great country. While I am sure their parents are writing faithfully, getting more letters from home is never a bad thing.
If you do not know a servicemen or women in active duty, you can still write letters of encouragement and appreciation. Honoring those who are currently in active duty as well as celebrating the homecoming of others is something more people in this country should be doing regularly.
What to say?
Secure and strengthen relationships
As a parent, I will be writing the daily happenings at home, including all the things his brother and two younger sisters are doing. Why not let him in on all the family laughs, gossip, and future plans?
Keep them informed
Aside from what is happening with family and friends, you can add news information. Even better, help them keep current with the pop culture they are missing while away. Do they have a favorite TV series, musician, or sports team? You can add updates. Setting up a Google alert can keep you current.
Share a laugh
Send jokes or parts of the Sunday funny pages. Sign up with a clean humor site and take advantage of funny stories and jokes that you can share.
Over the top
Reminding servicemen and women, as well as those in boot camp, how proud you are of them can go a long way in keeping their spirits up. There is hardly such a thing as too much encouragement from home. They are being ordered around without much feeling and can probably use the balance in order to stay emotionally healthy. Share your love if you know them, if not simply share kindness.
Sending my son off to boot camp is not going to be easy. Honestly, with all his talents, he is a wonderful asset to have around, and as the oldest, his three younger siblings will deeply miss him. We know he is off to do something worthwhile and will be better for it though, so we send him with love and will continue to send our love through letters and eventually care packages. Regardless of whether or not you have a loved one in the service, or what you think about our government or the current situations, these young men and women are our future and need our support.
If you do not have an address, consider sending letters and cards of thanks to through this organization, A Million Thanks.
Care of DoSomething.org
17853 Santiago Blvd., #107-355
Villa Park, CA 92861