"mom" questions

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by supergirl, May 13, 2011.

  1. supergirl

    supergirl Member

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    1) Are cadets allowed pictures of family etc... in their rooms during the year? I remember at West Point there were certain rules about a certain size pix frame and they were allowed one. what are the "rules" at USAFA?

    2) Are they allowed to bring family pix to basic training?

    4) i know they can bring stationary/stamps to basic so i am assuming a small address book can be brought as well?

    3) also, i remember reading about parents who did pre-printed cards for their basics to just check the blank they had found on line to make writing home easier. anyone know where to find samples?
     
  2. scraper

    scraper Member

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    I don't believe they can have anything in basic except what is issued.
    If you join webguy you will see pictures of him and that wil tell you more then a checked postcard. You should write him every day and keep it up beat he will write you, trust your basic on this and many more things to come :)
     
  3. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Nothing like that at basic. HOWEVER: Here is a little trick that's been around for a while, and the cadre "Upper Classmen" tend to allow it. While you don't want to send your cadet photos, many of us would right our letters to our cadets on a word processor. we would then "Insert" pictures into the document, then print it and mail it. Being it could be folded up and put back into the envelope, and wasn't a photo being hung on a wall, no one messed with it. What's really cool is if you subscribe to the AOG and Webguy. Then; as you're search everyday on the web through the hundreds of pictures, when you see one of your cadet, you copy and past that jpg into your next letter. Especially during Jacks valley when they are all dirty. It's fun for them to share a pic with themselves and a few flight members. Anyway; if you copy/paste pics into your doc; print; and send as your letter; they tend to let them keep those.

    As for post cards, my son took about 15 already stamped and addressed post cards. He simply filled them out as he went along, and dropped them in the mail. Nice and quick and convenient for him. In reverse, I and my wife typed really long (2-3 page) letters. And because we too were busy with our lives, we scattered our letters. This way one of us was always mailing a letter out each day. This way our son always received something in the mail when they went to check mail. FWIW: They don't always go and check mail every day.
     
  4. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

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    I'll warn about Christcorp's trick that it depends on the cadre. We'd read that here as well and my son quickly found out that if we included a picture (printed) in the letter, he didn't even get to keep the letter. We ended up reprinting some we'd printed and resending them (obviously very late at that point) when he'd written and told us that.

    Honestly, I'd recommend starting with typed letters on normal sized computer paper in a normal business envelope until your basic tells you otherwise. We'd also heard that the cadre would at least let them see/share webguy pics, and again, although my son got to see them quickly, they were quickly confiscated.

    We put a self-addressed stamped envelope in every few letters we'd send, with a blank piece of paper inside for him to write on and return. He didn't seem to use the paper that much as he ended up writing on whatever was convenient when he had any down time (which for him seemed to be during the validation tests a lot) and then just folded it and stuck it in the envelope. We'd also sent him with a ziploc bag full of stamps, address labels (preprinted), pen, envelopes, etc. and he got to keep it all. I probably wouldn't sent a big address book, but a page of addresses typed up would most likely be fine.

    Not only will they not get mail every day, in my son's case it seemed like frequently it would be a week between getting mail and even sometimes a week before he could send any so we'd get a bunch all at once from him.

    During academic year we got my son one of the digital photo frames (maybe a 7" one or so) and he kept that on his desk and was able to then have it scroll through hundreds of pics that we'd loaded on it. During basic, they do let them keep a bible if they bring one so we'd stuck a couple pics between a few of the pages and loosely sealed them with removeable glue. He said he didn't actually even end up looking at them but just knowing they were there made him feel better.
     
  5. jackson1989

    jackson1989 Member

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    We also tried CCs trick. My son's letter was not confiscated, but he did more pushups than you can count due to the contraband. Here is where it is best to know your own child. My son loved the picture so much, he really didn't mind doing the pushups. He said I lost count, but it was totally worth it! Of course, it may have a totally different effect on another kid!!

    It is just another funny story to tell about basic at this point.
     
  6. greentrees

    greentrees Member

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    I think you'll see that each flight is different, and each cadre different w/in the flight - some will allow the picture contained in the letter & some won't. But, your child will be happy with any mail they get -- so mail something every day - sometimes twice a day. DS knew I was mailing letters everyday so he knew that when they got to go to mail he would have something.

    But, they won't get to go to the mail room everyday, and might not get there for a number of days at the beginning. They have to march EVERYWHERE, and it's sometimes not convenient w/ the schedule to march a flight to the mail room. Your child will so "no mail from you" but that could be because they didn't get there.

    I would put a number next to my name on the return address -- #1 for first letter, #2 for next one, #3, etc. That way if he got more than one letter he'd know which one to open first.
    I would type my letters and save them so I'd know what I asked or written and try not to repeat myself too much. Often it was general ramblings just letting him know what was going on with the family but definitely giving words of encouragement to him.
    I'd often include Bible Verses at the end of the letter that he could tear off if he wanted to keep that verse with him.
    DS was a big baseball fan -- so sometimes I'd cut and paste the ESPN recap of his team's game in the letter. They couldn't keep newspaper clippings but the cadre didn't know I was sending game recaps in the letter. They would be a couple days old by the time he read it but he wouldn't care as he had no idea what was happening otherwise. DS is 2013 - his BCT Michael Jackson died and the cadre told them that one night and his next letter said "did Michael Jackson really die?".

    A few times at the beginning I included a note full of questions that he could fill in the blanks for answers or circle the answer and then just mail that back. (how many roommates do you have, what is their name, where are they from, where do you stand in the flight / squadron formation, etc)

    Most of all keep encouraging them - to get from one day to the next, one hour to the next, etc.

    Good luck
     
  7. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Yea, as you all are noticing, EVERY FLIGHT and SQUADRON is different. Your cadet will tell you soon enough what you can and can't do; should and shouldn't do. My son's flight/squadron basically said that if it's part of a letter, and it wasn't "Displayed"; basically stayed in the envelope; they didn't care. However; they did specifically say no "Actual Photos".

    You'll find the same thing come "A-Day", "Parent's Weekend", and so on. Some will have their cell phones; some won't. Some can have a large external computer monitor; some won't. Some, it's just a matter of when. Everything that you think of that can or can't be had or done, will differ between the flights and squadrons.
     
  8. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Include jokes. They are a huge morale boost, if you are having a bad day.
     
  9. dohdean

    dohdean Member

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    My daughter took a photo or two tucked inside her Bible to InProcessing. Those were never an issue and no one ever found them or confiscated them. What she receiveed in the mail -- and got to keep -- during Basic depended on the cadre at the time. Things were more likely to be confiscated at the start of Basic, a little less so in Jack's Valley and less so at the end of Basic. Friends knew the rules about no photos, etc. but some still sent things in their envelopes -- some she got to keep, some she didn't. We sent a couple of photos from webguy -- some were confiscated and earned pushups -- others, especially from Jack's Valley made it past. Like so much else at the Academy -- "it depends"; mostly on things that neither you nor your Basic have any control over. It's not the end of the world if a photo is confiscated, so long as it isn't your only copy of that photo. It's best not to stand out at the start of Basic -- as things move along, it may not be as big a deal to get a photo -- the cadre get a little worn out also -- they appreciate a little joke also (so long as your Basic is trying hard overall).
     
  10. ima-gina-tion

    ima-gina-tion USAFA 2015

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    nice to know we have priorities straight here :rolleyes::rolleyes:
     
  11. alparent

    alparent Member

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    Just curious...do the cadres read the cadets' letters?
     
  12. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    :yllol: I was cadre, and we told the basics that he had died. Apparently, they didn't believe us. A week later, one got a letter that had that info in it. They were all shocked. The cadre were like, "What? You didn't believe us?"
     
  13. eagle36

    eagle36 USAFA Alumnus

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    alparent, cadre are not allowed to open mail and read it, since its against the law. now, postcards which can be read without opening anything can be another story.

    Speaking as a former-cadre, it really does depends. There are days when I had everyone open their mail and I ensured there were no pictures or anything, and other times I didn't look for anything. Just depended on my mood and how I felt they had done. The bottom line with "contraband", as with most rules at the academy, it really comes down to how much each individual wants to enforce it on himself/herself. From basic until you graduate, you can easily break rules and get away with it. It really just comes down to how you feel about it afterward. I know many freshmen feel much prouder after freshmen year because they didn't sneak civilian clothes on weekends, didn't watch movies, etc. If you want pictures and its worth sneaking them, go for it. If you think you can make it 6 weeks without, then why bother?
     
  14. supergirl

    supergirl Member

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    thanks for all of the responses. you have given us some great ideas.
     

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