Here are a couple of letter ideas we used when DS1 was in boot. Now that DS2 is headed for Annapolis, I will customize these for his experience. First, I did write to DS1 everyday. I knew that he could only write on Sundays and even then didn't have much time, so I tried a couple of ways to make it easier for him to communicate. Here are two things I did. If anyone else has other ideas, please share them! 1) I found a list of funny quotes about the BC experience and shared it with DS1 and told him he could use these lines to describe his experience as well. TOP TEN LINES FROM BOOT CAMP... A) CLOTHES 1. "They made me a section leader because I know how to fold my clothes and put them away, shocking isn't it" 2. "We had to put on all of our uniforms and get inspected after each one. It's like a freaking fashion show" 3. "Oh yea and we have to wear "tighty whities" And they suck!" B) CHAPEL 1. "I go to chapel every Sunday. It's like heaven in there. It's the only place the RDC's aren't allowed to go!" 2. (Son) “I go to chapel every Sunday.” (Mom) “Wow, you do? Which one do you go to?” (Son) “The one with the donuts.” C) FOOD AND EXERCISE 1. "the food is surprisingly good, but we don’t have time to eat it." 2. "The food here is good but the lunch ladies are as scary as the RDC's". 3. "PT isn't bad at all and we don't really get enough." D) 1 BEDROOM/1 BATH 1. "mom, I really should have paid more attention when you tried to teach how to make my bed" 2. Keep the letters coming, I like to read them when I am pooping in the middle of the night while everyone else is sleeping. 3. ”I'm really bored though, folding clothes and taking showers with 72 other dudes isn't exactly my best choice of passing time." 4. Mom I'm constipated. I can't go to the bathroom in front of 80 other guys? 5. "There are some CRAZY people here, I hate bathing near other guys and if I did not tell you before, there are some Crazy people here, I can't understand half of what they are saying". 6. 86 men, 30 minutes to shower in a room approximately 15′ X 45′ with 12 shower heads - you do the math E) HEALTH 1. "Most of the guys are sick. Their eyes are red and they are moving really slow. I feel like I'm in a bad zombie movie". 2. "Oh, we got 3 more shots again yesterday and since I passed out the first time, I had to wear this big red sign around my neck that said "Fall Risk"!! I felt like such a dork!" 3. They pulled my teeth out , I’ve got stitches but I got to lay in bed for 2 straight days. It was awesome!!! F) RDCs 1. I've never seen so many grown men scream about a lost pair of shoe laces. 2. My RDC Senior Chief reminds me of you a lot. He is always telling us this ain’t BURGER KING, you can’t have it your way. When he says that you pop in my head and I hate to admit it but a lot of what you said and taught me have helped me here at BC! 3. Today we got to have a pizza party! - The RDC ate pizza and we did pushups until he was done eating... 4. "mom, I’m pretty sure the way the RDC's talk to us is illegal". G) MORALE 1. "I'm having fun, I guess” 2. "This past week has been hell. We have like 10 minutes to eat. I'm wearing goofy glasses too. Other than that I'm doing great." 3. "I think prisoners have more rights than we do!" 4. “I’m going to kick my recruiter’s @$$!” 5. "If this is normal, I'm starting to think I made a big mistake." 6. "Don't ever let any of your children ever join the military ever again." 7. "I can't believe I've put up with this stuff!" 8. "Mom I miss you so much, can you send me a picture of my dog??" Instructions: Now, here is what you can do. When you want to write one of those things, just put the letter of the category and the number of the comment. For example, if you want to say, “mom, I’m pretty sure the way the RDCs talk to us is illegal.” Just put F-4 (kinda like the game, Battleship, fitting, huh?) That way you’ll have more time to write! 2) QUESTIONNAIRE: Instructions: Circle all answers that apply. You MAY circle more than one answer per question. If you want to write anything in, that’s fine. However, I made this so you could get lots of questions answered in the least amount of time. (Beside each question, I put the name of the person(s) primarily responsible for asking that question, just for your info!) 1) Have you made any friends? (Mom) a) Are you kidding? With these guys? b) I’m getting to know a few people a little bit. c) I have a guy/guys I get along with really well. 2) Who is your rack mate? Do you get along? (Nathanael) a) His name is ____________ . He’s nice. b) His name is ____________. He’s not nice. c) His name is ____________, and he… snores, talks in his sleep, cries a lot, smells funny, is messier than me, is just little bit strange. circle all that apply 3) Which bunk are you in? (Dad) a) Top b) Bottom c) I can’t make my bed!!! 4) Have you been sick at all? (Everyone) a) Just homesick b) I’ve had the ricky crud but haven’t been to the doctor. c) I’ve been really sick and needed treatment. 5) Did you have your wisdom teeth removed? (Mom and Dad) a) Yes, it was no big deal. b) Yes, it was horrible. c) No, I don’t have to! d) No, but I’m having them out on _____________. 6) Do you have a job? (Zanna) a) No, I can barely take care of my own things, so they didn’t give me a job. b) Yes, I do ____________________, and I hate it. c) Yes, I do ____________________, and it’s not bad. 7) Do you like the food? (Naomi) a) Let’s just say I won’t be getting fat! b) I love it, but I don’t have enough time to eat. c) It’s tolerable. I won’t starve. 8) Is PT hard? (Everyone) a) What PT? b) No, not much more than I did at home. c) Yes, I think they are trying to kill us. 9) Have you been in the gas chamber yet? (Dad) a) No, but I’m looking forward to it. b) No, but I’m dreading it. c) Yes, I loved it. d) Yes, I threw up (or I ___________), not my proudest moment! 10) How is Chapel? (Mom) a) Haven’t had the time / inclination to go. circle one b) I like it a lot / little. circle one c) I’m converting to ___________ (name of new faith) because they serve snacks! 11) Do you have a nickname? (Mom) a) No, I’m trying to lay low so no one notices me. b) Yes, it’s ______________________________, and I hate it. c) Yes, it’s ______________________________, and I don’t mind. 12) Have you handled a gun yet? (Nathanael) a) No, but I get to on _________________, and I can’t wait! b) Yes, and me + gun = scary! c) Yes, and I did well! 13) Have you stood watch yet? (Dad and Mom) a) No because _________________________________. b) Yes…hated it. c) Yes, it’s peaceful / stressful. (circle one 14) Are you still thinking of changing your contract to EOD or Diver (Mom and Dad) a) No, if I can handle (RDC name), I can handle anything! b) Yes, anything to get away from these crazy SEAL guys! c) Yes, I decided Florida is a better place to spend 6 months than California. 15) What are your favorite and least favorite things at BC so far? (All the kids) a) I hate it all. b) I like _________________, but I don’t like _________________. c) Boot Camp is wonderful, Chief! (No really, it’s not so bad!) Of course, the BC experience is different than PS, but I'm sure we can adjust these ideas to our Plebes and their situations. This will be a tough couple of months for parents and plebes, but a little humor will help us get through it!