Sometimes some good quotes can be just what you need for your letters to dive a bit deeper than the superficial.
Whether you’re writing to a recruit at basic training or a deployed spouse, it can be hard to come up with new things to write about. I know this because I committed to writing a physical letter every day to my husband during three, nine-month-long deployments (it was a big undertaking).
To be fair, they weren’t always “letters,” but more short notes and cards. But many days, I would sit down at my desk and struggle to think of something to say.
One tactic I used that worked very well was to find a quote (or a song lyric or poem) that resonated with me, put it at the top of the letter, and then write down my thoughts on it. This helped me be able to go deeper in my letters than the superficial, “Today I took the kids to school and did the laundry.”
Here are eight quotes you can use as writing prompts in your letters
“Nothing makes a room feel emptier than wanting someone in it.”
― Calla Quinn, All the Time
Questions to think about: What is the room that reminds you most of your spouse/partner? What memories have been made in that room? Have you changed it aesthetically during your time apart? Maybe you have moved during that time to a place you have yet to live in together. Describe that room in your letter.
“I imagine a line, a white line, painted on the sand and on the ocean, from me to you.”
― Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything is Illuminated
Questions to think about: Where would that line run through if it was connecting the two of you? Are there any places along that route that you would like to visit together? Do you have any memories of some of those places already?
“Distance sometimes lets you know who is worth keeping, and who is worth letting go.”
― Lana Del Rey
Questions to think about: What about this time apart has made this person worth keeping? What are some of the qualities you admire most? What have you learned about yourself during this time?
“We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.”
― Alan Turing
Questions to think about: What do you envision your future to look like? What are you biggest dreams (nothing is too big)? Where do you see your life in forty years?
“Everything seems simpler from a distance.”
― Gail Tsukiyama, The Street of a Thousand Blossoms
Questions to think about: What seems simpler to you now that you are apart? Has your perspective on anything changed? Have you had a chance to think about past arguments and what you might have done differently? Is there anything you like about your independence that could carry over to when you are back together again?
“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche
Questions to think about: How can you cultivate more friendship in your relationship? How have you succeeded (or failed) at that already? What is the difference between friendship and love?
“Love is like the wind, you can’t see it but you can feel it.”
― Nicholas Sparks, A Walk to Remember
Questions to think about: How can you show love to each other while you are apart? Letters, prayers, planning trips for the future? What are some loving actions you can take?
“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
Questions to think about: How does the reality of danger change the way you love, or the way you show your love? What have you learned about valuing your relationship in the military? If you are feeling anxiety, how can your partner help alleviate some of that?
As you find quotes that resonate with you, save them in a notebook or on your phone. You can go back to them when you are both together again, and discuss them in person also.
Hi, I’m wondering if the marines in bootcamp provide boots for the young men and women or if the parents or grandparents are expected to purchase them by sending a gift card?
Joe Schmuckatelly says
The Marines provide all necessary foot wear, down to flipflops for the shower.
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Hello good afternoon if somebody can help me because I send too many letters to my husband and he just received one. I’m so sad because y really want to send my good vibes and effort to him. The track things said it’s shipped but he tell me on his last letter one week ago he didn’t receive anything from me!!! Please if somebody know where I have to call or send something for know what’s going on please let me know. Thank you 😊
Stan Kubricht says
If your husband is deployed, Mail goes normal speed to the apo/fpo, then it sits until inspected. Once inspected, it goes to the airport, gets on either a commercial flight, or military flight and goes to it’s foreign postal hub. If his location is served by contract air (Kalitta, etc.) It will go “space available”. The AC loads it’s main cargo, then adds space-a cargo, like mail up to it’s max gross weight. If he’s at a foreign AmEmb location, there may be only one flight a week going there, to add to the time delay. If he’s afloat, the mail waits until a COD can take it out to the carrier. From there, helos take it to the smaller ships. If he’s ashore, the mail flies to the foreign hub, then goes to the foreign U.S. base, then out to the FOB’s, or posts of duty. If your husband is out on ops, or out in the field training, the mail will wait until he gets back to his base.
Misty long says
Hello Victoria, I’m deciding whether or not to send through here or written by hand. I’ve tried to search for my son but I can’t find his platoon number. If you could help with that I’ll immediately write from here.
Frank Luis says
If you have his company, the base post office will route it. But you also need his rank, and which Marines he belongs to. Ie- 3rd Bn, 6th Marines. If he’s out floating around, add his MEU number, and ship name.
Mark Johnson says
You also need his apo/fpo identifier if he’s outside the U.S.