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An Open Letter to my Boyfriend Joining the Military

We get a lot of questions from girlfriends, boyfriends, and fiancées asking for advice about what to write in their first letter to their significant...

We get a lot of questions from girlfriends, boyfriends, and fiancées asking for advice about what to write in their first letter to their significant other at boot camp. While there are no rules for writing, remember that your recruit is going to be facing many difficult challenges, and it’s important to stay encouraging and positive in your letters. Giving news from home is a good thing, but saying, “I wish you were here” might only make your recruit feel homesick. Focus on what’s good about the experience and on your pride in the sacrifices he or she is making. It’s important to convey your support of the choices your significant other has made.   

boyfriend in the military at basic training
Photo by Staff Sgt. Shawn Weismiller

Dear Boyfriend, 

You might be exhausted and even overwhelmed by now. You might be thinking about home, or wondering what you’ve signed up for, or anxious about what tomorrow, or next month, or next year will bring. 

That’s why, in this first letter, I really need to tell you: I COULDN’T BE PROUDER OF YOU. 

So many people choose the easy route. They get up in the morning and do what makes them happy. They let others do the difficult work and make the hard decisions. But that’s not who you are. You dream big, put others before yourself, and don’t let what’s hard get in your way. These are some of the many reasons I love you so much. 

I’m sure there will be times when you’ll feel discouraged over the weeks to come. But I believe in you, and you are strong, and smart and capable. And when you find yourself thinking about home, don’t worry about what you’re missing or wishing you were somewhere else. You’re right where you’re supposed to be, and I’ll be here waiting for you.  

These years you have ahead of you will be the years you’ll look back on one day, the years you’ll tell your children about. They’ll be the years we look back on. They’re going to make us stronger. They’re going to test us, and there are going to be times when we’ll wish we were like so many other couples – living where we choose, being together when we choose, and never having to spend a birthday or a holiday apart. 

But it will be okay, because really living isn’t about sleeping late on the weekends, or watching Netflix after work, or knowing what you’ll be doing every Saturday and Sunday and Monday for the next twenty years. It’s about having the courage to face what’s uncertain and unexpected. It’s about loving through the hard times, not the easy times. 

This is the start of something new and exciting. I am so lucky to have you in my life, and I want to be a part of that future with you. We’re going to meet people we never would have met otherwise, and we’re going to see places we never would have seen, if we’d chosen a small, careful life. 

I hope you learn what you can from the experiences you’re having and the people you’re with, and don’t let the tough times get you down. Most of all, be proud of yourself. It doesn’t matter if you’re not the fastest or the strongest person there, or if you are. What matters is that you’re there at all.

What’s new at home? The new season of Westworld is out, but I’m waiting to watch it with you when you get back; I’m watching all my reality tv shows instead, so you don’t have to ☺ Your brother said your niece has drawn you a picture every day at school since you’re gone. Oh, and I got a puppy. Just kidding, but I still really want one.  

Thank you for loving me so fiercely, for believing in my dreams, and for supporting me during all the ups and downs I’ve faced during our relationship. Now it’s my turn to love you fiercely and tell you that you are far more remarkable than you might realize.   

Know that I’ll be thinking of you every day, and I can’t wait to see you at your graduation.   

Love always, 

Your Girlfriend   

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