Meet Emily; a mom of three kids, a military spouse, and the unofficial platoon mom of her husband’s Army basic training platoon. Sandboxx was lucky enough to talk with Emily about her journey and writing letters to Army Basic Training.
Making the decision to join the United States Army is never an easy one to make and is not made by many. In fact, less than 0.5% of the United States population is currently serving in our armed forces.
For Emily’s husband, the desire to join the United States Army was a decision he made when he was just 18 years old, but he would not enlist for many years to come.
John worked in the oil fields and always talked about joining the Army, but nothing ever came of it. One night, watching a Navy Seals Documentary with his wife, he began discussing the idea of being in the Army.
Emily, after hearing John contemplate joining the Army for many years now, told him he wasn’t getting any younger and should do it.
The next day John went to his recruiting station.
On Father’s Day of 2018, John went to church with his wife and three kids and was baptized. He would leave for Army Basic Training the following day.
The First Phone Call
Emily received her first phone call from John during reception, letting her know he had arrived and what his address was.
The call was quick and over before she knew it, but Emily and their kids were ready to begin supporting him from home.
Writing Letters to Army Basic Training
Knowing the importance of writing letters, Emily wrote her first one the Sunday after John left. She promised she wouldn’t write him any Dear John letters, and would instead address him with various different greetings.
Emily began writing to John 3-4 times a week. Her letters would include journal entries to keep him up to date with what she and the kids were doing, and always signed them, “Love you, talk to you later.”
It was important for Emily to make sure her husband was receiving motivation and support each week, to help keep his morale high. She would include some of her favorite bible verses in her letters to help him get through the hard days.
Bible Verses to share during Basic Training
I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?
Using Sandboxx to Send Letters to Basic Training
After joining a Facebook group, dedicated to her husband’s training group, Emily learned about Sandboxx and decided to give it a try.
Unsure what to expect she wrote a Letter to her husband and was pleasantly surprised when she discovered she could now track her Letters to base through Sandboxx.
Emily started writing Letters through Sandboxx once a week, as well as continuing with handwritten letters.
Becoming Platoon Mom
John was the oldest in his platoon and told Emily that the other trainees called him Dad, and looked to him for guidance and motivation. You could say John had definitely found his calling.
“I connected with two moms and they both told me how John has made an impact in their son’s lives so far during BCT. It was such a great feeling to hear how my husband is a strong leader for their son’s. Words can’t describe how much he inspires me.”
Inspired by her husband’s actions throughout training Emily decided to begin supporting other trainees in her husband’s platoon. In a care package she sent to John, Emily included an extra Letter and instructed John to give it to a trainee that was not receiving mail from back home.
Shortly after, she received 2 letters from John and 2 letters from trainees in his platoon. The letters addressed Emily as “Platoon Mom” and told her how much her letter helped the trainee as well as others in the platoon. The Letter informed Emily (aka Platoon Mom), that John and Emily no longer had 3 kids, but 40 and would begin to write to her for motivation.
Emily now writes to the trainees in her husband’s platoon to send them motivation, encouragement, and support.
Military Relationship Advice
If you ask Emily how the time during training has been on the home front she’ll tell you it’s been hard, not just for her but for her kids.
Unable to talk to a loved one for months would be hard for anyone. The journey is not meant to be easy, but it isn’t meant to break you either. Here’s Emily’s advice for new military spouses.
Take the help.
“If you’re a mom with kids, take the help that people are offering because you will need it. Thankfully I have my family, and they have been so helpful when I need time for just me. You’re going to need help, don’t be afraid to accept it. Do it for yourself and for your kids.”
Find your people.
“Find your people that get it; the ones that understand what you’re going through and can be there for you. Whether it’s other Soldier’s families in the same company/platoon or others in the military, the military community is truly a family. So many people have reached out to me to offer help or advice.”
Lean into your faith.
“Reading my Bible has helped me a lot. Also, my church has been so supportive of John, the kids and I. I truly believe that this was all on God’s timing. His hand has been guiding us on this path and I am thankful for his guidance.”