Inside: What to get him when he’s spending valentines day at basic training
My husband spent his 27th birthday in basic training.
He was getting screamed at by MTIs (Military Training Instructors) and sweating in the hot, HOT Texas summer sun. He woke up at the crack of dawn to PT before the sun came out and went about his normal routine. Granted, I’m sure he probably forgot it was even his birthday but his favorite birthday gift was the card I got him. Not that I had much competition, gift-wise!
The card was black and white and on the front, it said “I got you something” on the inside it said “this card”. He said it made him laugh so hard. I picked that card as a joke because there’s not really a ton of things you can send to your service member while they are in basic training. Basic training is meant to be tough, It’s not the time for care packages or to send them any kinds of gifts.
But who are we kidding, we love our guys and we want to make their day special.
I never sent my husband anything other than letters, pictures, and that one card. He never requested anything else and I always tell people to avoid sending anything (other than letters, cards, etc) unless their service member specifically requested it. There are a lot of things they are not allowed to have during basic training and there are some things that can even get them in quite a bit of trouble.
I read somewhere that they couldn’t even have anything in colored envelopes so I sent the card in a white envelope. (Note: his aunt sent him a birthday card in a green envelope and it made it to him just fine)
Also, it’s important to respect their wishes. My husband requested that I not send any ultrasound pictures. He wanted pictures after our son was born but nothing before that. He said it’s because he didn’t want the MTIs to use it against him, but I think he just didn’t want any reminders that he was going to miss the birth of his son. What can you send your service member in a letter on Valentines day to make their day special?
Here are some ideas for you to try:
Disclaimer: Every branch is different and ever training class is different!
- “Open when” letters (need some ideas? Check here)
- Valentines day card
- Pictures (appropriate ones)
- Paper hugs
- Newspaper clippings
- Phone cards (unfortunately, this doesn’t mean they will get to call you, but they can use it after basic)
- Extra paper or envelopes
Always double check if you’re not sure.
If you have a question as to what you can send, be sure to call that base and ask. I actually did this in the beginning because, during the scripted phone call, my husband said not to write any letters yet (according to his dad, since I missed the call- don’t get me started!) so when I got the postcard with the address, I called the base (I believe the number was right on the postcard) and asked if I could start writing letters and they were able to help me out. I know it’s not exciting, but your service member will enjoy anything they get from you.
As for the birthday card I sent?
Don’t worry, I wrote a list of “10 things I love about you” and also stuffed it with a letter and pictures of our baby. He was very grateful and said it meant a lot to him, which is exactly what I wanted for him on his birthday.