A group of American soldiers stand in formation during Basic Combat Training

Dear Family...

Dear Family,  

Don't get me wrong...and please don’t take this the wrong way but. I AM JUST FINE! 

This will be the hardest thing I have EVER DONE! 

This will be the BEST thing I have EVER DONE! 

This will teach me more about myself than I have EVER KNOWN! 

I’m pretty sure that this will be a life changing event. I’m sure it will be something that I will look back on for the rest of my life. I will look back and know that it was the thing, the decision that changed my life! 

I’ve been hearing a lot about what BCT used to be like.

Just 45 years ago, recruits - from the time they got on the bus for MEPS - had no contact with home for over 2 weeks. Getting on that bus was their goodbye. They had no reception calls, no airport calls, nothing.

They were 'shark attacked' getting off the bus when they got to base. (They no longer do this)
They were yelled at, swore, at and ridiculed for the first 3 weeks of training.
The whole platoon (up to 50 people) all slept in one open bay.
Their bunks were regularly ripped apart, thrown around and then they had 30 minutes to put everything back 100% (They learned how to work as a team).
They spit shined their boots, they washed, starched, and ironed their own uniforms (Yes, their uniforms really were starched so heavily that they stood up on their own)

Why am I telling you this?

Because this is the best thing that has ever happened to me. 

They had no chance to call home and complain. (If I do, just encourage me and remind me it’s just a few weeks, and that you are proud of me).

When they did finally get the chance to call home, they got 2 minutes on a pay phone. Yep 2 minutes...there was a line of trainees waiting behind them, and a Drill Sergeant with a stopwatch next to them, yelling. 

They survived.
They had it a lot harder than us and they survived.
I will survive.
Their families had no contact with them every Sunday, few of them had anyone at graduation.  Most of them went on to AIT, and Permanent Duty stations with only talking to their families 2 or 3 times. 

One of the DS here had a brother who had gone to Vietnam, they only got 1/2 dz letters from him. Mail was often lost or destroyed. They used to watch for his name every night, at the end of the news. (They scrolled the names of casualties there). I can’t imagine.

Fast forward a few years.... their son was in BCT when 9/11 happened. The base shut down all communications. They brought them in from training, told them what had happened and had them write letters home, and prepare wills.

They didn't hear from him for almost a month. 

All of these prior to me survived training. They all made it through training. Their grandkids, son in laws and daughter in laws have all made it. They didn't have the FB family support groups; they didn't have access to the information that you do now. 

That Drill Sergeant is now sending grandkids to the Army. 

I will survive training, and it will make me a stronger, better person!

Take heart!
Don't worry!
When you find yourself worrying - PRAY!
That's your reminder to pray for me. 

This is the best thing I will EVER DO! 

Encourage me!
Stop worrying about DS's yelling at me.
They are preparing us. 

Encourage me!
Tell me to stay strong, remind me it is only 10(ish) weeks. 

Oh, one other thing:
We’ve heard stories about families coming to graduation, and not following direction from the MP’s, Drill Sergeants and others putting on graduation for us.

Some families have actually yelled at these leaders.

Please don’t be one of them.

If you choose to cause problems, I can suffer the consequences. That episode can follow me to my AIT, and my permanent duty station. Please follow directions, and do what you are told. This is a military installation, and my world has different rules than your world does. Please make me proud!

Two things that Drill Sergeant’s brother told her when she left for BCT, that she has never forgotten, and I don’t think I ever will:  

  1. They can't kill you and eat you - you'll get through it. 
  2. When I complained about something he said "did it kill you or did it make you stronger?”

Be encouraged. Encourage me, write me, remind me to stay strong!


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So true thank you so much, it’s hard. Letting go we need to be reminded.
We are greatful for being able to get the phone calls we know they are being taken care of.
We pray everyday very hard and long, greatful for all the contact we are able to get.
Love seeing the pictures when available and seeing what they are doing.


I am HONORED and so PROUD of my 3 Army Soldiers (24,20,18). I never understood BCT and all the WHY’s I had. But now I get it, I understood. Thank you for sharing this blog!
ARMY STRONG 🙏🏼🇺🇲⭐️🪖🥾💛🖤

Aymara Rosales

I am definitely honored and so proud of My 3 Army Soldiers (24,20,18). It has taken so much to understand how the BCT works and now I get it!
ARMY STRONG 🇺🇲⭐️🪖🥾💛🖤

Aymara Rosales

Than you Tami!


What is written is so true. The military will take care of them and give them the skills they need

Doreen Intagliata

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