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      Military Mom's Blog — Tutorials

      Top 5 Effective Ways To Connect With Your Soldier That Every Army Moms Must Know!

      Top 5 Effective Ways To Connect With Your Soldier That Every Army Moms Must Know!

      For safety reasons, you will not always know exactly when and where your son or daughter will be deployed. Deployment dates are not advertised, and unit locations may be classified for sensitive missions.

       

      That’s the reason the key for parents to successfully handle deployment is communication. Failing to talk to one another can make separation stressful and overwhelming, especially for the Army Moms.

       

      It is important to work together as parents through frequent conversations. Part of the challenge in ensuring that this happens is planning out times to talk. This can require flexibility for those deployed and their families at home. The other task is finding a means of communication that works for everyone.

       

      Below is our top of the best ways to connect with your soldier regularly to feel close to each other and make deployment less stressful.

       

      Skype or FaceTime

       

      If your child has access to a laptop or smartphone with Wi-Fi, FaceTime and Skype are effective ways to communicate regularly. They are completely free and combine the personal touch of a phone call with face-to-face interaction. Plan a time when all of the family members can gather around the computer and say hello to your Soldier. Even a few minutes a day can drastically improve how up to date you are with each other's lives. 

       

      Phone Call

       

      There's nothing more personal than hearing your child’s voice after being away from each other for a long time. Phone calls are the perfect form of communication for special occasions, such as birthdays or holidays. Your child will get very excited at the idea of hearing your voice and catching him or her up on your lives in real-time.

       

      However, as long-distance phone calls can be very expensive, it may be best to save them just for these occasions. It is also a good idea to check with your phone company for military discounts, as many major businesses offer these to make communication less expensive for military families.

       

       

      “The Army goes out of their way to make telephone access possible from their end to us, and email whenever possible, and they do that as quickly as possible. So communication has always been readily available.”

      — Cathy, mother of Staff Sergeant John Martin

       

       

      Email

       

      Email is one of the fastest ways to communicate with your loved one during active duty. You and your children can quickly share experiences that he or she missed. They can also attach photographs and videos to give him or her visuals. Just make sure that your soldier has service wherever he or she is deployed. Many email servers show when the message has been opened and read so you can confirm that your child received your note.

       

       

      “I talk to Antoine about once a week on the telephone. We talk quite frequently, and we do a lot of emails with him and his wife also. So we stay in communication on a frequent basis and about once every six months, we’re able to visit in person.”

      — Phyllis, mother of Specialist Antoine Grimes

       

      Letters

       

      Communicating through writing is often thought of as a more traditional form of keeping in contact with someone. However, there is sentimental value in sitting down with a pen and paper and sharing your thoughts and stories.

       

      MotherProud.com suggested that numbering each letter so your child knows which ones to read first will prevent any problems from occurring if the mail arrives at a slower pace than you write, as this is one of the reasons why people tend to choose other forms of communication during deployment.

       

       

      “The letters to Jodie were important, but sometimes the letters back were pretty darn important. Because they are so busy, when they can find the time to jot a note down, it’s really good.”

      — Buddy, father of Specialist Jodie Wood

      Care packages

       

      Parents magazine recommended care packages as another great way to keep in touch with loved ones on special occasions. On your soldier’s birthday, for example, it can be nice to send a care package filled with his or her favorite snacks and items that he or she may miss while away, such as home-baked cookies.

       

      Including pictures of the family can serve as a pleasant surprise for your child who may not have seen the family members in a while. Be sure to send the package with plenty of time to arrive if you are sending it for a special date to make sure it gets there on time.

       

      AN IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT SAFE COMMUNICATION

       

      It’s extremely important for both family members and Soldiers to communicate responsibly, and avoid disclosing details in letters or phone calls that could jeopardize a mission. The following is a list of information you should NOT disclose in a letter, phone call, or email or discuss with ANYONE in a public setting, such as an Internet forum:

       

      • Unit mission, or number of personnel assigned to a unit
      • Deployment areas and times
      • Port call dates
      • Special shore deployments
      • Unit morale or personnel problems
      • Troop movements
      • Military intentions, capabilities, or operations
      • The location of your family during deployment
      • The planned return date for service members

       

      Please note: During training — or while stationed overseas — there may be unavoidable limits to the amount of communication your son or daughter will be able to have with you.

      Top 10 Boot Camp Graduation Gift Ideas

      Top 10 Boot Camp Graduation Gift Ideas

      Boot Camp Completion is a great achievement for anyone. And Basic Training Graduation is gonna be one of the most monumental and memorable moments in a service member's life

      As a welcome to the next chapter of your child's military lives, it's a great idea to give them a gift to reward them for their Boot Camp Completion. If you're still wondering what kind of commemorative items that you can give to your child for graduating boot camp, take a look at those:

      Money Clip or Wallet


      If you are gonna get the money clip, make it custom by engraving it with your child's name and graduation date. Or if you get a wallet, don't forget to get one with a clear screen so your child can input their military id.

      Gym Bag

      Your child is going to get a lot of PT that they will need to carry their gear a lot, so invest in a nice gym bag is a really great idea and realistic. With the gym bag, they can help them carry a lot of stuff like PT uniforms, work uniforms, tennis shoes, gloves, shower gear, etc.

      Tickets

      Work always comes first for Military service members. If by any chance you learn that they have some time off, some tickets to the events that they interested in would be a great choice, it will help them to relieve stress and relax.

      Head Phones

      Since your child will get a lot of PT in the gym, you may be considered to get them a nice set of premium headphones which will also serve them well while they're hanging out in their room.

      Electronics

      Since your child is going to miss all of the fun electronics stuff for awhile. Video games, mp3 players, tablets, etc. will be the great choices and come in handy when they're in the barracks.

      Food

      Usually, the military doesn't give your child "good food" in the boot camp. So when they come out they will surely love to have some. Spend money on a restaurant with good food or stock up their favorite snacks will be a great choice.

      Customized Lighter

      Do your service members smoke cigars every once in a while? If so, a nice lighter is a good gift idea to have. You can engrave your child's name and graduation date on it for customization.

      Ka-Bar

      Most of the military graduates love ka-bars. You can get it engraved or plain but you have to admit it, it's really pretty cool-looking.

      A fancy nice watch

      It's always a good idea to keep track of the time during the day or the night, a watch is great item for your child to have. If they're a high-tech person, give them a sports smartwatch. Or if your grad needs a more durable watch, G-Shock watches will be a great choice.

      A challenge coin

      A challenge coin may be a small coin or medallion, bearing an organization's insignia or emblem and carried by the organization's members. Traditionally, they might be given to prove membership when challenged and to enhance morale. In addition, they are also collected by service members and law enforcement personnel. You can buy an existing one but you sure can get it custom made for you. You can help your grad start their collection early.

      What Could You Send In An Army Basic Training's Package?

      What Could You Send In An Army Basic Training's Package?

      A lot of us Army Moms might have some questions about what to send in the care packages for your SIT (Soldier in Training) in the Basic Combat Training. Mail usually will be accepted but there are some rules about the care packages.

      But just put that aside for now, first and foremost you should be focused on communication by sending encouraging letters by:

      • Simply write a regular letter: to keep it basic, you can use a very plain paper and envelope. Your Soldier will be able to receive the letter in a couple of weeks.
      • Use your smartphone: Nowadays it's so much easier to send a letter to your Solder from your smartphone. There's an application called SANDBOXX, download it to your smartphone and send the letter to your Soldier. Then they will help you to prepare a real physical letter and get it delivered to your SIT. Letters from them are delivered so much faster than usual.

      Now, it's time to talk about the care package and what you can add in it for your SIT in the Basic Training.

      What Could Army Moms Send In An Army Basic Training's Package

      Usually, your child should have a list of everything they needed before they left for basic training. But in case if there is something they forgot, every couple of weeks they will be brought to the PX to buy these kinds of items.

      Care packages in basic training certainly have ruled over them. Since there are some units allow care packages but some don't, so the first question you should know the answer is "Does their unit allow care packages?".

      Be sure to be aware that they have a very small space in their barracks, so please refrain from sending big care packages. Some personal items like deodorant or soap, please put them in the sealed zip-lock type of bag.

      Below is the reference list only, it's always better to ask your SIT about their unit's rules for care packages first before you consider to include some other items that are not in this list.

      • Address book
      • Baby wipes, unscented
      • Bar soap, unscented
      • Black Pens
      • Cash less than $50
      • Dental floss Deodorant, unscented
      • Digital watch (black band)
      • Envelopes
      • Feminine hygiene products
      • Hair gel (unscented)
      • Hair ties (black)
      • Journal
      • Lip Balm, unflavored
      • Lotion, unscented
      • Moleskin Paper (white lined)
      • Pencils
      • Permanent marker (black)
      • Self-addressed stamped envelopes
      • Stamps
      • Toothbrush
      • Toothpaste
      • Laundry Soap (unscented)
      • Nail clippers (no file)
      • Shampoo/conditioner combo
      • Flushable wipes, unscented
      • Razors (Males ONLY)
      • Travel size Kleenex packages
      • Religious medallions
      • White calf-length socks (no logos)
      • Combination lock (plain black/silver)
      • Underwear (briefs, white)
      • Fine/medium tooth comb (helps with female hair)

      Then please use the United States Post Office (USPS) to send your care packages to basic training. The USPS can offer you care package mailing supplies that send to your home at zero cost. It will include priority mailboxes, tape, and address labels. After that, to send the package you will have to pay for the sending fees, take a look at the USPS website for their current pricing here.

      For your information, 2 weeks before basic graduation, you should stop sending any mails from there.

      These are the websites for Army Basic Combat Training regarding care packages:

      In Summary for What to Send In The Care Packages

      The letters and care packages for your soldier will always be a spirit lifter while they are in training. They will absolutely love hearing from you.

      Care packages should be small and only included needed items for your child.

      We hope all of the Army Moms out there found our list helpful to decide what you can send in the care package for your SIT.

      Please feel free to share your ideas in the comments below.

       

      Ultimate Care Package List Ideas: What To Put In A Military Care Package

      Ultimate Care Package List Ideas: What To Put In A Military Care Package

      To be a Military Mom (Army Mom, Marine Mom, Air Force Mom, Navy Mom, etc), it means you are the one who should take responsibility for sending care packages to your child in the Military. Below is the completed list of what you need to add to your care package.

      After included everything from our Ultimate Military Care Package List Ideas, you can add your own customizing to it simply to make your care package more fun and lovely, your child's spirits will be lifted when received your package. Besides, make sure you follow these tips when sending care packages:

      • Be sure to check on the size and weight restrictions for the packages. You can pick up free Priority Mail boxes from your post office or contact 1-800-610-8734 for FREE Military care package kit.
      • Always include the card which listed all of the contents inside the care package. Add the recipient's name and yours along with everything that's in the package on the card. By doing that, the recipient will know what they should be expecting when going through inside the package, plus if somehow the package breaks opens, the mail handlers will know what to find and add them to your package.
      • For items that may spill or leak, please put them in the heavy plastic zipper-lock bags. To help keep things organized, you can use the gallon freezer bags.
      • Your child's complete address should be written out fully. It should include your child's full name, unit and APO/FPO (Air/Army Post Office or Fleet Post Office) address. Please be aware of your child's unit name, including the battalion, ship, squadron, platoon, etc, along with a nine-digit ZIP code if possible. Besides, just be generic when you fill out the customs form (add "non-perishable snacks" instead of all the foods)
      • If you are planning to send multiple care packages, please be sure to number them and letters. Since some care packages usually arrive later, numbering them will help your child to be aware of the care packages that are still in transit. You can even theme your care package to be better (ie. 4th of July, Halloween, Christmas)
      • Please do not consider to send perishables to warm climates from March to October. They will absolutely be melt, spoilt or busted. 
      • Please acknowledge of what items you can't include in the care packages. ie. Obscene articles/photos, alcohol, weapons, etc.

      Now that's everything you need to know about what to pack in your care package for your child in the military, what items would you like to include then?