Letters And Army Life

My brother has been away from home for a month now. I can’t believe how quickly the first month went. (If you didn’t read my last post on the subject, my brother has recently joined the Army.) Honestly, it didn’t seem real until I saw a picture of him in uniform. That’s when I was like, “Holy crap, he’s in the Army!” We were able to touch base with him the first week, but not anymore, since they all lose their phones once training officially starts. Hopefully he’ll get his phone back in a few weeks. My parents were in Puerto Rico last week to see my grandpa, who hasn’t been doing well, and when they came back, they were surprised to see two letters from my brother. My brother isn’t the most talkative person, hence the surprise. Since we weren’t able to contact him, my brother had no idea that my parents were away. He was probably wondering what was wrong with us, why we had yet to reply to his letters. Then today, my parents received a third letter. In this letter, it was obvious that my brother was wondering what was going on.

“I’m just writing to update you two, keep myself busy, and honestly because I miss home. I don’t know if you have sent any letters yet, but I still haven’t received a single piece of mail from anyone I mailed. It kind of sucks because everyone else has received between two and twenty letters already…”

The poor kid sees that everyone else has been getting letters, yet he hasn’t received a single one. It makes me so sad to think that he feels like no one cares enough to write. My parents mailed their first reply on Saturday, but since the Post Office was closed on Monday, it probably won’t arrive until today. At least, I hope it arrives today so it can lift his spirits. I also wrote him a letter, so hopefully he’ll get that soon. I know he’s feeling alone, especially in such a difficult environment. I can’t even imagine some of the things that they have to do during training. It’s exhausting both mentally and physically. I just hope that he stays positive and remembers that we all love and support him. Recently, we celebrated Memorial Day, which honors all those who died to serve our country. We should also remember to honor those who are in the beginning stages of this difficult journey, those who’ve been serving for years, those who’ve retired, as well as those who’ve lost their lives. Regardless of how I feel about war, I can’t deny that the men and women serving our country are making a huge sacrifice that some of us can’t even fathom. Even if a soldier is never called to war, every part of their journey is important, and their dedication deserves to be recognized. What these people are doing is both courageous and admirable.

Anyway, I’m not sure why, but I just wanted to share that. I don’t know how my brother would feel about being mentioned on my blog, but it’s not like I said anything embarrassing. Here’s hoping our letters make it to him soon, and that he realizes he is not alone. His graduation will be in July, so we’re all going to try to go. It’s in Oklahoma, which scares me a bit, but I think it’d be great for him to see us all there. Then after that, he’s off to Texas for his second training on being a health care specialist. That training should go more smoothly, I would think. They’ll probably be just as strict though. Everything requires so much discipline, you can’t even poop when you want to. I said “poop” on my blog. Way to make a serious post less serious. I believe that’s my cue to end this post. I hope you’re all having a great week so far. Is it Friday yet?


My brother...
My little brother…all grown up.

43 thoughts on “Letters And Army Life

  1. Oh my gosh! Thanks for sharing this, Lily. It brakes my heart thinking he wasn’t getting any mail! Makes me want to send him a letter!!!! (Really). Glad he has such a wonderful caring family behind him. 🙂

    1. Aw, thanks Maria! I teared up picturing him all sad, not receiving any mail. I know that would make me feel bad, seeing everyone else reading their letters. 😦 Thanks! Hm, I wonder how he’d feel if I posted his address for all of WordPress to see. That would be so funny if he got a bunch of letters from people who are complete strangers to him! He’d be so confused, but probably happy too! Lol. 🙂

  2. These first few weeks are the toughest. Once training starts he’ll be too tired to be homesick. Write as often as you can and wait patiently for his occasional telephone calls. He’ll be forever grateful.

    1. Thanks! I know you’ve been there. He’s already started basic training. I know they’re all exhausted, poor guys. We will definitely write often! I know those letters probably make their day. Thanks. 🙂

  3. Poor thing. Yeah, it’s hellish, and then to see everyone else getting massive amounts of mail and him getting nothing? Yeah, that’s gotta hurt. I wonder why he didn’t write something to you as well, and you could have told him your parents were gone. It’s like going back to the dark ages without cell phones or all of this technology we have now. You know, like the 70’s!! 😉

    1. I know, I still feel bad, but crossing my fingers that the first letter HAS to have arrived today…HAS TO! He’ll feel better once he sees why no one replied. As for me, he didn’t have my address, lol. He’s been to my apartment, but had no idea what street or apartment number. He’ll have it now though.

      OMG, it’s so dark ages, writing letters… But it’s kinda nice, aside from the whole waiting for the darn thing to arrive. I’m sure these letters make the soldiers days. Gives them motivation. 🙂

  4. It does get lonely there. I know when my brother in law was deployed I was able to find a place that delivered cakes overseas because I am awful about writing letters.

    Where in Texas will he be?

    1. I can imagine how lonely…poor guys! Cakes are nice! Ummm, I think he’ll be at the base in San Antonio, but I’m not 100% sure if that changed, because his first location had changed so who knows! But should definitely be somewhere in Texas. 🙂 I’d much rather visit there.

  5. Oh my.. letters from home mean so much to soldiers.. I’m so proud of your bro!
    Sending a psychic messgae to the postman to deliver his mail pronto!

    1. I know, I’m only now realizing how important these letters are. It probably brightens their day so much. Thank you! Super hoping he got the first one already. Darn mail, wish it could just magically teleport!

  6. Lily, as you probably remember, I’ve had lots of friends and family go the military route. It’s probably why Veterans Day and Memorial Day get some of the deepest parts of my soul blogwise. In my own limited way, it’s an attempt to pay tribute to the gifts those who have and are serving in the military have given to us in the form of their time and dedication.

    In the very recent past I helped see 3 of my friends through their basic training. I can tell you that every letter and care package from home is treasured. I will also tell you that there was a group of us online that put together a bunch of Christmas cards and sent them out to my friend’s husband’s platoon when they got shipped out to Afghanistan. Even though most of the soldiers had no idea who we are, it meant the world to them because every letter was a reminder of home and of why they decided to serve our country in the first place.

    Another time, me and several of my employees sent a bunch of letters to a friend of mine stationed on a naval ship somewhere that he couldn’t disclose. As he was also a prankster and had joked about doing a drag show to lift up the spirits of his shipmates I sent him a wig, pantyhose, a mini-skirt and a sexy top. LOL! I also sent him some hotrod and motorcycle magazines. He and his boys thought I was the stuff for sending him the outfit. You never know what’s going to entertain those guys, but I’m a strong believer in lifting spirits.

    I guess what I’m saying is…I’m proud of your brother and will keep him in my prayers. And if you’d like me to send a letter so he is constantly getting mail, let me know…Me and my friends are always ready and willing to help.

    1. Just read your Memorial Day post, and still fighting tears here! Thanks for the comment, Kitt. I know now more than ever how much these letters mean to them. I’ve never known anyone in the Military so this is all so new. And I still feel like my brother’s decision was so out of the blue! But I’m very proud and hope he knows we’re all thinking of him.

      I think that’s so great that you guys do that. I know how strongly you feel about this, and I think it’s so beautiful how supportive you are, even to those who you don’t know. It’s definitely all about lifting their spirits. 🙂 Lol, love the mini-skirt/sexy top idea! That’s so funny. I wonder if anyone inspects the mail items first? If so, that person definitely got a laugh. But hey, you have to have a sense of humor. 🙂

      Thanks so much for your words! I really appreciate it. If you’d like to write, here’s his current address. He’s in basic now, so he’ll only be at this address til mid-July. If anyone from my blog writes to him, he’ll probably be so confused as to who these people are, lol…BUT he’ll surely appreciate it, even if it’s from a stranger! Thanks again. 🙂


  7. Oh no, poor boy must’ve been thinking “my family must hate me if I’ve mailed off THREE letters and I haven’t gotten a single one yet.” But of course, you guys had genuine excuses for not having seen them until now. I’m sure your brother will be understanding of the situation. You know, this makes me think you should host your own blog project and get people to send letters to your brother! It’d be no trouble for any of us and I’m sure he’d get a kick out of receiving mail from virtual strangers. 🙂 Thank goodness for strong, courageous people like your brother who willingly serve in the front lines for the rest of us.

    1. I know, felt so bad! Once he sees why, he’ll be okay. But I hate to think of him wondering why we didn’t care enough. Although honestly, the first two letters were mailed within a couple days of each other so we couldn’t have replied that quickly anyway. 😉

      Did you read my mind?! I actually THOUGHT about asking my bloggy friends to write messages…and then I’d compile them and send him a letter full of the kindness of strangers! He might be like, “Wtf, who are these people?” But deep down he’d appreciate it. 😀 So yeah, I might do that. Thanks!

    1. Trust me, I did consider it yesterday! I think he’d be surprised and possibly slightly freaked out? Lol. I did share his address with a few people, but for some reason I feel weird posting it on all of WordPress or FB or something, I feel like he’d think I’m crazy if I did that, lol. 😀

  8. Ahhh man, I am trying not to cry. I am at work…. shouldn’t have read that. 😦 Well, when your parents write and explain what is going on I am sure he will understand. He knows that he is loved and that he has made this journey to grow and become his own man (if that makes sense). Maybe it’s harder because he wasn’t expecting not to have normal (cellphone communication) where people are used to getting responses right away.

    I think he would be fine with you mentioning him, he is a part of your life and you are proud of him. Don’t feel bad about anything you feel or say, one day you will be happy you have it all documented 🙂

    1. Aw, don’t be sad! He should have received at least one letter by now, my parents mailed it last Saturday. So by now he should know what happened. I just felt so bad in the mean time, he must have been wondering why we all suck! Lol. He knew he wouldn’t have normal communication, but no matter how prepared you might feel, you really can’t imagine what the Army will be like til you’re actually in it.

      Trust me, I know my brother would find this a little awkward. He’s not very social… Doesn’t even have his own FB page so he’d probably be like, “Why the heck am I all over your blog now?” Haha. But it’s okay, I didn’t say anything bad! 😀

      1. HAHA that’s cute about your bro not having a FB and such… just don’t tell him he is on here :p (he reads it already though I am sure).

        It’s got to be a little strange going from what we have here, to just communicating by letter, but that’s good he has gotten some info 🙂

          1. I liked getting mail, never sending mail. I would hold onto mail forever and think that was soooo nice of so and so and never write back, cause I was a messed up kid.

            Yeah, no one in my fam reads my blog… I am sure they wouldn’t be happy about what I say on here.

  9. This sounds familiar because I have a friend whose oldest son just joined the Navy and just finished basic– he had to surrender the cell phone, etc. I understand why they do it– they would never acclimate to that lifestyle, that discipline without cutting off contact in that way. Letter-writing is such a lost, all-but-extinct art, that I’m kind of glad this sort of situation is helping to preserve it. I feel just as bad as everyone else for him, though. Hopefully it will mean that when that first letter does arrive, he will just feel all the more ecstatic. 🙂

    1. Yup, I understand why they do it too. They’re preparing your for war and all that, of course you wouldn’t have the conveniences and distractions we have here. And you’re so right, it is nice that letter-writing isn’t completely dead, and it probably never will be because of this. But that’s good thing. Letters are a slow way to communicate, but at the same time it’s so personal. 🙂 Yup, he should have received our letters by now, so hopefully we’ll get our next letter from him soon. 🙂 Darn snail mail.

      1. I hope that next letter does come soon! God bless your brother and all our soldiers (sailors, marines, pilots, et. al.) I thought about it once upon a time but no way would I ever have the discipline– heck I can’t make myself write on a consistent basis!

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