Three things motivate a recruit: EAT, SLEEP, and MAIL TIME. Although families & friends can’t control the first two, they can ensure their recruit’s name is yelled out at mail call each night.
For most families, writing to a service member is new and confusing. Over the past 17 years, most of your recruits have used text messages, video calls, and emails to communicate. During the next 9-12 weeks, technology will take a back seat to the old-fashioned snail mail.
Recruit Mail Call
Adapted from an original story by Lance Cpl. Francisco Abundes.
During the weeks of recruit training, one of the most encouraging moments for recruits is opening their first letter from home.
“Mail is a good encouragement that reinforces the recruits – someone back home is thinking of them,” said Sgt. Walt Krueger, a USMC senior drill instructor.
Recruits receive letters from family or friends at the end of the day during mail call. Mail call is often a way for recruits to get away from the wear and tear of training and find encouragement from loved ones.
“Every recruit looks forward to it,” said Recruit Zackary Wilborn, an 18-year-old from Burlington, N.C. “You see them with a hidden happiness trying to keep their bearing.”
Mail call takes place every night, Krueger said. The recruits gather around the senior drill instructor, MTI or RTC calls them by name to receive their mail.
“It’s contact,” said Recruit Kenard Bush, an 18-year-old from Thomasville, Ga. “It might not be physical, but a lot of times, recruits may have trouble with certain aspects of training and feel down, depressed, or lonely. A letter might lift their spirits for that night and give them the boost they need.”
Wilborn said because the average age for the platoon is 19, many of the recruits have never been away from home and are accustomed to constant communication.
Additionally, Bush said that most young recruits are accustomed to current technology, like social networking and cell phones, to communicate. They do not have this luxury in recruit training and must get accustomed to this method.
Recruits are given a chance to write back to their families at night during a square-away time, a period where recruits are given a bit of freedom. Before going to bed, one of the recruits collects all the mail to place in the mailbox the following morning.
BRAND NEW: Postcard Packs are Pre-Stamped and Addressed so your recruit can quickly add a message and mail.
“It gives them some contact with the outside world,” Krueger said. “Drill instructors are here to train and demand and keep them in line. Their families are pretty much the only ones for them to talk to or listen to their problems.”
Monday Delivery makes it easier and faster to send weekly motivation to your recruit. Choose from the collection of inspirational, spiritual, or military-style images, or upload your family photos. Recruits love the stability of customized postcards and keep them for years.
“I love Monday Delivery postcards! I sent a bunch to my son, some with pictures from home (mostly the dog). My son has them all in a clear zipper bag, so he can look at them in 10 years!“ Lisa, Air Force Mom