Becoming a military girlfriend: Basic Training

“My boyfriend traded in dress shoes for combat boots“. Well, my boyfriend traded in Jordans’ for combat boots.

army-strong-girlfriend-tumblr-KqrP4h-quoteI have been through some incredible changes in my life that were for the worst and the better. But, the most difficult point in my life was when the man I love decided to join the military.

 

This happened right around the time I decided to transfer to a university and start a brand new life, while he was only  three hours away. A transition was underway, little did I know, he had an idea that would change our lives beyond what I imagined.

I was fine with his decision and supported him every step of the way until a week before reality set in. The man of my dreams, the love of my life, the man I spent 2 years drooling over is about to leave me and enter a world I know nothing about. And, it scared the living *** out of me. Of course, I kept my composure, I did not want him to see me sweat. Nor, did I want him to think that I did not support his decision. Honestly, I did not support his decision because I was selfish. In all, I did not want him to leave me for GOOD. The countdown began, T-minus 7 days.

Day Zero

Day ZERO arrived, sooner than I thought. It was the day he had to leave. As a couple, we are pretty calm and collective and do not let much get to us, so it was a breeze. I did not cry, he did not cry. All but one emotion existed, happiness. We were happy he made it to that day and happy that we were together on that day.

We drove to his recruiter and waited for the van that took him to another city before he leaves for BMT. All is well. We were cracking jokes, remembering old times, and talking about what the future holds for us. Until, a friend of ours plays “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa. 200_s

I have never seen tears stream from my tear ducts as fast as it did when I heard “Its been a long day, without you my friend”. I did not even let Charlie Puth finish that sentence, the tears came rolling down. It settled in, he is really leaving me. Trading our life for the military life.

Basic Military Training

So, he heads to Basic Military Training (BMT). This is when you are told that you will not hear from your Solider in Training (SIT) voice for the next three to four weeks. You can send and receive letters, but that did not work in my favor. Unfortunately, I did not hear from my SIT until 5 weeks into his training.

Letters

His letters were being sent to the wrong address and so were mine! Unfortunately, the address I gave him before he went of to BMT changed when I moved into student housing.
As a solider who is not receiving letters from his “beloved” girlfriend, he was mocked and told his relationship was over. I was told, by those familiar with military relationships, that he moved on and was a coward for not telling me. Through this time, I was sure my relationship was over. But, somewhere in my heart I could not believe it was over. I knew that our relationship was strong enough. I believed he had the balls to tell me we were over, rather than not telling me at all. And it was. Despite what everyone told him and what everyone told me, we believed in one another. I finally received his letters. What he told me in the letters were heart breaking. But, by the end of each letter, he reminded me how much he loved me. That is all you really need to know when your SIT is away.

Phone calls 

Some units are lucky, some are not. Unfortunately, my boyfriends unit was not given phone call privileges. I would encourage you not to stress too much about not receiving a phone call. Phone call privileges are beyond your SIT’s control. If someone in the unit acts out, the whole unit gets punished. During my SIT’s time at BMT, there was a rebel by the end of every week. This rebel cost the whole unit’s phone privileges for the week, or worse.

When  I finally got my first 20 min call, that was suppose to be an hour, I was ECSTATIC. For some soldiers, BMT is rough and they can not handle it. But my boyfriend enjoyed every little bit of his time there. He hated some days, but loved most. As his girlfriend, I encouraged him to keep up that mentality throughout BMT, so he can graduate and move on with his military career.

From that call, I received a phone call every Sunday until the week before graduation. Sometimes I got a call  on Saturday and Sunday. In the times where you do not get that call on Sunday, there is a Facebook support group for the unit. I do not know if this is for every unit on every military base but it was the case for my SIT’s unit.

Facebook Support Group

For my SIT’s unit, someone developed a Facebook group. This support group had pictures and important information about the base, family day, and graduation. It is a place where you can express your frustration with other family members who may feel your pain and those who can console you. This support group helped me a lot. I knew I was not the only one frustrated and worried. The military can be a tad unreliable when it comes to relaying information to families through mail and the Facebook group was a great place to receive vital information. For example, I did not receive a letter about the family day, graduation, and attain a visitor pass. However, on my SITs’ unit Facebook group there was a a general letter with all this information on it. So, even though I set up accommodations later then I expected, I would have never made it if I waited until I received the letter.

Graduation/Family Day

Congratulations! Your SIT has made it through BMT and now you get to see your solider before he is sent off to  Advanced Individual Training (AIT). I will warn you that these days will seem short, but it will be worth it.

For this day I checked for vacation packages on:

  • Trip Advisor (Best for hotels and things to do in the city)
  • Priceline (hotel + flight + car)
  • Expedia (hotel + flight + car)
  • Trivago  (hotel + flight + car)
  • CheapTickets.com (cheapest flight tickets but longer flight times and more stops)
  • AmericanAirlines.com (mid-range priced but offers best flight times for non-stop flights)

 

You can also check the base’s site to see if they have a travel office. This travel office can help you plan your trip and answer any of your questions.

 

Before graduation day, be sure to head to the bases’ Visitor Center and pick up your visitor pass if you did not receive one in the mail or apply for one via mail. Families are recommend to pick up their visitors pass the day of Family day before 9:00AM. But, I went the day before Family Day. I was in and out within 15 minutes. Keep in mind, this all depends on where your SIT is stationed.

I will not give too much details about family day and graduation because that day and process is different for every military base. Also, I do not want to spoil the experience.If you have any questions about Fort Sill in Lawton, Oklahoma, I will gladly answer them for you. Just check out my contact information.

You are now ready to move on to the next chapter: Advanced Individual Training (AIT)

Being a military girlfriend during basic training is tough considering that you barely get to hear from your SIT and they may be miles away. Even though this, you will have support and eventually peace of mind. Do not listen to the naysayers telling you that the relationship will be over or that your solider will cheat on you. You know your solider and he knows you. Stay STRONG and do not give up!

 

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