Nephew joining army, Gift question!

United States
February 6, 2007 2:10pm CST
My nephew is joining the army in 2 weeks he goes wherever it is for boot camp. We are having a send off party. I was told he does not need anything and cannot take anything with him. I want to send something so here is my idea: What about a nice set of stationary, with an address book so he can put everyone's address in it before he goes, and some stamps? Would he be allowed to have it? I could have everyone fill in their addresses at the send off party. If you don't think he could have it, then another idea is cookies since he had to gain weight to go and if he loses it he can't go. What do you think? I know he likes to write as he keeps a journal.
1 person likes this
6 responses
@mssnow (9493)
• United States
6 Feb 07
My son left for the army last year. I could not give him anything . Boot camp supplies all that they need. Maybe you could give him a prepaid debit card. I am pretty sure they let them have money. But even if he cant use it now he might after boot camp. it is so hard when they go off to bot camp because they cant have hardly any contact with family members. Oh I gave my son a big hug and a "I love you" as my gift to him.
3 people like this
• United States
6 Feb 07
So you are saying he would not be allowed to have an address book with everyone's address in it so he could write them? He won't be allowed to write? I can see the army could supply stationary and stamps, but he will need addresses. Would it be allowed or not?
@mssnow (9493)
• United States
6 Feb 07
Nope, he cannot have anything but what the army gives him. They are very strict there. I didnt have contact with my son for a month and then he was allowed to send me a letter. He had memomrized our address of course. After boot camp then they are more lax.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Feb 07
The stationary set is such a thoughtful idea. He isnt allowed to take much along but I would think something that fits easily in his bag would be nice. If he is leaving his famliy stationary is something he would use. How nice of you.
3 people like this
@reinydawn (11649)
• United States
9 Feb 07
My son joined the Navy 2 years ago. He was not allowed to take ANYTHING! When he got off the plane at boot camp, he stripped and they sent back all his clothes and belongings. I mailed him paper, pens, stamps and envelopes right after he got there. He never used them, he brought them home after boot camp. Phone cards are the best thing to give him, until he goes over seas (most only work in the country where you buy them). Prepaid credit cards are great too. After he is there, they do moderate his diet, so don't send food until after he's out of boot camp - then send all the goodies!! I remember my son's first Christmas in Japan, I sent him some of my mom's cookies. When I talked to him he said "Every bite was like a taste of home." Yeah, I cried!!! Wish him the best! OH, an tell him to sign up for the GI bill as soon as they offer it - apparently you only get the offer once, then you're stuck with the decision.
• United States
9 Feb 07
I have given you best response because you offered a solution that works for me! I am very poor and if he cannot have the idea I had came up with, the phone card is certainly the best idea I have heard from anyone because I can use my speedyrewards points from the gas station to print up a coupon for a free phone card and then purchase the phone card with no money, using my coupon from the points I have earned for gasoline purchases! I have done this in the past when I wanted to send my grandmother a phone card. It works for me, it's free, and it is something he can use and is allowed to have! What a perfect solution! Thank you so much for your help!
@reinydawn (11649)
• United States
10 Feb 07
Thank you for the best response. It was hard to get used to at first, trying to figure out what to send him for birthdays, Christmas and stuff. He's on a ship now, in Japan, so not only is he very limited in space but being in another country causes some problems also - prepaid cards don't always work in other countries. After boot camp my son loved getting goodies in the mail because he was no longer restricted by diet. Oh, and even though we sent my son off with a ton of phone cards, he didn't call that often. They restrict your time, but they do make you call Mom on Mother's Day and Dad on Father's Day. Other than that, he was only allowed so many minutes of phone time, so I rarely heard from him. But having the cards made it much easier when he was able to call. He's been in Japan for over a year and sometimes I go months without hearing from him. He's better about e-mail, though :) Take care!
1 person likes this
@Debs_place (10524)
• United States
9 Feb 07
The stationary is a good idea, but he may want to use the army stationary they can get in the PX. How about having people write their name and address on address labels, he will not have much time to answer mail. This way he can just pick the label and even put it on a post card depending on the time. (I did that for my son when he wnet to boot camp) They aren't allowed to have food or anything else. You might as well forget anything else, since he can't have it. The made my son send back everything, and then he had to go to the NEX (Navy) and buy it all again. The one thing he could keep was running shoes, maybe a gift certificate would be good to the local foot locker if the army allows the running shoes. After boot camp, my son still did so much running, he need new shoes about every 6 weeks. BTW_ Thank him for us. We appreciate what he is doing
1 person likes this
@Debs_place (10524)
• United States
10 Feb 07
I forgot something...prepaid phone cards are a great gift.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Feb 07
Can you get a few pictures of the family together and give them to him? I dated a boy once who was at Camp LeJeune and his photos from home were like gold to him. Wish him luck for me...
• United States
9 Feb 07
I was in the military. The best thing you can do is write letters to him. He won't be able to keep a journal. I believe all the calls I made were collect. Later on we were allowed to receive care packages. My parents sent me tastycakes which I would share with my friends. You weren't allowed to keep any food in your room. I can remember going to the commissary but I forget how I paid for those things.