Thursday, July 5, 2012

BCT Event FB Page

So as many of you know my husband is a Drill SGT here were we are currently stationed. The battalions are small and the company's are even smaller. FRG meetings are held at a battalion level vs. at company level like many regular units. Our CO and his wife are extremely nice people and are always looking for ideas to have a get together and bring the company closer. During each BCT Cycle there is a Company "Event FB" page made, this allows the parents, family members and friends to follow along as the training takes place. Pictures are posted every Friday from different training exercises that the SIT do. Every morning the CO's wife (Mrs. D) will make a post about what the SIT are doing that day. This give the families a idea of what their loved one is doing. Family & Friends are able to ask questions, make comments, get to know one another through this page. Many of them have never used FB until they discovered this "event" page and its funny to read some of the things they write about being addicted to FB now. About a month ago I was asked by our Mrs. D if I would be willing to be a Volunteer for our company page. Answer questions, give suggestions, advice, be there for the families of the SIT. I have been trying to be involved as much as I can here with our unit / company because I wasn't really in Hawaii. The unit here is very family oriented which is great. I agreed to help and have enjoyed it so far. I've been able to learn a lot myself about "life on the trail", since this is our first full cycle. Although 85% of the questions asked on the page are things I already know from simply being a Army Spouse myself or just talking with my husband about going through basic. The parents are very grateful for the page and everything that we as the volunteers do for them and helping them through this transition. Some times though I can't help but sit back and shake my head at some of the questions or comments they make. Mail, Phone calls & Pictures are their #1 concern most of the time. Mail~ "I've only gotten _____ # of letters", "My SIT isn't getting any of my letters, they are going to think I don't care", "My letters are post marked this date, but the letter is dated this date", this list goes on and on about them sending and receiving mail, its CRAZY!!!! The SIT are allowed 2 maybe sometimes 3 phone calls through out there time in training. When family members start receiving their phone calls they will post on the FB page. From here its a cat fight for the ones who didn't get call, and let the emotions flow. Or when we notify the families that their SIT will be making calls and at what time, then you have the ones that STILL miss the call and OMG you would have though their world was going to crash. Well we told you phone calls were going to be made, its not our fault you missed it. And then there are pictures, ideally the pictures are to give the families a glimpse in to what their SIT is doing, since they aren't here able to watch. We do not take requests on pictures of specific trainees but still they don't seem to understand that. As a company we are only allowed to post 20 pictures each Friday, and if there SIT isn't in one of those pictures they are quick to post about it. Now don't get me wrong they are VERY appreciative of what we are doing and what the page is for. They are always making comments as to how they couldn't make it through this process with out our help through the page. They are very grateful for the pictures, phone calls, letters from and of their SIT. But I still shake my head, yes most of these "kids" yes they are kids are still in high school. They are here going through BCT over there junior summer of HS before they start their senior year. They will only do Basic and then return home. Next summer after graduating HS they will then go to AIT. Meaning 90% of them STILL LIVE AT HOME, mommy and daddy still 100% support them. For a lot of these families this is the first time their child has ever been away from home for this long of time. I just can't help but think what they have in store for them in the future after AIT, when they go to their permanent duty station, or if they ever have to go to trainings for a long period of time were cell reception doesn't work, or the dreaded D-day ~ they get deployed. Of course you have the ones of have been through basic, did their time in the military and their putting in their two sense about how it is, when really its changed SOOOO much since you've been in. There are a handful of them that are married, a few with children back home. From this cycle 98% of the SIT that are going through BCT have joined the National Guard, there is only about 5-6 that are going to be active duty Army.
I was talking to the hubbs the other day telling him that a part of me has a hard time having sympathy for them after going through 2 deployments. I asked him if that sounded bad of me and said no. I understand that these are their "babies" but at the same time I wish some would stop and think about were they are. They are in basic training, not in a war zone, not over seasons on a special assignment or off at training for deployment in the dessert. Phone calls, Skype "dates", Internet wasn't always the best & I'm sure still isn't the greatest when our Soldiers are away. They have it pretty easy and good right now. I can only hope and pray for the best for each SIT and their family as they continue their Military journey after Graduation.
All of that aside I'm really enjoying being a volunteer for our company page. Its fun to interact with the parents and be here to help them. Every day we will post a question or two on the page pertaining to life in the military and going through basic. Its interesting to read some of their responses.
This cycle Graduates Thursday, August 2nd and then we pick up again 8 -10 days later. I'm excited to see whats in store for the next cycle on the company event fb page!!! Stay tuned to more BCT stories. :)

SIT- Soldier in Training
BCT- Basic Combat Training

Some of the Questions we ask the families on our page-

*Do you notice a change in your soldier already?
*To get their day started they are doing PT, (physical training). What do you do in the morning to get your day going???

*We know what the soldiers have done to keep busy these past weeks. What have you done to keep yourself busy while your Soldier is away?

*What is the one thing your most looking forward to???

*Your soldiers have given up many things during basic training. If you had to do the same what would be the hardest thing to go with out?

*f your soldier could have taken one thing from home to keep with them during Basic Training what would it have been besides their phone, computer, iPod, and video games? We already know they want those :-)

*Who would be willing to go through Basic Training and do you think you could complete all the requirements to graduate?

*What was the first thought when your soldiers choose to join the military? 

*What do you feel will be the biggest challenge for your soldier during Basic Training?

*what changes do you expect to see in your soldiers once they complete Basic Training, if any?

*What is your favorite military movie?

*What do you want your soldier to get out of the military?

*when they decided to join the military did they start working out and exercising to prepare for basic before they left or not really???

These are just some of the question we have asked on the page just to get the families involved and kind of open the door to any questions they might have.
Do you have any suggested questions we could ask the families ???? Please fill free to send them my way!!!!! 
~DAY 266~


Janna Renee said...

This is too funny. I went through my big brother going through Marine Corp basic training when I was little AND my hubby's (as you know), so I totally agree with you on how ridiculous the parents are. I actually got to talk to my hubby a lot, since his group won a lot of challenges, and they got extra privileges, but other than that we just wrote a TON of letters. Those parents better get used to it all!

lilmoomoo said...

girl. OMG. I so enjoyed reading this.

when my hubby was in basic, before we were married, I used to check into his FB page for his group.
I had no Army experience, no idea what was going on, also had my own concerns, but I have NEVER been so embarrassed for a group of people like I was for some of the girlfriends/wives/moms/dads etc on his page!

I get that it's new and a transition. But my GOD.
Just like you said. They are safe. They aren't in a combat zone. We know you miss them. We know you are learning. But if boot camp/training etc. is this hard and dramatic for them, I'm concerned about how they will handle deployment!!
but at the same time, like I said, they are new to it, and are learning the ropes. And I'm not saying basic was easy. But I missed him. I wasn't worried.

It just burns my biscuits to see people post about how worried and how hard they have it while their SO is away for basic. I mean. Really. Wait till deployment.