I wouldn't have even thought about sending a "hello" email to my son's SDI for anything if another parent in my son's company (not platoon) hadn't just reported that she did. She got a friendly response and is now getting updates on the platoon!

Did anyone email the SDI while in boot camp? Positive or negative response? Is this another time when it probably depends on the SDI?

Your input would be greatly appreciated.

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How did she get his email address? I have the letter from the SDI with his cell number but there is NO email address?  What platoon is her son in?

My son graduated back in September, but I did email his SDI during his time there.  I emailed first over a concern I had with my son not receiving any of his mail when everyone else in the platoon had been receiving mail for several weeks.  (We sent out nearly 8 pieces of mail the day we received his address in the form letter and nearly a month later he was writing about how upset he was that he had no mail)

 

Anyway, he replied that same evening and couldn't have been more pleasant and understanding.  He not only took the time to reply, but he put reassurance back in myself that my son was ok and he briefly mentioned how he was doing.  And for the mail, he said not to worry it takes time, and he was right, the next day my son was flooded with mail.  He encouraged me to email him with any other concerns I had.

 

So go ahead, drop a "hello"! 

 

Gosh. Things sure have changed. I suppose it depends on the individual drill instructor. When my sons went through boot camp at Parris Island more than four years ago they sent along a form letter from the SDI in which we were invited to e-mail him with any questions or concerns. Across the bottom, scrawled in haste, both my then-recruits printed: "Do not ever e-mail the SDI. Please." Ever was underlined. 

I met the SDI at graduation and he seemed like a nice guy. He even sent out regular e-mail updates when his schedule permitted it. And there's one of the points I wanted to make: the drill instructors are extremely busy people who work long, hard hours shaping your sons and daughters into U.S. Marines. It is probably the hardest job in the Corps. Do you really want to take up their time and ask for individual reports on your recruit? Really?

I guess this is a personal quirk, but I think too many parents tend to look at boot camp as a glorified outing for their children. It's not. It's designed to turn them into Marines. It's the hardest boot camp our nation offers and it isn't for -- pardon my language -- sissies. It's hard. It's supposed to be, too. Someday your son or daughter's survival -- and the survival of those they are with -- may depend on the lessons they learned in boot camp. 

Too many parents want to "help" out their recruits too much as it is. They'll send cough drops, or energy bars, or who knows what else. Sure, some drill instructors allow this, but you have to ask yourself if you are really doing your recruit a favor? 

I don't mean to sound high-handed or even hard-nosed, but I've seen it time and time again: way too many parents want to insert themselves in the boot camp experience. But look, this isn't high school. This isn't summer camp. This is Marine Corps boot camp. It isn't supposed to be fun, it isn't supposed to be a -- excuse the cllche -- a walk in the park. 

By the way, my sons' SDI was -- like I said -- a good guy. He was also one squared-away Marine. I asked him if either of my sons had to do a lot of extra PT on the quarter deck (push-ups, squat thrusts, stomach crunches). He smiled, then said, "No, sir, no more than the rest."

Ask a Marine and he'll tell you the best way to get through boot camp is by not calling attention to yourself. That's why my sons scribbled that request not to call or e-mail the SDI. They knew what they were doing, too.

Well, that's my opinon.

(By the way, one son was a radio operator in a rifle company with tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He's a civilian again. The other son is a sergeant of Marines and works at the Recruiting Depot in San Diego and comes into near daily contact with the recruits.)

Thanks for the input, Proud Indiana Mom & Double Dad.

Double Dad, are you saying that you did get email updates from boot camp?

He even sent out regular e-mail updates when his schedule permitted it. 

That's all I'm looking for--if the SDI is already sending out those to other families. The only reason to email is so that the SDI will have my email address. I promise I have absolutely no plan to ask for "individual reports" on my recruit. (BTW, congratulations to your sons on their success as Marines!)

2marinemom, my son's SDI included his email in the first form letter we got.


My son graduated Boot Camp from PI in September of this year. In my first form letter the SDI had is email address and phone number and in his letter and he said we could email him. Like Double Dad's sons my son had told me a head of time not to email his DI, no matter what. In our group of parents we had retired Marine dads who also confirmed what my son told me, DO not e-mail the DI. I never got any e-mail up dates from the DI doing the time my son was gone. My only info came from my son and the parents on these boards. The rcts do not want any unwanted attention from there DI's.

 

I know it is hard being away from them, but I looked at it as a learning experience, for me. My time to learn no news was good news b/c my son will  be going  away again doing deployments.  

 

I hope this helps, my best advice is not to email him. Best wishes to your rct and you and your family.

 

 

 

 austenfan said:

Thanks for the input, Proud Indiana Mom & Double Dad.

Double Dad, are you saying that you did get email updates from boot camp?

He even sent out regular e-mail updates when his schedule permitted it. 

That's all I'm looking for--if the SDI is already sending out those to other families. The only reason to email is so that the SDI will have my email address. I promise I have absolutely no plan to ask for "individual reports" on my recruit. (BTW, congratulations to your sons on their success as Marines!)

2marinemom, my son's SDI included his email in the first form letter we got.

Thanks for responding, mom-md.

I feel like I have not made myself clear. I know there are a majority here who did NOT email--for the same reasons that I have not emailed. I am asking those that DID email to post their experience with it. Did your recruit/Marine report any ill effects?

Thanks!

 

Hi Austenfan:

 

I had to confirm this with my Marines, but the SDI told his recruits to write down their parents' e-mail addresses, if they wanted their parents to get messages from him. About half did. The next day one of the other DIs came in and all who wrote their names down marched out to the sand pit near the barracks and got extra PT as a cure for missing their families. While that was going on, the third DI came in and marched the group that didn't sign to another sand pit and gave them extra work for not admitting they missed their families.

 

My sons laugh about it now.

 

Their SDI sent out four e-mails, each a couple of lines long, saying what they were doing that week. (You can get the same information -- at least for Parris Island -- off the internet.) I got the e-mails after I gave the SDI my business card when I met him at graduation. We used them in scrapbooks we were making for our sons.

Austenfan-

 

I think we can all agree that all DI's are different and have their own way of getting through to their recruits. 

I have no doubt that bringing special attention to a recruit can make their training a living hell if the DI chooses to do so.  But I want to make it clear that the email I sent my son's SDI DID NOT in anyway bring attention to my son.  The only special attention my son received was when he excelled in his training and was recognized in a positive way.  My son is a third generation Marine and we have been through the do's and don'ts of boot camp several times. 

My decision to go ahead and email his SDI was solely based on the letter I received from the SDI regarding our role in helping our son succeed.  It may be a general letter most SDI's send out, but the strong encouragement of mail was repeated more than once and the address my son was putting on the return address when he sent us letters, was not matching the address the form letter stated to send it to.  So, with the mail being my concern, that's why I e-mailed him.  Here is a portion of what the SDI's letter stated:

Positive and encouraging letters from relatives and friends will greatly contribute to his morale and attitude.  This is necessary so that your son can make his proper travel arrangements. 

Your role through letters is greatly appreciated.  I would highly encourage you to contact me directly via e-mail if you have any concerns.  I am always pleased to receive correspondence from the families of my recruits.  I look forward to heariing from you.

Also, he never sent out regular emails.

 

I hope this helps you and also clarifies that I am not just an overbearing mom sending a random e-mail to my son's SDI.  I had a legitimate concern and my email was welcomed :)

 

 

Thanks for the additional info, Double Dad & Proud Indiana Mom. Since I have no legitimate concern as you did, PIM, I've decided to write my son/recruit and ask for his okay. If he thinks it's okay for me to email the SDI, I will.

OK, you made me laugh at that one! I'm getting the same stories from my Marine. I can't wait to hear what the Poolee tells me next year :P

When I got the form letter, it had my son's SDI cell number and email address on it.

O_O <----- those are my eyeballs, I thought we weren't supposed to contact the SDI's.....EVER!

Did I? No (buk-buk-buk....bagawk! I chickened out, LOL)  I asked my son in one of our letters if it was ok to email the SDI...he said not unless I was dying (or my *bleep* was on fire) should I contact 'that man' (I'm sure that was a HUGE over dramatization on his part, he had only been in Boot about a month when I asked)

I met his SDI. He was a really nice man. His 'kill hat', scared the crap out of me and he couldn't do anything to me, LOL!

Double Dad said:

Hi Austenfan:

 

I had to confirm this with my Marines, but the SDI told his recruits to write down their parents' e-mail addresses, if they wanted their parents to get messages from him. About half did. The next day one of the other DIs came in and all who wrote their names down marched out to the sand pit near the barracks and got extra PT as a cure for missing their families. While that was going on, the third DI came in and marched the group that didn't sign to another sand pit and gave them extra work for not admitting they missed their families.

 

My sons laugh about it now.

 

Their SDI sent out four e-mails, each a couple of lines long, saying what they were doing that week. (You can get the same information -- at least for Parris Island -- off the internet.) I got the e-mails after I gave the SDI my business card when I met him at graduation. We used them in scrapbooks we were making for our sons.

A few quick follow-ups:

 

1.) Austenfan: sounds like you've found a sensible solution by writing to your son. He'll be able to advise you best.

2.) Proud Indiana Mom: Looks like I hit a nerve, and for that I apologize. It wasn't my intent, but looking back at my posting, which followed yours, I can certainly see how my little rant would seem directed at you. So: sorry for that.

3.)CaliforniaMamaCat: There are so many stories, funny ones, too, we won't ever really be privy to, but if you get some from your Marine, or the poolee, please share them. My sons did tell me that lots of evenings after they took off their sweaty PT clothes and showered, they would put them on again to be ready to go in the morning. That bought them a few seconds extra rack time. Also, they would lie on top of their sheets with the beds made so they wouldn't have to make them in the morning. Pretty soon the whole company was doing it!

Double Dad~

I got the same story about the nasty PT clothes and sleeping on top of the covers...tho goodness knows I wouldn't blame them one bit for doing that in the summer!

I did get told of one mom (bless her well meaning heart) who called the SDI to let him know that her boy didn't like the way that he was being treated and that he needed to 'be nicer to her son' O_O

He did end up being the 'victim' of some very long, very intense attention for that one!

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