Timeline - What We Experienced When While Our Son Was At Air Force Basic Training

 Week 0 & Week 1

Our youngest is off at basic training at Lackland Air Force Base.  This is our second son to go through this, but 4 years later, we’re finding this journey just a little bit different..  so if you are reading this a few years later, there many be many more changes.  This is a time line, as we experienced it in 2017.

Our son was set to swear in on January 3rd 2017, so he was required to appear and sign in at the hotel near MEPS by 5pm on January 2nd.  This first week is Week 0 of training.

January 2nd
4:45 drop Matt at Hotel.  He signed in, took his bag to his room, and attended a briefing.  We went to a nearby park and took a walk.

5:45pm – roughly – Matt called to say he was free until 10pm.  We picked him up and went to the mall, where he made a build a bear with his voice recorded in it, for his fiancé for while he is away.  We went out to dinner at Chick Fil A, then went to Applebee’s for dessert, where the guys could watch the football game.

9:40 – we dropped Matt back at the hotel and said our goodbyes, not sure how much we’d be able to see him/hug him the next day.

January 3rd
We arrived at MEPS at 8:30am, as instructed, for Matt to swear in at 9am.  There were sooooooo many people that day, that they ended up splitting the group in half, so Matt actually swore in much later.  We sat for quite awhile before Matt joined us.   The red cross provided snacks and coffee in the cafeteria. This was a long morning of sitting and waiting.  We’d sit with Matt for awhile, then he’d be called to a briefing, he’d come back to us for a minute, then have to leave us again…  finally he swore in:

After he swore in, they had to wait for the van to come back from shuttling the first group to the airport, so we got some more time with him.  We were all kicked out of the cafeteria at lunch time, lunch was served only to those who were enlisting.  Matt was getting on the shuttle immediately after lunch, so he came out to the lobby and said goodbye to us, then went to lunch and we headed out.

Later in the day, when he had a layover between flights, we received a few texts.  When he landed in San Antonio, he sent another text telling us he had no time to call, but that he was there safely.

January 4th
We received a very quick phone call letting us know he arrived safely, and giving his his address.  He was not able to chat, just to give us his address.

I joined the Air Force Wing Moms private group for his flt.

January 6th
I created a basket for our hall with books of stamps, envelopes, return address labels, and labels with Matt’s new address that can be quickly affixed to any envelope.  There are also a stack of self addressed stamped envelopes to add to some of his letters, to make it quicker and easier for him to write home.  I write to Matt every single day, and send a SASE at least once a week.
I also have a folder on my computer labeled “Letters to Matt” where I save random jokes and things from the internet that I think will make him laugh.  I print them off periodically to add to his letters.


January 9th   - Week One
(less than a week after he arrived in Texas)
We received a post card in the mail with his address at BMT

AF Wingmoms list of what Week One may be like for our trainees - 

January 11th - 
In the Wingmoms Group, a moderator posted this schedule of what our sons days may be like - 
So this is how a Typical Day in BMT for your loved ones is going to be for the next 7.5 weeks – there really is no typical day in the Air Force BMT, however here is a breakdown of how a day might proceed.
0445 Reveille 0500 Downstairs in formation. Get ready for PC (Physical Conditioning)/ exercise.
0500 to 0600 PC...This will alternate. One day you run, the next day you do aerobic exercise.
0600 to 0615 Breakfast 
0630 to 0745 Dorm setup
0745 to 0800- formation to march to class
0800 to 1130 Drilling, classes, records checks, shots, uniforms issue, etc.
1130 to 1230 Lunch/ Canteen sanitation/ dorm check
1300 to1700 Classroom/dorm instruction
1700 to1800 Dinner/ Mail call
1900 to 2045 Set up the dorm for night time/ pick up and drop off dry cleaning. Fold laundry and clip strings/ shower and set up night displays/ Dust downs and details
2100 Lights out (bedtime)

January 12th
For todays letter, I copied and pasted 5 pages of commentary from a sports website, recapping the play off games and speculating on the outcome of the upcoming play off games.  Next to his family, and his dog, I’m pretty sure football is what he’s missing most.  5 pages is TOO THICK to send –  in my opinion - but with some careful formatting changes, and printing on both sides of the paper, I had it down to 3 pages which made a normal sized letter.  Others from Matt’s flight have received papers about graduation, but we have not received anything since the post card with his address.  Mail is typically about a day slower for us than everyone else – we’re fairly rural in a rural community.  For the first week,  I take Matt’s letters directly to a post office to be mailed, because I know he will get them quicker. 

January 14th 
Another member of the wingmoms group for our sons flight received her first letter today.