Well, a letter or two ago Popeye mentioned a SR in need. Popeye was worried. He truly believed that this SR would not make it. He wrote:
On a more serious note, I know of someone who could use an inspirational letter. His name is Gilligan. He doesn’t get much mail. but I am worried that he’ll give up and go home. He’s a real nice guy and needs to be cheered up.
Hearing that just broke my heart. Since I got Popeye’s ship and division number and joined up with other loved ones in his PIR group, I have heard the question ‘have you written your SR today?’ every single day! That question was accompanied by this heart wrenching tail:
One of the moms in another division rec’d a letter from her son and he was so upset he hadn’t gotten much mail from home. Having been through boot camp myself, let me tell you what Mail Call looks like through the eyes of a recruit. Mail call happens every night after 1-1 day. It’s usually right before lights out when your recruit is exhausted having been up since oh-dark-thirty and been screamed at and pushed to the limit all day. The one thing they have to take their minds away from the literal hell they are in is a letter from home.So there they are, all lined up on the black line. There’s two lines, half of the recruits on one side, half on the other, facing each other. It’s the one time they listen intently, hoping to hear their name called. The mail PO stands at the head of the group and calls the names one at a time. Some names get called 9 or 10 times, others never get called. But everyday the hope is the same…..I remember the girls who never got mail and they would wait with their head down so no one would see the tears roll down their faces. I was lucky, I got mail every day, but your SR’s will tell you that some get none, and they really need it. when you talk to your recruit, get the namesof those that need mail. And if you’re reading this, then write your recruit EVERY DAY. It matters.
I rounded up every woman in my network that had connections to Popeye’s division and set about making sure Gilligan wasn’t left out. For the most part it was a unique opportunity. We only snagged on one or two points (like trying to tell a young sorority girl that despite her sorority sisters wanting to join in the letter writing fun, it was a bad idea for them to do so. -or- reminding everyone to keep the SR in need inside the division!) Letters slowly went out that week and the following one.
Well, as of today, I got to hear the results of that labor of divisional love. While picking up my weekly letter from Popeye, another larger envelope caught my eye. Who would have guessed it; Gilligan had sent me a letter!
Thank You! LOL. I got like 6 letters from my shipmates moms, wifes. and girlfriends. LOL. I have my suspicion that you and Popeye were behind it! I really appreciate it though. At one point I was REALLY homesick. But I am feeling way better now! We graduate in 2 1/2 weeks!
Hello, sorry I didn’t finish the letter before. We are really busy here! I appreciate you writing me! I got a ton of letters from your division online group or whatever it is! LOL. If you could thank all of them for me that would be great. I am sure you realize I do NOT have time to write all of them back! It’s super busy here! And its just going to get busier! We are all sooo excited graduation is in 12 days! I really hope to meet you then. Your letters were so sweet!!! So that is it for now. I may write again this week if I have time! Take care!!! Thanks again!