This is my situation.
I left my hometown to go to bootcamp and try to make something of myself. So I left to parties from my friends and everyone saying they would write me. So I left my hometown and went to bootcamp. But come three weeks into training I have not received any letter except from my mother. The entire time I was there not a single friend wrote.
My question is should I keep these friends as contacts or just move on and try to find new peers? How should I approach finding new peers if needed?
Some friendships work long-distance; some don't. My best friends from college today were generally not my best friends at college when we graduated. But the distance, and life changes, actually helped some friendships and about killed others. And that's with pretty good access to quiet time, the internet, and the phone. Very, very few people can maintain a relationship through the USPS. That skill hasn't been nurtured in 3 generations. Sorry.
Friends, however, are hard enough to come by that I don't encourage writing people off. (no pun intended) You weren't in touch for 3 weeks. No biggy. Try writing them if you're not at home. Include a self-addressed stamped envelope to make it real easy for them. Military addresses are tough if you're not used to them, and no one's used to personal mail anyway. If you're back home, I'd just let it go, but be aware that as you change and your friends change, everyone's going to be losing and making friends. You've got it easier hanging out regularly with dozens of peers, just like when you were in school.
Well I wasn't in contact with them the full 10 weeks. But no I won't be home again except for Leave. So my hometown is kind of left behind.
People just don't write personal letters any more. I'd bet that if you had social media access (e-mail, facebook, etc.) you'd have heard something. So let this be a piece of a larger puzzle. Yes, they didn't put in the extra effort letters now seem to represent. Keep it in mind and move on. See if a pattern emerges with some or all.
Thanks for your service!
Former 11B1P; 82nd Abn C 1/505
I'm just in A school I haven't done anything yet. But thank you sir!
You stepped up! You, sir, are already part of an elite minority.
I write personal letters with a few people and really enjoy it. Seven months ago though I moved to Italy and I couldn't find a writing pad with a lined insert and in the end had to get my family to post one from England. That is the degree to which letter sending is declining. But it isn't gone yet!
Before social media, I still rarely if ever wrote letters to friends. I'd give a call, or a postcard if I went somewhere. It just wasn't the thing. I expect is isn't for them either.
You are out of the circle of their immediate lives. That does not mean they don't care for or about you. Simply you are not of the moment. You can try writing, but as others have said social media might be the way to stay in touch.
The other thing to realize is that when you meet up with them again you will have a few that will still fall into the close friend category, yet most will be strangers you once had a connection with. Realize that is okay and the way it should be. I see students not forming friendships in the now at college because they are still trying to maintain friends from the past.
Let them be without derision or anger toward them. When you see them next have a beer and catch up.
Tis the cycle of life my friend. Welcome the first of many such changes.
PS. The Irish would have a immigration wake for people going to the new world. Much like a death, moving to a new place in your life will be kind of like a death. Close ties will fade, and again that is okay and natural.
One piece of advise, do not spend too much time looking back at old friends. You have enough ahead of you with A school checking into to your first command getting promoted and qualled up. Unfortunately when you go back home a majority of your old friends will be exactly where they were when you left town, living with mom and dad working at wherever they happen to be working at. Most likely they will gravitate towards you when you are home and you will catch up then.
Other posters have already pointed out that most people today no longer write letters. It's nothing personal, and no reflection on your value to them. They're just not in the habit.
There is a good habit to get into, of accepting the comings and goings of people in and out of your life with neither resistance nor attachment. Welcome new friends into your life as if they were old friends, let old friends go if they drift (or storm) out of your life, and warmly welcome them back in again as if nothing had happened, should they show up again later, or, for that matter, if your life paths cross again. Just accept what is with grace, extending the hand of friendship to who takes it.
Time and distance matter only to the extent you allow them to matter. You can retain warm feelings for old friends even when separated.
I hope that you find friends wherever you end up, and hope that the military works out for you. Good luck!
Hey man, as a 9 year army guy myself, I'll tell you that remaining true friends with those people you left, will be difficult to impossible. Over time, the guys on your right and left will become your greatest friends. Sadly, part of this is because many civilians simply do not understand the military way of life. You said you are in A school, so you're just beginning on this great journey of yours.
There are no greater stories than those we gain with the guys in our units. Once you get out of schooling, you will probably see, that while we may train a lot, and drink a lot together, and it may seem unimportant at the time, as soon as you step foot into hostile territory, you'll know instantly who has your back. The guys who wear the same uniform (or really the uniform of any branch) are your peers now.
I don't say that to say we're somehow better than someone who has never worn the uniform. I say that because we are merely different. You probably have a different way of thinking from those you left behind. Honestly, whether you love or hate the military depends greatly on how much you integrate with your working sections. Since you're in A school now, I would HIGHLY suggest you get in close with your class mates (I'm assuming it's similar to an army technical MOS school and has small numbers?)... When you get to your first assignment, you will undoubtedly run into a problem that you are weak on, but being close with those guys in class you will know one of them who was strong on that aspect of the job. The military is not about the gear we have or the technology, it's the people. You get in good with your shipmates, or the guys in your section of the unit, you'll not only make some great lifelong friends, but you may end up loving the job as a whole.