Beulah Elementary School Students Write Letters Of Support To Navy Recruits

February 10, 2019

Beulah Elementary School participated in a writing project to promote individual student support focused on creating happiness and motivation within U.S. Navy recruits beginning basic training at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Illinois.

The writing project was established in January 2018 after being proposed by a Beulah student as an idea for an assignment. Other Beulah students eagerly supported the idea and wanted to help by providing emotional support to the recruits, while also learning the formalities of writing letters.

The writing project was administered by one of Beulah’s teachers, Krystal Gibson, to her fifth grade class. The assignment consisted of the student sharing information about themselves, transitioning into words of support for those who serve their country, followed by questions about the recruits’ life and goals. Each letter closed with at least two jokes to make the recruits smile and boost morale.

Capt. Kertreck Brooks, commanding officer of the Naval Education and Training Professional Development Center (NETPDC), accompanied by Command Master Chief Gregory Prichard, paid a visit to the class.

“My visit is motivated by my devotion to helping Navy recruits adapt to the sudden life changes they’ll experience in boot camp,” said Brooks, who previously served as the executive officer of Recruit Training Command from February 2013 to June 2015. “It’s important for me to express my appreciation to the students for their participation and thoughtfulness towards the Navy recruits.”

As a former executive officer, Brooks was able to provide details to the class about recruit life. He explained that recruits begin each day at 6 a.m. with continuous training lasting until 10 p.m. He also shared how exhausting Navy recruit training is physically and mentally, especially with the lack of emotional support from friends and family.

One of the descriptive points Brooks emphasized was the procedure that takes place when the new recruit arrives at the Great Lakes recruit training facility.

“Upon arrival, all recruits are allowed to make one final phone call home to their family, then all of their personal belongings, including their cell phones are boxed up and mailed home,” said Brooks. “The only form of communication left is through mail, which makes Mail Call a special event for recruits.”

Brooks went on to tell the students how their letters would now become a welcomed addition to that special event and add greatly to the emotional support of the recruits. The students were then invited to read their letters to the class, followed by a question and answer session.

Photo courtesy Julian Huff/U.S. Navy for, click to enlarge.


4 Responses to “Beulah Elementary School Students Write Letters Of Support To Navy Recruits”

  1. Lisa Hildebrandt on February 11th, 2019 1:36 pm

    My son left for Navy boot camp last week. Reading this touched me so deeply. Bless you all for doing this for our future sailor’s!!!

    Thank you

  2. Ariel's Dad on February 11th, 2019 1:00 pm

    Mrs. Gibson is the best! So glad she was my kid’s 5th grade teacher!

  3. Theresa Smith on February 11th, 2019 12:29 pm

    This is so awesome! As a momma of a Marine, Navy sailor and Coast Guardsman I can tell you this meant so much to a struggling recruit!! I know our 3 sons looked so forward to mail call to receive letters from home. It gives them the encouragement they need during an already emotionally and physically challenging time. This meant more than you know. So great job guys

  4. Lifendason on February 11th, 2019 10:16 am

    As a Navy Veteran, I can tell you it thrilled my heart when I got a letter in the mail, especially when I was on the ship over seas and to get a letter from home just made my day.

    Thank you kids staff and parents for doing this. May God bless each of you!

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