You are very right, they cannot bring a whole lot, and what he does pack, he'll probably only be taking half of that while the rest is put in storage. I love the post below! I had a small cross on my dog tags when I went away. I wasn't really religious either, but it seemed to me that many people reached out for some "higher being" while in boot camp and AT. :) If you really want to get him something he can use, get him a small stationary set with PRE-STAMPED envelopes. While in training, you really have no personal belongings, just uniforms and anything government issued. You can, however have a bible. As I said, I wasn't super religous, but I did bring a bible and taped some small photos of my family in the front cover. Perhaps, you could have his family and friends write little notes on the pages, where ever they can find room. Tell him he can't read it until he's gone, and if you're not religous, just tell him he can't read it until he's gone and he'll understand once he's there. Boot camp and AT can be very difficult, lonely times so I'm sure he'd love to see some smiling faces and notes from home, not to mention some of the very uplifting passages in the bible. When I was in Army boot camp, we could only read our "smart books" and the bible. Even for someone who isn't religious, you can't help but to enjoy the stories and passages of the bible! Really, just about anything else will get taken away from him until after boot camp. You must be very proud of your son. He is going to learn so much and experience things that he wouldn't have the opportunity to anywhere else. What an exciting time for him!