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Holding Soldier’s Letters at Basic Training Rumor


Drill Sergeants hold the soldier’s mail at basic training.


True and false. Ask those running basic training if this is happening and they will swear up and down that it is not. However, when my husband was at basic training, I remember crying when I heard the message on my answering machine wanting to know why I had not written him any letters yet. I was crying because I missed the phone call and because I had been sending letters…daily.

Since that time, I have received countless emails and they all have similar stories as to what I described. It seems to routinely take two weeks after reception before the soldiers start receiving their letters.

Do they hold letters? Does it take that long to process mail for a new class? Who really knows! What I do know is that in most cases, you can expect that it will take two weeks or so before he receives his first letter from you regardless of when you sent it or how many you send.

This does not mean you don’t have to send mail to him in those first few weeks. Just let those letters pile up but definitely write. The last thing you want is for him to finally have mail call and still not have any mail.

About the author: Stacey is an Army wife of a soldier who joined in 2003. He has since been medically retired but she continues to provide information to Army wives and families to make their adjustment to the Army lifestyle easier. Connect with Stacey: Facebook Twitter Pinterest

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Rachel Reid December 8, 2010, 9:22 pm

    Would they hold his letters to me? When my husband left for basic training he took all our information, birth certificates, social security cards, his high school diploma. The only thing he didn’t take was my drivers license and he got in trouble for that. Well in order to get my army id I need that information so I asked him to mail it back to me. Since then I have sent him several letters and even gotten a phone call. He’s gotten my letters but I never got that one. He put his parents address as the return address in case it couldn’t come to me, but no one has seen it. The only thing I can think of is that it’s still at the fort with him somewhere. I don’t know who to call or what to do though. Can you help me at all? Thank you.

    • Stacey December 17, 2010, 9:32 am

      They shouldn’t be holding his outgoing mail. Perhaps it’s just lost or taking longer because of the holidays?

  • Madyson H June 20, 2012, 3:19 am

    my boyfriend left for basic on May 21. the week after he left, i received 4 letters at one time from him. from that moment on, i wrote and sent 1-2 letters a day to him. maybe two weeks after that, he still hadn’t gotten my letters. but he still wrote me. it was sad, because i knew he was upset and sad about not getting any, especially from me. a few days later, he wrote saying that he got 6 letters from me all at once. so it is possible that they hold letters sometimes. its pretty inconvenient that they do that..

  • sarah August 31, 2012, 5:36 pm

    My friend just went to basic on august 1, it is August 31 today and i had written him almost 2 weeks ago, i just now got a letter from him dated the 28th he said they were holding mail because he got a bunch of letters all at once and none before that time. I got his letter 3 days after he sent it so they are not holding outgoing mail.

  • Alison December 11, 2012, 4:00 pm

    This site is comforting and helpful. My bf left for bct before thanksgiving. I spoke to him once at reception. Then i didnt hear from him for nearly three weeks. No calls no letters. I began to think he forgot about me or was too busy to write ( he has my address). Much to my amazement he called sunday nite at around 7pm. I was so happy i cried. He was surprised i didnt receive his letter which he sent the previous Monday. I believe they are screening/holding outgoing mail. At least after reading posts on this site im less uneasy. I mailed him my 20 or so letters (dated and numbered) yesterday. I wonder if he’ll get them before his Christmas leave in 8 days 23 hours 😉

    Thanks everyone, and have faith

  • Jack August 5, 2013, 9:37 pm

    Hey guys,

    My lady left for Basic about 2.5 weeks ago, and in that time I’ve received four letters from her. In response, I’ve written four as well. But I’m almost positive she hasn’t been getting my letters. Will she soon? Does a person at Basic know that my letters may be getting held? I don’t want her to think I’m not writing her–she deserves better than that. Any knowledge or help would be comforting. Thank you.

  • jamee April 28, 2017, 12:51 pm

    My girlfriend is in the Navy, her sister is my roommate and she has received her letters but not mine. So I as well got the dreaded call stating why are you not writing and of course missed it as well. It is a hard situation your whole world stops while they are gone , at least that is how it feels , but for them and your family you keep moving forward a day at a time. It is hardest to know someone thinks you have forgotten about them when that’s all you think about and worry about. I have written every day and sent multiple letters and her sister has sent 3 so it absolutely is frustrating. But this is the life and I would not trade her for anything, we both knew that stuff like this would and could happen.

  • K andrade May 10, 2017, 9:38 pm

    My son left for boot camp in the beginning of March. I received a letter with his rank, address, etc. About 3wks in, my family and ourselves have written several letters and it’s been an additional four plus weeks and he still hasn’t received any of our mail. He sounds hurt and depressed that we haven’t written. Is there anything we can do to find out whether we have the wrong address, would there be a reason that their sergeant would hold their mail?

  • Gabby August 17, 2017, 2:37 am

    I’ve written a couple of very personal letters and I’m scared that his commanding officer will read them and embarrass him, do they read letters? And if so should I send the letters or not?

    • Stacey Abler August 18, 2017, 9:36 am

      Typically they won’t open letters unless you’ve sent something besides just paper and they think there could be “contraband” in there.

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