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Writing Letters During Basic Training and AIT

I hope you thoroughly enjoy holding a pen in your hand as this is your new lifeline to your Army soldier as an Army wife.

One piece of advice – write to him every day.

My husband repeatedly told me that letters were like gold. It is their only tie to home or the outside world. After the first week or so, the letters were starting to feel forced. So I just started telling him about my day at work. I also would send him jokes and copies of emails. Each Sunday, I would send him the “ESPN update” with all of the scores. As long as they get letters, they couldn’t care less what they are about. It used to bore him to tears to hear about my job when he was home, but at basic he was thrilled so long as it meant he was getting mail.

On writing not so positive letters…

One thing that there are contradicting opinions about among Army wives is if all of your letters should be completely positive. While I agree that you should try to keep them as positive as possible, don’t cover up your true feelings either. If your car breaks down or the air conditioner at your home quits working, don’t tell him about it if you can help it as there’s not a thing he can do about it. But when it comes to your feelings, letting him know that you miss him and that you have a really hard day once in a while is okay. Once during basic, I wrote my husband a very long letter about how hard the separation was and my feelings surrounding it. I did warn him in the letter that I was feeling depressed and if it was going to bother him not to read past a certain point. After I mailed it, I felt horrible because I thought I was being selfish. But I received the sweetest letter in return with his reassurance. He later told me he was glad that I sent it. Don’t make your husband feel that you can’t function without him but it is nice for him to know that it is harder without him around and he is missed. You don’t want him to think you’re just living it up without him around.

Don’t slack off just because basic is over!

When my husband was in OSUT, basic ended when he came home for two weeks for Christmas Exodus. Once they returned, they were in the AIT phase. My husband told me that their mail decreased dramatically after the Christmas break. Don’t let this be the case with your soldier! I still continued to write every day.

Mail call…

They typically only have mail call a couple of times a week. Because of this, make sure you date or number each letter so he can read them in sequence. If you’re writing every day, he should be getting several at a time! During my husband’s AIT, they had mail call one day and he asked one of the guys to get his for him because he was shining his boots. The guys came back up in a few minutes and said they only had 10 letters to pass out and 5 of them belonged to my husband. But he said he was thrilled!

Many drill sergeants will have the soldiers do push ups in order to get their mail. Some moms and wives have emailed me to tell me they feel horrible that they are causing their soldiers to have to do some many push ups. Well, no need to fret. First, I’m sure your soldier is thrilled to do his push-ups if it means he’s getting mail. Second, he is going to have to do push-ups regardless all during his training so it may as well be for something positive. If he’s not getting mail and therefore not having to do push-ups during mail call, I can promise you the DS will find another excuse for him to get down and push!

So go out shopping and invest in a nice pen, a roll of stamps and a pack of paper. Your husband will never be so happy you decided to spend money!

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

{ 136 comments… add one }

  • ashley November 1, 2012, 2:46 am

    So my boyfriend gave me his address and I’ve been writing him while he’s at BCT. Today I noticed on his most recent letter that there is a building number. He didn’t put it on the first letter (that ive been using as reference to address his letters) so none of the letters I’ve sent have had a building number! The rest of the address is right, just no building number. Will he still get my letters?? :(

  • Tiffany December 1, 2012, 4:27 pm

    I have written my boyfriend a letter everyday. When he called to give me the address quickly there wasn’t enough time to repeat it back to make sure it was correct. He hasn’t received my letters yet. Is there a way to find out if my address is correct to him? And where I can find the letters that hve already been sent?

    • aidyn February 18, 2013, 6:54 pm

      yeah call his base, get this info online & provide them his entire name & social. you have to say youre immediate family, they didnt wanna give me his info bc we’re just engaged. called back & said i was his sister & they confirmed his battalion, bc i also didnt have enough time to confirm the address with him gl! :)

  • Liz December 2, 2012, 1:00 am

    Okay So I am 18 and getting married as soon as BCT and AIT is over, it sucks not being able to talk to the person that I have spent everyday with since the first day we met, but what I want to know is when I write a letter to him do I really have to put the unit # I put everything else correctly just forgot to put that.. I was trying to send him money so he could come home for christmas break so I am worried he hasn’t got it or won’t get it at all because I forgot that part. help!!

  • Lisa Wright December 11, 2012, 12:35 pm

    I recently stumbled upon this website and I have been uplifted by it. I am not an army wife, :) but I am an army mother. My son, who is 18 years old enlisted in the army, and I am one of those terrified mothers. He went to Fort Leonard, MO on 11/18/12 and I have only heard from him briefly. He admits to having a difficult time during processing and it broke my heart to get that information. Please pray for him, and I will keep your sons, husbands and friends in prayer as well. His name is Tyrel :)

  • Shadae January 3, 2013, 9:22 am

    My boyfriend Just left for Basic Training for The Navy, I want to Write him, but he had a fight so I don’t think he will write me, Is there anyway I can find his information to write him?

    Please just help me, email me at sdillard508@gmail.com if you can help me!

  • Tashawna January 8, 2013, 8:32 pm

    My soldier and I have been together for 2 going on 3 years .
    We are a young , loving , mature , ambitious couple who plan on holding on to each other for the long run .
    Im currently in college : UC Irvine . working my way toward medschool acceptance letters , while the love of my life is in BCT
    So yup , its official, my soldier has been gone for two days.
    I have received one phone call which lasted for 3 minutes.
    All he said was that he was staying in a hotel with a bunch of other future soldiers and would be on his way to MEPS one last time to finish up paperwork/piss test/physical test and then to Fort Jackson the next morning .
    When he called me he said he was in a lobby ??? I just want to know if he is or was in the reception stage , since I did not get a chance to ask him .
    I just want to know so I can begin to count the weeks down .

    - thanks for reading and Id love to get some responses . maybe you can tell me when you got your first phone call .
    or kind words or advice would be lovely . Im just feeling lonely without him . First time apart since we been together . </3

  • Christina January 21, 2013, 10:52 am

    hello, my husband is in BCT. after a weeks of waiting, he was able to send me letters with a return address. i was so excited to find out that i am able to send him letters i’ve put together since he left. i sent those letters last week. today, i am in the process of sending him another batch of letters. upon writing his address, i realize about the RN # right after his name. i believe i got the rest of the address correct except i forgot to put the RN #. do you think he will he receive my letters? i cannot concentrate at work because i am worried he will not get the mail. please advice.

  • Heather January 22, 2013, 1:57 am

    okay so my bf left for basic training Jan 13 , 2013 .. i have been waiting for a letter from him or his sgt , but i havent got one. i really want his address so i can start to talk to him. When do you think i will get one, cuz i miss him so much and i cant stand not being able to atleast talk to him.

    Thanks ! (:
    ~FutureArmyWife~

  • Shelby February 9, 2013, 3:52 pm

    Hi, my boyfriend is in Fort Jackson, SC. He sent me letters with the return address. He sent my letters on Monday Feb. 4, 2013… and got here the 7th. are my letters going to get there as fast as his letters got to me???

    • Stephanie February 13, 2013, 2:17 am

      My husband is in basic at ft Jackson also. He wrote me the same day yours did :) I over nighted a valentines card to him. No word if he got it yet. Today is actually the fist day I havnt received a letter from him. Any news on if your soldier got any of your letters yet?

      • Tiana Holland February 26, 2013, 5:29 pm

        Omg, yes! I need to know how long it will take as well. I am so terrified because I sent my soldier his first letter on the 15th and he wrote me on the 21st saying he is sad because he hasn’t gotten any from me thus far..

        • kaci June 16, 2013, 10:39 pm

          My boyfriend is at basic in ft jackson. I live in Oklahoma and I got a letter from him on friday. He got to call today bc its fathers day. He said he sent the letter I recieved friday, about a week ago. He also said he hasnt gotten any of the letters I have sent him. I have sent about 4 about a week ago. Why hasnt he gotten Them yet? I want to send him a necklace I got him for our one year anniversary but if he hasnt gotten any of the letters I have sent already will his not get the necklace and letter either? Please help!!

        • Saira Hernandez October 8, 2013, 11:52 pm

          My bf just let me know to highlight the corners of your envelope with a yellow highlighter. That’s th best way I can say u will be able to have him receive ut letters faster.

          • Stacey Abler October 12, 2013, 3:29 pm

            I’ve never hard anything like this. Why did she say a yellow highlight would make any difference?

          • Rosa Martinez October 16, 2013, 12:39 am

            To Stacy Abler:
            The reason they suggest marking the envelope with a yellow highlighter is because the mail is assorted manually by company, platoon, etc and the highlighter makes the envelopes more recognizable to those who sort them thus making the process quicker.

  • Jessica February 11, 2013, 1:24 am

    My husband has been gone for about two weeks and I still haven’t gotten his address. I plan on sending all the letters thus far in one envelope as there are a lot and we have kids and I still need to stock up on extra stamps. Its driving me crazy not being able to send the letters. I even bought him a Valentines day card and I really want him to get it and it seems like Ill never get his address.

  • Tiana Holland February 26, 2013, 5:27 pm

    OMG, it feels so good to have other ladies to vent to about this lonely experience. I have written my soldier letters for the longest (since the 15th of February) and I have gotten like 5-7 from him but he claims that he hasn’t gotten ANY from me. It is driving me insane to know that he feels alone and forgotten since he hasn’t gotten any as of yet. Is it supposed to take this long for him to get his first letter?

  • Cody Castilla March 19, 2013, 2:51 am

    I Believe Im The Only Male Here Writing To My Soldier On This Forum. My Fiancé Left For Fort Jackson South Carolina On Feb. 28th. She’s An Amazing Young Woman, We Write Each Other Every Day. Im Flying Down To See Her Graduate On April 11th Then I Shipout To Basic Training April 15th To Fort Benning Georgia. Im Not Sure If Anyone Knows But Are You Given Any Time Off To Visit Family After Basic & AIT? Our Plans Orginally Was To Get Married As Soon As I Graduate AIT But She’ll Already Be Stationed Somewhere & I’d Need To Go To Her. If Anyone Knows More About This Could You Let Me Know Please. I Would Really Hate For All Our Plans To Be Cancelled Just Because Of The Army. Don’t Get Me Wrong, Im More Then Dedicated To The US ARMY But She Means More To Me Then The Army Does. Again If You Have Any Info Or Advice On This Please Let Me Know. Best Of Luck To You All & Your Soldiers. Thanks In Advance. Hooah.

    • Stacey March 27, 2013, 3:58 pm

      You generally have 10 days of personal time to get belongings moved, etc after you graduate.

  • Karisa May 14, 2013, 3:59 pm

    I really wish I had found this website when my boyfriend left in March for BCT! But I have a question that would be so incredibly helpful if someone could answer it! He has two week left in BCT and then he is off to AIT. He hasn’t written me yet, is that normal? He did call a month ago, but I missed the call. He left a voicemail and explained he’s super busy and he was voted team leader. So I’m assuming with that leadership role he may be busier than others and that’s why he hasn’t written? I’m just stressing out because I want to talk to him so bad and I thought I would have received a letter by now :/ he’s at Fort Leonard in MO if that helps any. Has anyone had a similar experience and if so when did you end up hearing from your significant other? Thank you so much!

    • Kayla July 24, 2013, 12:23 pm

      My boyfriend left for BCT as well as his AIT at Fort Leonard a couple weeks ago. At first, he had some down time during reception, so I got a letter or two the first couple days. However, I haven’t heard from him since other than the phone call about his address. I’ve been talking to other girlfriends and wives and that is pretty normal. He’ll have more time during AIT to himself to write and read letters. Everyone I have talked to has said that if he left his address in the voicemail (which he should have) to keep writing to him. BCT is really busy and his time to himself typically depends on his company commander. They wear them out every day. Just keep writing letters, even if you can’t send them and keep your hopes up :) There are a lot of people that understand. For the last year, there hasn’t been a single day that I haven’t talked to my boyfriend, and we”re planning on getting married in another year or so, so these last weeks have been rough. But hey! You’re almost through with the hardest part.

  • kaci June 16, 2013, 10:21 pm

    Hey. My boyfriend is at basic in ft jackson as well I just got a letter from him on friday. And he got to call today since it is fathers day. He said he hasnt gotten any letters and I have already sent out A few about a week ago. I live in chickasha Oklahoma and I wanna know why he hasnt gotten them yet. I want to send him a necklace I got him for our one year anniversary but if he hasnt gotten any of his other letters will him kot get this one either? Please help!!

  • kaci June 16, 2013, 10:33 pm

    My boyfriend is at basic in ft jackson. I live in Oklahoma and I got a letter from him on friday. He got to call today bc its fathers day. He said he sent the letter I recieved friday, about a week ago. He also said he hasnt gotten any of the letters I have sent him. I have sent about 4 about a week ago. Why hasnt he gotten Them yet? I want to send him a necklace I got him for our one year anniversary but if he hasnt gotten any of the letters I have sent already will his not get the necklace and letter either? Please help!!

  • McCall June 24, 2013, 12:50 pm

    My boyfriend left for AIT a few weeks ago, can’t wait for him to get back! Already been through this with brothers and friends so its nothing new but still missing him a ton. We’re getting engaged when he gets back and i can hardly wait! He’s doing well so far, i’m so glad i found this blog, finally a bunch of gal’s like me. Quick question, how long after graduation do they get to come home? Its been about a year since we did this with my brother and friend so its a little fuzzy.

  • McCall June 24, 2013, 12:58 pm

    Hey Karisa, i heard from him pretty quick but only because he had to wait around for a week in AIT before classes started. Does he have his phone? If so they could have gotten their privileges taken away, i know that happened to kyle and he wasn’t allowed to use his phone or any electronics. I know that once classes started they are so busy and he doesn’t have really any time to call or write letters. I haven’t gotten a letter yet because they are over a mile away from the mail box and they don’t have time to take it there. I hope this helps, i’m sure he would have contacted you if he could have. Things just get so crazy there, i hope you hear from your honey soon. Good luck with everything.

  • McCall June 27, 2013, 10:47 am

    Hey Karisa, i heard from him pretty quick but only because he had to wait around for a week in AIT before classes started. Does he have his phone? If so they could have gotten their privileges taken away, i know that happened to kyle and he wasn’t allowed to use his phone or any electronics. I know that once classes started they are so busy and he doesn’t have really any time to call or write letters. I haven’t gotten a letter yet because they are over a mile away from the mail box and they don’t have time to take it there. I hope this helps, i’m sure he would have contacted you if he could have. Things just get so crazy there, i hope you hear from your honey soon. Good luck with everything

  • Mackenzie Abrams September 25, 2013, 9:07 am

    My boyfriend wrote me a letter from PUT in basic and it has no return address. How do you figure out the address to write him back……

  • Breanna Hawkins October 6, 2013, 8:35 pm

    My hubby went off to basic training on July 8th and I’ve been writing letters everyday and I haven’t received a letter in 2 weeks. is that unusual? I’m starting to get worried and I don’t understand why I’m all of a sudden not getting letters. Do they take away writing privileges?

  • Stephany November 13, 2013, 8:04 pm

    My boyfriend arrived at Fort Leonard Wood for BCT a week ago and upon his arrival, I received a brief phonecall letting me know he made it safe. The rest of the week was in silence; no other phonecalls or letters yet. Exactly a week after his arrival, he finally called from his cell phone and gave me his mailing information. There was enough time to repeat his information in case I missed something, but there was no time for him to give me the correct mailing format. After extensive research, I took his information and I arranged it in what I think is the correct format. I have yet to receive a letter from him, and it’ll probably be a while until I see how he formatted it, but I’m biting the bullet and sending him a letter now. So to whom it concerns, if you have your soldier’s information, try to piece it together as best you can.

  • Emily Jade Jackson February 12, 2014, 11:13 pm

    My boyfreind is in fort sill and I just got his first letter today. But it didn’t have a return. Addrss how do I send my boyfreind. Letters. Is there any way that.I can get his address. In all his letters he told me to write home back But I cant.

  • Sade March 7, 2014, 3:49 pm

    Hey…I am so glad to have found this blog! My honey left for Fort Sill in February. His first letter didn’t have a return address and then I missed his call last Sunday. I don’t think I have gotten over that yet. So here I am….14 letters and counting- one a day- and don’t have an address to mail them to. Any help would be much appreciated!

    • Stacey Abler March 8, 2014, 5:58 pm

      I know how it is to miss those calls! It definitely seems like it’s been long enough to get the address – hope it comes soon!!

  • Lauren March 27, 2014, 3:07 pm

    So me and my boyfriend have been together for 3 years he left about 2 weeks ago I haven’t heard from him since Sunday. How soon will he be able to send letters? Can I write him letters first and get the address off of the internet he is in fort Jackson and I honestly just want to be able to write and talk to him it would make
    My day. We went from living together and talking and seeing each other
    Everyday to nothing at all I never knew it would be this hard. Please help ladies thanks!

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