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Communication During Basic Training

Your Army soldier has just left and if I had to guess, any mention of the Army or anything patriotic right now brings instant tears to your eyes.

Don’t worry; it’s to be expected. When my husband first left, I could see a flag waving in the breeze on the way to work and be in tears.

It was somewhat out of sadness but also out of the enormous pride that I felt that my husband had volunteered to serve his country.

The Bad News

I’ll go ahead and hit you with some bad news right off the bat. It could be a little while before you hear from him.

By a little while, I mean as much as two to three weeks. My husband could call as soon as he arrived at Fort Benning, but I missed the phone call.

That is just my luck, right?

All he had time to say was his address. Thankfully, I received a standardized letter in the mail a few days later with the address because I would have never figured it out from his phone message.

Missing Phone Calls

Speaking of phone messages, I was absolutely devastated when I missed his phone call. In fact, I missed the first THREE phone calls he made.

He called the second time when I was out. After that one, I decided I was never leaving the house on the weekend again. The following weekend, I stayed home all day Saturday and Sunday, jumping each time the phone rang, only to be disappointed.

On Sunday night at about 8:45 p.m., I left to mail his letter at the post office. I was gone for ten minutes, and…you guessed it!

When I returned, the message light was blinking. I was beside myself. Not only had I missed his call, but he sounded sick and begged me to send him some mail on the message.

The problem was that I had been writing daily for two weeks. It killed me to think that he could not get me on the phone, and he didn’t think I had been writing to him either.

From then on, if I ever left the house, my cell phone was glued to me. Remember that this was 2003 when it wasn’t so common to always have your phone with you.

The next weekend, I received a call on my cell phone with a number from Denver, Colorado.

I almost didn’t answer it but then decided to, and it was him. It was showing up as Denver because of being on a pay phone. He was very sick, actually, and could talk for only about three minutes.

But that was the best three-minute conversation I had ever had. I was in the mall when he called, and I’m sure the folks around me thought someone was calling to tell me I had won the lottery!

Moral of this story:

  • Always be around a phone of some kind that your husband knows to call you on.
  • No matter how strange the phone number looks on the caller ID, answer it!

Please remember that phone calls do not come very often. I generally talked to him for about 5-10 minutes every other weekend.

It’s not much, and you never realize how short that really is until it’s the first time you’ve talked to him in two weeks. After basic, it is more likely they will earn a pass.

This is their free time to do as they please (but they can’t leave Sand Hill). Many head to the Recreation Center and eat to the point of being sick – all of those goodies they haven’t been allowed to have.

My husband always headed for the closest pay phone (remember, 2003! lol). During one of his passes, I talked to him for three hours.

Needless to say, I was a very happy Army wife that day. Your main communication during his training will be letters.

author avatar
Stacey Abler
Stacey's husband joined the Army in 2003 and was medically retired after four deployments. She enjoys sharing her experiences and expertise around Army life while continuing to support Army spouses and families in their military journey.

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71 Comments

  1. Hi! Our son left yesterday for Fort Benning for Basic Training. We were told we would get a phone call the day he arrived. We haven’t heard from him and I am worried because we weren’t told for him to take a calling card. Will he still be able to call us? Sorry I am just a nervous mom!

    1. I’m sorry I’m just now seeing this. I’m sure you’ve heard from him by now. Do you mind commenting back and letting everyone know how communication has been? It’s been a long time since my husband was in basic so I’m sure things have changed. 🙂

  2. I’m so sorry for your loss. Not sure if it will help for her to know. They only allow leave if it’s immediate family (parents, grandparents, siblings). My sister passed away right after my son started BCT & he still doesn’t know. We decided he couldn’t come anyway & knowing would probably do him more harm than good. Hope all goes well with her training, & again…my sincere condolences.

  3. I have an important question to ask the US Army, just wondering if you could email me then I can tell you my question. It is personal and I do not want the world to know. Please so if someone in the military could do that it would be great. Thank you.

  4. i am so glad that i read you message because just today my husband called me who is in bct at fort sill. he said he was txting me his adress so that it will be easy for me and we talk abt other things for few mins after that he had to hung up his phone.. the bad news is only half adress came through txt and the other half did not came through at all i was soo sad.. but now i am soo glad that they will ALSO mail the address.. thank god…thank you..

  5. My wife just called me from boot camp 2 weeks ago and it sounded like she was reading a script, I was in the middle of mowing the lawn so I couldn’t write down what she said. How do I get her battalion and everything so I can write her. I thought I heard her say they will send me a letter but it’s been 2 weeks and still nothing. How can I find out her info so I can write her?

    1. You should receive a package with the information – or a letter from her with the return address you can use. I’ve seen recent estimates of up to 4 weeks to get the letter.

  6. My boyfriend leaves for Fort Benning in 20 days. Will they send his mother the package with the information? His mother and I are very close so I know she would share the information with me and I promised him I would send him letters every day. Are they only allowed to write back certain days or can they write any time? I have so many questions that no one seems to have the answers to, and it makes it so much worse feeling like I’m alone in this.

  7. Hello…My son left for Basic training at Fort Sill Oklahoma…He left Monday evening and now its Thursday evening. When will he be able to make a phone call?

  8. My wife left for basic training November 8 and we have two daughters.everyday it gets harder and harder with out her around. Our two daughters gets bored with being around daddy,asking me every day when mommy coming back. It’s hard it’s really hard and I am confused without her!

  9. It has been 3 weeks since my wife left. She called with the address, however, I was driving andown unable to write it down. I assumed I’d get something a few days later in the mail. It has now been almost 2 weeks since that call and no postcard. Is there any way of finding out the address? I have 10 letters waiting to mail and no place to send them.

    Thank you

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