phone call dialpad for basic training calls

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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  1. Hey guys i need some help my wife left three weeks ago to basic at ft. leonard wood i have ready that they don’t allow them to send mail the first two weeks it has been two weeks and no word from her im a bit skeptic and sad has me worried maybe someone can help me or guide me i have sent her like 40 letters but still no reply.

    1. Waiting for that first letter is the worst! Hopefully it’s just taking a little longer than normal to make it to you. I hope you hear from her soon! Remember, the saying in the military is no news is good news. If anything was wrong, someone would have reached out.

  2. Hello my boyfriend just left to basic training to ft jackson yesturday but he didn’t gave me no address to write him letters what should i do ?

  3. Everyone I need you help please!!
    My boyfriend left for basic at Fort Benning at the end of August and I made sure he had my address on his phone before he left. But I still haven’t received anything. And I cannot get in contact with his family for his mailing address. Is there any way that I can find out the address? Could I possibly call? I just need to send him letter I just don’t know how to go about it.

  4. My boyfriend graduates this week on Friday and he calls every sunday after dinner. Usually around 5 or a little after 5 he would call. But this is the last sunday and it’s 7:15 and he still hasn’t called! He says sometimes when other soldiers in the platoon mess up, the sergeants revoke phone privileges for the rest of the platoon. But it wouldn’t make sense for them to revoke it on the last day they can call! I need to talk to him before I fly out to see him Wednesday! Can anyone think of a reason why he’s not calling? Thanks.

  5. My husband is in fort Knox for training he’s specialist he went over there for just one month I wanna know if there are chances for any soldier to leave the base on weekends and if they have liquor store inside they are allow to drink in their rooms … I’m anxious cuz we are having though days our marriage is not doing well

  6. My Fiancée has been gone for a little over 2 weeks now. And I haven’t even gotten any standard letter with an address and it’s really stressing me out. I know he got there, but I haven’t heard anything at all since and I’m really scared.

    1. I’m sorry it’s taking so long. Please don’t give up hope! It should be any day now if he is having the commander’s letter sent to you.

  7. My Fiancee just left and we were able to talk, until he boarded the bus destined for Ft Benning. I have read all of the comments and they have given me a lot of insight. I think I will make sure I am carrying a pen and paper at all times. I have already started writting him and I only just saw him yesterday. I also placed two letters in his bag with him, so he would have them incase my letters fail to get there quickly. Thank you guys for all the information. I am sure I will be posting a stressed out message later this month.

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