Posted on Jul 15, 2015
LTC Stephen F.
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I was recently reminded me of the importance and significance of mail call especially in the days before email, cell phones and texting existed in the 1950's 1960's, 1970's and I think through the 1980's. Waiting with anticipation in formation as a young enlisted man in sun. snow, rain or wind for mail call. The weather was much less important than hearing the names of friends called out to get mail and then hearing my own name which was wonderful. Going back to the barracks to smell envelopes from girl friends, read the letters on my bunk.
Later as a cadet at West Point one of the duties of the freshman class known as plebes was to distribute the mail to the upper classmen. It was a very important function and seemed to release a sense of common humanity and a brief period of humane treatment.
After I was commissioned in 1980, my mail was delivered to me except when we were away from home station when we would have mail call or else wait until the operation was over and then mail would be distributed.
Images: mail call wingen 70th ID WWII; Korean War early afternoon mail call brought these Thunderbirds in the 279th Infantry; Mail call! Pfc Glen Zachery of the 19th Army Postal Unit brings a sack of mail to the
Edited 2 y ago
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Responses: 181
SPC Jeffrey Bly
117
117
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We were out in the field this one time and we had mail call. The 1Sgt was calling us out. He called out Hernandez. Hernandez had not come out to the field with us. So the 1Sgt called out Hernandez again. Still no one replied. So the 1Sgt says "God damn it Hernandez, I knows you out there!" Of course for fear of questioning Top, we all kept our mouths shut. So he begins to spell it out, "H-E-N-R-I-K-S-O-N, Hernandez!" Henrikson, of course wanting his mail speaks up. "That's Henrikson 1sgt." Top replies, "God damn you Hernandez, get out here and get your mail!" To which Henrikson replies, "Yes 1Sgt!" Nobody said anything at the time for fear of insubordination, but we all got a pretty good chuckle out of it afterwards.

Ah, the good old days!
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SGT Jason Mouret
SGT Jason Mouret
1 mo
PO3 Bob McCord
Same happened to me SDS couldn't pronounce my name so I was the last dumb ass standing there. Everyone else was in their platoon except me. What wrong with you dumbass don't you know your name I called it out 3 times. The fun in the sun.
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SGT Richard Mitchell
SGT Richard Mitchell
1 mo
I entered basic training (U.S. Army) at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO in Dec., 1968. We had "mail call," when we were assigned to our training rosters, every evening after dinner. It was the highlight of each and every day I was in the service! We could get "care" packages of cookies or other treats then from home. My mother scored me a lot of points with my fellow trainees and the Drill Sgts. when she sent a big box of her homemade oatmeal cookies, which were to die for any day! The protocol was to open the package and distribute the wealth, but I made sure she sent enough so everyone had two large cookies. My fiancee also sent letters most every day, which also "made my day!" We had a few other "treats" that were sent along and they were definitely appreciated in the freezing cold of "Little Korea" as Leonard Wood was called. Having your name called and a letter sent back to you were heaven!
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PVT Edward Roselle
PVT Edward Roselle
1 mo
Drill Sgt when I was in basic in the 80's at Ft. Jackson....
"Rosss... Rosss... R-O-S-E-L-L-E! GET YOUR ASS UP HERE!"
"I ran up "YES DRILL SGT.!"
"Now Drop give me 50 for not having a fucking pronounceable fucking name!"
"Yes Drill Sgt.!"
Every time he found a letter to me he would drop it on my back... (LOL)

Thats ok, have a friend of mine, who is American Indian, when he wanted to join the Army, the Chief gave him a "proper" last name... The name of the tribe... Imagine a Drill Sgt. Yelling out "SIOUX!" Yeah, I heard it got pretty funny at mail call. :)
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Sgt Ivan Boatwright
Sgt Ivan Boatwright
10 d
In Nam 60s' no one stood in line or a group. A member of the squad got all for each man and took it to him or placed it where he slept. Usually our patrols were just a few days at most and it was left in our tent/whatever. A group drew sniper fire at best or mortars at worse.
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SFC Patient Service Tech
86
86
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I also remember forming for pay call
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SGT Gary Sokol
SGT Gary Sokol
1 mo
and phone city during basic.
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CMSgt Donald ONeill
CMSgt Donald ONeill
1 mo
I remember getting paid cash with a pay voucher in a little Manella envelope .
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SPC Ray Shanahan
SPC Ray Shanahan
1 mo
We had a pay line in Germany on the first day of the month. At the end of the line were the bill collectors. This one poor fellow "Maxie" always owed more than he collected. he would borrow and never have any money.
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Sgt Jim Mullins
Sgt Jim Mullins
11 d
Paid in cash at Camp Lejeune, NC. The 1st Sgt. or LT. would tell me how much pay and then say, Would you like to donate $2.00 to "whatever". If you said no, he would say put Pvt. so-in-so on KP, guard duty, etc. Most marines changed their minds and donated.
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Lt Col Charlie Brown
53
53
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A1C Alexa Cosson
A1C Alexa Cosson
2 mo
(I need Kleenex after watching that!) My brother used to write one sentence, or draw a silly picture, and mail it to me, just so I'd have mail. One time, all it said was "Hi!" I kept every letter I got!
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SSgt Andrew Urban
SSgt Andrew Urban
2 mo
That was a few tears... dang. Good song.
(4)
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Amn Jennifer Lee (Doerflinger) Hill
Amn Jennifer Lee (Doerflinger) Hill
18 d
A wonderful song! I've always loved it, as well!
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Amn Jennifer Lee (Doerflinger) Hill
Amn Jennifer Lee (Doerflinger) Hill
18 d
Lt Col Charlie Brown I get that problem every time TAPS is played...
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