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 11 mo ago
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SPC Jeffrey Bly
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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 Ronald Peter
SGT Ronald Peter
4 mo
Army, 11-66 through 11-74, mail call was always the high point of the day, After getting married and living off base, mail was delivered to my home addressm, just like in civilian life. While living in government questers inn Alaska, we had Post Office Boxes. My last Mail call was on the May 18, 2018 Stars and Stripes Honor Flight. It made me tear-up.
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SPC Carmen H Ramirez
SPC Carmen H Ramirez
4 mo
I LOVED mail call, although I rarely got any. It is a wonderful tradition I hope never goes away.
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Sgt Mike Jacobi
Sgt Mike Jacobi
1 mo
Mail call was held in basic at Lackland. And later overseas. One thing about the Air Force, they made amazing efforts to get our mail to us as quickly as possible. It meant an awful lot to us.
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SFC Terry Wilcox
SFC Terry Wilcox
1 mo
Since I seldom made formations - my mail would be collected for me - but I do remember the feeling of getting my name called for mail - I also remember the let down of those that seldom if ever received mail. Whether they have Mail-Call today or not - been retired since 1985.
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SFC Patient Service Tech
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I also remember forming for pay call
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LTC David Howard
LTC David Howard
4 mo
I can also well remember serving as the Pay Officer on the monthly payday when soldiers were paid in cash. Few soldiers had checking accounts in those days (mid 1960's) so on the last day of the month (we were only paid once monthly) I would first draw a 45 semi auto pistol from the Military Police station, then proceed to the Finance Office to pick up the rosters and the cash to conduct payday for several hundred soldiers. I was made fully aware, each time, that if I came up short it was my responsibility, but if I came up with extra cash after paying everyone according to the rosters provided to me, that the excess must be returned to the Finance Office or it would be considered theft. I was always very careful to make sure each soldier was given exactly the right amount that he or she (few she's in those days) were entitled to.
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SFC Joe Walsh
SFC Joe Walsh
4 mo
What sucked about pay day was EVERYONE had to be there in formation at the same time. Unless you had duty, as soon as you took pay, you were dismissed. Those of us at the end of the alphabet had to stand there for hours. By the time we got paid, there wasn't a cab to be seen on base.
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1SG John Jekel
1SG John Jekel
4 mo
Yes - That was my response to this post Remember Pay Call!!!!!Cash or travelers checks. Who remembers travelers checks????
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SFC Terry Wilcox
SFC Terry Wilcox
1 mo
Yeah - especially PAY! My very first pay call August 1964, was all of $66.00 for the month. the worst pay call was in the hospital in Japan where I was the pay guard - especially in the Burn ward - although it made me feel better about my wounds - that was a very tough duty. I got the duty because I was ambulatory (after surgeries) and had an MP patch when I arrived.
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Lt Col Charlie Brown
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SGM Gerald Fife
SGM Gerald Fife
7 mo
SGT Marko Milobar - I did an Honor Flight in October 2018.
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SGT Rob Wallach
SGT Rob Wallach
6 mo
LTC Richard McCaughey - Ahh Ft McClellan OUST Charlie 10 in 79
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CPT Carolyn Andrews
CPT Carolyn Andrews
5 mo
Don't know that song. What's the title or the words. I would ask you to sing a few bars but wouldn't hear U through this type of email.
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SGT James (Mike) White
SGT James (Mike) White
5 mo
Mam they block your video
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