There's no way of knowing your soldier's mailing address until you get that 1st letter from them. If I can make a recommendation, as soon as you do learn their address, print a couple sheets of mailing labels. I got mine at Amazon.
Once you've got your hands on those mailing labels, do your soldier a favor and mail them about three dozen. That address is a pain in the butt. It's also a good idea to send your soldier labels with YOUR address on them. They don't have tons of time. Better they spend it writing you than addressing silly envelopes.
I also made fun PhotoStamps for my daughter. The stamp choice seems so silly right?! But she loved it. She loved seeing what different stamps I would use even when I just bought some at the post office. Oddly she didn't like when I used the patriotic stamps from the Post Office. I guess she had enough Army in her life being at boot camp.
How often do soldiers get mail at Fort Leonard Wood?
That being said, as a guideline it can take mail anywhere from 7 to 9 days to reach the hands of your Soldier. This is based on mailing time, and can vary plenty depending on what they're doing. For instance, they go camping out in the wilderness, with tarps, and no tents. I don't know for sure, but my guess is they don't get mail that 2-4 day span.
Other delays include holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Veterans day and any other day that either the military, or the post office get off.
Here's a little excerpt from the Fort Leonard Wood Facebook Page:
We pick-up and deliver mail each day the post office is open – withholding mail is a federal offense. The Fort Leonard Wood post office is small considering it caters to over 16,000 Soldiers and their families. It’s not uncommon for a Soldier to go a week or two without getting any mail and then get a bunch of letters in one day.
Here's a little tip from a Fort Leonard Wood mom... Your soldier probably doesn't realize that fact, and it wouldn't be a bad thing for you to include it in a letter. They get very very lonely and it doesn't take long at all for them to start feeling abandoned.
Addressing Letters to Ft. Leonard Wood Soldiers in Basic Training
Letters are addressed like this:
PVT Doe, Jane R.
_E__ COMPANY, 1/48TH IN BN
495 IOWA AVENUE, UNIT # (13 for A Co, 23 for B Co, 33 for C Co, 43 for D Co, 53 for E Co, and 63 for F Co)
FORT LEONARD WOOD, MO 65473-8958
So to mail your soldier you'll need:
- Their company, for instance, my daughter is in E Co.
- Your soldier's battalion, my daughters battalion is the 1/48th as you see above.
- Then you'll need their Unit #, my daughter's in E Co. so her unit number is #53.
- Everyone in the 1/48th Battalion is at 495 Iowa. So with that information I was set.
If your soldier gets Sunday calls, get their address from them during that first call. If not, you'll have to wait a couple of weeks until they send you a letter with their address and mailing instructions.
Some things that you might do to brighten up your soldier's and your own day include, decorating envelopes and stationery. Adding stickers and other fun things to your letters. Care packages are also very popular! I, and a lot of moms in the Facebook group, and new forums, have had a lot of success with surveys! They're fun, they get soldiers that normally don't talk talking, and they don't take much time.
Letters from Students and other Community Members
I seriously carried a notebook, envelopes, stamps, and stationary in a folder with me everywhere that I went so that I could hit up friends and family for letters, post cards and notes while she was away. A teacher in the Mothers of Children Serving in the Military group actually had her entire class write to a different soldier each week during basic training. How amazing must it have been to receive letters from an entire class! If your soldier seems down, hit up the elementary schools in your area, see if there's a teacher who wouldn't mind letting the kids make cards, or paint a picture, or write a letter for your soldier.