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I decided to write this for all the New Recruit Parents and the DEP Parents and loved ones out there, because, it has been my experience here that the single most troubling and Number One Concern is the First Letter that many Get from their recruits saying “I am getting No Mail, are you writing me?”

And since all of you have daily, and sometimes several, lol, when you get this homesick and forlorn letter it tears thru your soul!!!!


Well, now here’s some facts I hope might help.


First and foremost, it is a serious Federal Offense to in any way shape or form impede the delivery of a letter once posted with the USPS.  SO,

The SDI/DI’s Do Not And WILL NOT withhold Any Mail from a recruit.  PERIOD!

AND, believe me, with all honesty, there is not a single SDI/DI/JDI I have ever met that does not truly understand the importance of the Letter to the sustained Moto of their People.  And another PERIOD there.

Now that’s out the way.


Instead, I now offer what are the true Dynamics of the Mail system.


First of all, Your newly incoming people, and if both Male and Female classes together, will run in the neighborhood of approximately 600+ recruits, all with no know home yet.

At the Same Time, that same number will have just graduated as Marines and left the Island.

And let us not forget that There is First Battalion Loaded with 4-500 Marines in different Stages of the journey (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta) That’s a couple thousand.  Then there’s Second Bat, Third Bat, and Fourth Bat.  Say conservatively 6000 recruits?

So, lets say only one letter a day is received.  That’s 6000 letters.

Now mind you I am also Not talking about the few thousand Permanent residents on the Island and their mail that is also going to that 29905 zip!

And, as is the nature of the cycle and the turning of recruits, Mail must be hand sorted.


So, keeping that tremendous volume in mind, and the fact Most of you do not send just one letter a week, (and bless you all!) well, the task can be quite daunting.


First of all, lets say the letters you send take 3 days to get to the Island.  I sent on Monday.  Goes to Post office local.  Leaves likely Tuesday….Gets there Friday. (along with 6000 others). Weekends PI Post (I believe) is half day on Saturday.  Zero Sunday presently(budget).  Not Positive, but thoughts only.


NOW, at the SAME TIME, Your recruit has passed thru receiving and now knows his fate, lol….and sends the form letter Sunday, Which will go out Monday.  These letters take an average of 4-6 days to get to you..


During this first week, you have held back waiting for the right Platoon number and not sent.

So, Not to the recruit, he hasn’t gotten anything from you already for 9-10 days when you get the form letter!

Now You immediately Slam a dozen letters in the mail on Thursday, lets say.  Well, Off they go, and USPS don’t work but ½ day Sat. (and discontinuing completely in October I hear) and Certainly, never on Sunday!

In the meantime, it has been a whole other week, and NO Mail.  That’s like now 2 weeks in Hell and No word!  And so, the letter is written on Sunday, “Is anybody Home?”

And all your letters hit the Island on Tuesday, sorted and Delivered Thursday/Friday, but by now you have also received the “Where’s My letters” one almost at the same time he/she get the first batch!

Some even get a chance to write in the meantime and get a second one out during this initial lag and you get it and it rips your heart out, BUT…..


Snail Mail.

Not Email.

Not Text messages or FB in-boxes.


That is How it Begins.  And it is Devastatingly TOUGH.  For them and for You.  But, if it was Easy, it would NOT be Marines.  And THEN, it settles, along about the third week and it goes on ok from there.


I KNOW how rough it seems right now, but forewarned is forearmed.  For those presently in DEP, educate them on this fact.

The Recruiters can ONLY provide a generic address, which, takes longer often to get to the recruit, once placed, then waiting the tough wait and having the correct information provided on the form letter.

For those rolling into Week One or Two and Get the Dreaded “Does Anybody Miss me?” Letter,, hopefully this will help with understanding the timing issue that is the Nature of The US Postal Service.

I hope this Helps,

Best Regards,


VPF/VPAF of 5 United States Marines


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Comment by LazyK-Chyn on May 22, 2017 at 8:22am


IF you have the correct Company and Platoon that is all you need.  All mail at MCRD Sandiego is processed in a central mail room, street address is not necessary.

Comment by joy on May 19, 2017 at 5:27pm
I was given a different address on midway ave in san Diego but it had his correct platoon and company on it, it was a learning center place, i now have correct number of the location street , should i be concerned of a longer delay or not receive it at all?
Comment by Cher Kay on June 11, 2015 at 2:08pm
I'm not too sure, he should know his fathers phone number, hopefully that is the case and I can tell me about it oncewe are able to change letters soon :) and thank you!
Comment by 1~Keri (HCC) on June 11, 2015 at 7:11am
About that first phone call, it has its "bad" points.

Did they have the home phone on speed dial in their cell phones? They are nervous and calling with a lot of yelling going on and they can mis dial or even forget the number. It happens more then we'd like. Hopefully you will get a letter soon.
Comment by Cher Kay on June 11, 2015 at 1:13am
It's already been 10-11 days since my boyfriend left for boot camp and No mail yet, I even asked his parents, but I'm still being patient and hopefully I'll get one next week. :) he's in San Diego and I'm in Las Vegas so we're not that far apart. But I am a bit worried because I asked his parents about him calling at all on the first night they arrive but they didn't get a call at all :I does that happen often?
Comment by berningdesire on December 18, 2014 at 10:13am

Thank you

Comment by WestPlainsMom (Jan) on October 28, 2014 at 8:10am


Thank you for remembering, and reminding.  I still believe the phrase and the poem to be true, and David consistently reinforces my belief.

Comment by LazyK-Chyn on October 28, 2014 at 8:03am

Jan I saw your comment and it reminded me of this, one of your many great poems.

The door to my future

Is built on the framework of the past

And the things that I have learned

Are things that will last.

I became a Marine

And I Marine I'll always be

No matter what path I take

It will be a part of me.

to read the entire poem

yes off topic, but still appropriate

Comment by WestPlainsMom (Jan) on October 28, 2014 at 7:44am

Or "Civilian Marine".

Comment by 2ndGenDevilDog on October 26, 2014 at 9:41pm

Excellent job breaking down the mail lag!!!

I'm so glad my husband is a Former Marine.  Thank goodness he has prepared me (as best he can) with the ins and outs of boot camp otherwise, I would be freaking out waiting (& waiting, & waiting) for that first letter.  I'm sure this information has helped put a lot of minds at ease.

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