Letters to Boot Camp: The Journey of a Sandboxx Letter from Start to Finish

As parents, family, and friends of a current or future service member facing the biggest challenge of their life, we know how important it is for you to stay connected with your new recruit throughout boot camp, deployments and beyond. Because of this, we at Sandboxx take great care to ensure that your Letter gets from point A to point B as safely and quickly as possible.

We know that you have options – mainly, using Sandboxx or traditional “snail mail” – when it comes to getting your message into the hands of your future service member. What is it about Sandboxx Letters that make them the best way to reach your recruit? We’re so glad you asked. Sandboxx Letters are…

  1. EASY. Forget about digging around for a pen, paper, stamps and envelope! There’s no need to search high and low for your recruit’s mailing address, either! With Sandboxx, you can send a Letter directly from our app from the palm of your hand, wherever you are. We’ll then print it and deliver it to the address that your recruit gave us when they first arrived on base.
  2. MEANINGFUL. Each Sandboxx Letter includes a custom message that you write, a color photo for a more personal touch, a card and a pre-addressed return envelope, and is shipped to the address that your recruit gave us when they arrived on base.
  3. FAST. We use FedEx to overnight ship Letters to many basic training bases. A typical postcard or envelope can take anywhere from 3-5 days to get to a base using USPS. We reduce this time by 50% or more, so your loved one will hear from you faster than ever.
  4. PRE-SORTED. We pre-sort all Letters that we send to base so that it gets through the mailroom, and into your recruit’s hands, faster.

 

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A Sandboxx Letter’s Journey, From App to Recruit

At Sandboxx, we employ a consistent “5-Check” process for each Letter that we send to ensure that the words you type and the pictures you take get delivered to your loved one worry-free. Here’s what you should expect the next time you use Sandboxx to send a Letter to your recruit or service member.

Sending Letters to boot camp for iOS

Sending Letters to boot camp for Android

The Sandboxx app makes it as easy and convenient as possible to send a Letter from the palm of your hand, wherever you may be.

  1. First, you’ll want to open the Sandboxx app, and tap “Compose Letter.” If you’d like to see what you’ve written to your recruit or service member previously, you’ll be able to do so in the “Sent Letters” section of this screen.

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2. Next, you’ll want to write your Letter. Each Sandboxx Letter includes room for a personalized, heartfelt message, as well as a photo. If you’ve got writer’s block or just don’t know what to send, read about what to write in your Letter to basic training. Need photo inspiration? Follow us on Instagram where we post daily motivational quotes and images that are perfect for putting in your Letters for that extra motivation.

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3. Once you’re done writing, hit Next, and select your recipient. You’ll be able to search for other Sandboxx users, input a new address, or select from a recent list of recipients. Be sure to verify that the address is correct before proceeding.

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4. Next, verify that your address is correct. Sandboxx will print this address on the pre-addressed return envelope that we include in every Letter that you send, making it easy for your recruit to write back if and when they have the time to do so. Remember, recruits are extremely busy during boot camp and don’t have much free time, so it may take some time before you hear back from them!

After confirming that your address is correct, you’ll also have the option of adding an Exchange gift card to your Letter for your recruit to use during specific, permissible times during boot camp, or once they’ve graduated.

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5. Finally, confirm that your Letter order is good to go, and click Send. Once you send your Letter, it will be processed at our printing facility the same day if your order is completed before 5pm ET. Once it’s processed and shipped out, it will typically be delivered in the next two to three days. You can learn more about our processing and shipping processes below!

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Click here for STEP 2.

 

The Sandboxx app makes it as easy and convenient as possible to send a Letter from the palm of your hand, wherever you may be.

1. First, you’ll want to open the Sandboxx app, and tap “Compose or Continue Your Letter.”

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2. Next, you’ll select your recipient. You can do this in a few different ways: by searching for your recipient, selecting someone from your list of recent recipients, or by manually typing in the address for a new recipient.

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3. Once you’ve selected your recipient, it’s time to write your Letter. Each Sandboxx Letter includes room for a personalized, heartfelt message, as well as a photo. If you’ve got writer’s block or just don’t know what to send, read about what to write in your Letter to basic training. Need photo inspiration? Follow us on Instagram where we post daily motivational quotes and images that are perfect for putting in your Letters for that extra motivation.

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4. After finalizing your Letter copy, select a photo to include from your camera roll, or use your phone’s camera to take a photo.

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5. Before sending your Letter, you’ll need to verify the recipient’s, and your own, address information to ensure that the Letter and the pre-addressed return envelope get delivered to the correct place. If your recruit or service member is in the Marine Corps, you’ll also have the option to include a gift card that they can use at the Marine Corps Exchange. Recruits are able to use these gift cards during specific, permissible times throughout boot camp, as well as any time after they’ve graduated.

Finally, enter your payment information. When you’re ready to send your Letter, tap “Confirm & Send.”

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6. Voilà! You’ve successfully sent your Sandboxx Letter. It will be processed at our printing facility the same day if your order is completed before 5pm ET. Once it’s processed and shipped out, it will typically be delivered in the next two to three days. You can learn more about our processing and shipping processes below!

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As soon as you send your Letter via the Sandboxx app, we verify the address and correct any potential errors. We then print the Letter, and perform a print quality check to ensure the quality of the Letter and any photos you’ve chosen to include.

STEPS 3 & 4: Processing and Shipping

After each Letter is printed, we then use a machine that applies over 3,000 pounds of force to fold and seal it, and sort it by company for the Marines and Army, flight for the Air Force, or ship for the Navy. This marks our third check of the day, and allows us to ensure that each base is able to quickly distribute the Letters upon delivery.

STEP 5: Delivery

After we complete our last Letter print of the day at 5PM Eastern time, we check over the Letters again before putting them into boxes to ensure each Letter is shipped to the correct destination. Each box of 1,000 Letters is double-sealed and then dropped off at FedEx, our trusted shipping partner that makes sure that these important packages arrive at each base the following day.

Please note that a Letter with the delivery status of “Delivered” does not mean that your Letter has reached your recruit’s hands, but rather that your Letter has reached the mailroom on base and is waiting to be distributed to your recruit. Because of this, our job doesn’t stop there; we perform a follow-up check the following day to ensure your Letter was properly delivered, too.

Every day, our rigorous process ensures thousands of Letters get delivered securely to bases around the country. In the time it takes to write a text message, you can confidently stay connected with your service member, ensuring they stay focused on the tasks ahead of them at basic training.

Mail call is one of the most highly anticipated times of day during basic training, and it’s no mystery why. Basic training is mentally and physically draining. At times, your recruit will think they won’t make it to graduation, and may begin to doubt their original decision to join the military. As their support system, your Letters will play an integral role in keeping them motivated and encouraging them to keep charging throughout their entire boot camp journey.

Curious about what other users experienced while using Sandboxx? We’ve put together some Sandboxx Stories from users who relied on Sandboxx to help their recruits successfully graduate from basic training:

Or, if you’re ready, start sending Letters to deployed military members now.

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Author: Brian at Sandboxx

I have long-standing military roots through my family, as my grandfather served in the Army as a pediatrician. Since then, I’ve become more actively involved with the military community thanks to my fiancé and partner of over six years, who is currently a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army, where he serves as a pediatric cardiologist. I’m thrilled to be a part of the Sandboxx team so that I can give back to such an important community and group of people.

25 thoughts

  1. Thank you for making this seemingly easy to allow my princess to know I am behind her 100% and I support her .

  2. Hi,
    My son is in Medical Hold in Lackland Airforce Base, can I use Sandboxx to get letters to him? He was suspossed to graduate Dec. 5th, now ?

  3. This seems like a great way to keep in touch with loved ones. I have one question though. I guess they can’t receive any mail at all until we get their address 10 days in?

    1. Lisa,

      You can start sending Letters as soon as you receive their address. If you don’t get that address until day 10 then you wouldn’t be able to send the Letter anywhere. We are working on ways to improve and get you addresses sooner.

  4. How do I know that my son is receiving his letters? His last name is misspelled here. Does it make any difference?

    1. Good afternoon, Rina. Sorry for the delayed response. Please reach out to our customer support team at support@sandboxx.us if you haven’t already. We would love to assist you. Thank you for using SANDBOXX.

  5. Good morning,

    I sent my first letter yesterday; however, it does not appear in my letters folder. Will it appear once it’s received or should it appear automatically?

    1. Good afternoon, Tawana. Sorry for the delayed response. Please reach out to our customer support team at support@sandboxx.us. We would love to assist you with this if you haven’t reached out yet. Thank you for using SANDBOXX.

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