Face of Defense: Marine Works Hard to Keep Mail Flowing
By Marine Corps Cpl. Erik Villagran
Special to American Forces Press Service
HIT, Iraq, Apr. 7, 2008 Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kevin M. Natt knows a large chunk of his battalion’s morale rests on his shoulders, and he says he doesn’t mind at all.
Natt, 22, a mail clerk from Mangham, La., is responsible for ensuring that Marines and sailors with 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5, receive their mail as soon as possible.
“I’m responsible for getting mail from postal in al Asad, Iraq, to our battalion and detachments,” Natt said. “I also keep the mail secure. I make sure nothing is lost or stolen.”
It’s work that’s easier said than done. With multiple loads of mail delivered during the week, Natt must work at a feverish pace to keep Marines happy.
“I get about 4 tons of mail a week,” Natt said. “Some Marines pitch in on a daily basis with getting the mail into the mail room.”
Marines from multiple companies have made time when they’re off duty to help Natt deliver the mail without delays.
“Their help is appreciated,” Natt said. “Marines know it’s not a one-man job.”
Natt was trained to do the job when he arrived in Iraq. His ability to learn quickly hasn’t gone unnoticed.
“For one man handling a battalion’s mail, he’s done an amazing job,” said Marine Corps Cpl. Michael B. Perryman, 22, an administrative clerk from Boston. “For him to learn it now and take care of everything is amazing.”
Natt is reminded every day how much mail means to Marines. He is asked about 30 times a day about mail, he said.
“Mail is important, because it’s a morale booster,” Perryman said. “Packages have things inside that are little surprises. Marines like those little pick-me-ups; it’s motivating.”
Watching Marines become elated about receiving mail makes the hard labor worth it to Natt. He said he thrives on being depended on and won’t fail his fellow Marines.
“Seeing how happy Marines get when they get mail from family and friends is the best part of it,” Natt said. “I like being the light of their hard-working days in Iraq.”
(Marine Corps Cpl. Erik Villagran serves with Regimental Combat Team 5.)