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Bagram Post Office Kicks Into High Gear

By Army Spc. William E. Henry
Special to American Forces Press Service

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan, Dec. 14, 2009 – The holidays are a special time of year when family and friends get together and celebrate the season in various ways, but many servicemembers serving Afghanistan cannot go home for the holidays due to their military obligations.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Army Sgt. Carletha Woods places a bag of letter mail on a skid of packages at the Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, post office, Dec. 11, 2009. U.S. photo by Army Spc. William E. Henry

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Fortunately, the post office here excels at bringing a bit of home to America’s troops on the front lines.

Here at the largest hub of transportation and delivery to those on the battlefield in the central and northern parts of Afghanistan, workers at the U.S. Post Office are doing their best to ensure servicemembers receive packages from loved ones over the holiday season.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Chris Tyler, noncommissioned officer in charge of the post office, said his crew is processing about 170,000 pounds of incoming and outgoing mail daily, even on Sundays.

“Mail is a tremendous morale booster,” said Tyler, a Hooper, Utah, resident. “It means a lot to people to receive something from home.”

Tyler said his group of civilian workers and almost 100 servicemembers from different units based here have stepped up to the nearly doubled the workload that separates December from the other months in terms of mail volume.

Indianapolis residents Army Spc. Arianne Jimenez-Mora, a postal worker, and Army Sgt. Carletha Woods, a mail clerk, agree that mail is crucial to the troops serving in Afghanistan.

“It’s always good to get something from home,” Jimenez-Mora said. “I really like to see the faces of the workers here when we have a lot of mail.”

Both soldiers said knowing what their work means to their fellow servicemembers here keeps them in a cheerful mood.

“The reason I walk around here happy so much is because I get to see the smiling faces of our soldiers who receive mail every day,” Woods said.

(Army Spc. William E. Henry of Task Force Cyclone serves with the Indiana National Guard’s 38th Infantry Division public affairs office.)

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