Bagram Airmen work to deliver link to home
By Tech. Sgt. Vernon Cunningham, 455th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
/ Published January 31, 2012
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan -- The men and women of the 455th Expeditionary Communication Squadron Knowledge Operations Management Office dedicate themselves, day in and day out, to provide a valuable service to 455th Air Expeditionary Wing personnel and its Air Force tenant units...mail call. Although it is not within their normal duties, their dedication to customer service gave birth to the Air Force Mail Distribution Center. This extra duty was happily accepted by its participants.
Bagram Postal is operated by the U.S. Army. Since Air Force personnel get so much mail, the Knowledge Operations Management Office helps out by handling mail sorting and delivery, as well as performing administrative functions like updating the Automated Military Postal System with accountable mail.
Senior Airman Adam Shipley, part-time postal clerk, said delivering mail is one of the many ways the support units of Bagram, to include the various Morale, Welfare and Recreation services available, try to give Airmen a little taste of home.
"The number one morale booster is most definitely, without a doubt, mail," Shipley said. "Whether it's a simple card from their mom, dad, or significant other, or it's receiving a big box of cookies and goodies to share with their coworkers, we at the postal center try to accommodate every customer who needs to get his or her boxes."
To ensure this happens, many people in their shop put in extra hours to sort and deliver mail for the convenience of customers. Their day starts at 5 a.m. and extends sometimes as late as 8 p.m., hours after they are normally closed, to accommodate night shifters who can't make the normal hours to sign for insured packages.
The Knowledge Operations Management team continually looks for volunteer assistance with this vital additional duty for the wing.
"I volunteered to help postal by offloading pallets from the truck and sorting the mail during the holiday season," Senior Airman Simon Tan, a regular volunteer said. "It was very rewarding. I met new friends in the process and did something fun...I drove the forklift!"
Tan said the postal crew puts in a lot of time and dedication each day to make sure everyone gets his mail on time.
"Delivering mail and getting it out to the work centers is the best part of my day," Shipley said. "I enjoy going out to each unit and yelling out 'Mail Call!' Most of the time, whoever hears me first jumps from their chair or runs out to get the mail in hopes that they got something special from back home."
Shipley's co-workers share his sentiment.
Staff Sgt. Elyshia Moore, part-time postal clerk, said, "Every day I leave work feeling satisfied because I know I helped make someone's day a little brighter and happier by bringing them a piece of home."