Mailroom Soldiers bring pieces of home, holiday spirit to deployed troops
POWIDZ, Poland -- A U.S. Soldier walked into a small room with walls covered by meticulously packed shelves of boxes. He asked the clerk at the desk for his package and the worker walked to the wall of packages, reminiscent of a game of Jenga, where she pulled the box from the shelf.
The mailroom clerk handed the Soldier his package, the Soldier showed his ID card, and then with package in hand, gleefully bounded his way down the hallway.
"I love this job; I feel like I am doing something worthwhile and helping soldiers," said Sgt. Dayana A. Butler, a Killeen, Texas native and mailroom supervisor with the 502nd Human Resources Company, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division. "We get a lot of customers, so we have to make sure their mail gets to them."
The mailroom in Powidz, Poland acts as a lifeline for the U.S. Soldiers who are currently deployed here in support of Atlantic Resolve.
"I didn't think mail would be that important until I got out here and saw how much people like mail," said Pfc. Kaveh Amirfazli, a San Francisco native who is a mailroom clerk with the 502nd Human Resources Company.
The postal system allows Soldiers overseas the ability to maintain contact with their Family and friends back home.
"They get food, clothes and cards from their Families back in the States," said Pfc. Rodneisha Jackson, a Fitzgerald, Georgia native who is a mailroom clerk assigned to the 502nd Human Resources Company. "It helps make them feel at home when they receive all their gifts and care packages."
"It's the biggest morale booster for everybody," she said.
"Getting mail makes me feel good," said Spc. Fortunato Zamora, a welder assigned to the 118th Maintenance Company, 143rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion. "It gives us happy thoughts from home."
The mailroom not only allows Soldiers to receive care packages, but gives them an opportunity to ship gifts and souvenirs back home.
"We were told before we left that we would control morale," said Amirfazli.
He did not believe that until he started working in the mailroom and saw the emotional impact a simple letter can have on someone.
"People's moods can go from a zero to a ten with they get their mail or vice versa," said Amirfazli.
It happens from time-to-time where a delivery of mail will be late or not show up for a couple of days and people become noticeably upset, explained Jackson. When they update the lists of everyone who has mail, the extra day of wait time is forgotten.
That is why, though seemingly simple, the mailroom clerk is such an important role while deployed.
"People say they look forward to seeing us," said Butler. "Because people look forward to getting mail-- it can be the best part of their day."
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