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Mail call

Soldiers support postal operations in Afghanistan

Two Army soldiers sign for package at counter
Sgt. Tyler Buchko signs a log for a package in a military mailroom while Pfc. Edil Velez watches. Image: U.S. Army

It’s often said that in wartime, morale arrives in the mail.

Soldiers with the 4th Infantry Division in Laghman Province, Afghanistan, say they take pride in processing mail and keeping morale high for the soldiers and civilians deployed to the region.

“Receiving mail from home is a way for someone to feel connected,” said Sgt. 1st Class Stephenie Imler, a mailroom noncommissioned officer in charge.

“Soldiers can write letters home, send pictures, gifts from the bazaar, take care of legal matters, pay taxes and vote. This keeps the link to their communities open as well.”

The division receives about 1,200 pounds of mail per day. In the early mornings and after lunch, soldiers line up outside the mailroom to see if cards, letters or packages have arrived for them.

For military and civilian personnel deployed overseas, receiving mail takes on special meaning. Without regular internet access to facilitate emailing and text messaging, physical mail is one of the ways they remain in contact with friends and family back home.

Knowing how much mail means to the soldiers, mailroom personnel put a focus on customer service.

Sgt. Eric Cloutier, a mail handler and combat engineer, said providing customers with quality service also means keeping spirits high in the mailroom.

“I believe having a happy, motivated and professional team in the mailroom automatically makes the process better,” he said.

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