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Army Post Office connects soldiers, loved ones

Army soldier scans package with handheld device as another soldier watches
Spc. Sara McDowell and Spc. Michael McCarthy, postal clerks at the U.S. Army Post Office in Zagan, Poland, scan Priority Mail packages recently.

The soldiers who work inside a U.S. Army Post Office (APO) in Poland say mail remains the most reliable way to communicate with their faraway loved ones.

While email and other electronic communication help keep soldiers in touch with family and friends, Cpl. Angelica Corral said there’s nothing like receiving a package from home.

“You can always tell when someone receives a package. It just brightens up their whole day,” said Corral, a clerk at the APO in Zagan, a city in western Poland.

The APO also provides mail services to 3,000 soldiers at 15 nearby military units, so it’s constantly busy.

During a typical week, the office serves approximately 100 customers, ships about 800 pounds of packages, and receives another 2,900 pounds of parcels.

The APO remains operational regardless of the weather, making it the most reliable method of communicating, according to Staff Sgt. Randy J. Duckett, a custodian of postal effects.

“Connecting people and ensuring their parcels are sent and received safely and expeditiously is how we want to do it,” he said.

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