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Once more, with feeling

10 favorite stories this year

Elaina Ficarra stands with two of her late father’s co-workers, Route Inspector Michael Jannuzzi, left, and Route Inspection Team Leader Deren Sinatra, during Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day in April.

Link is reviewing this year’s most memorable stories during the final days of December. Here are 10 more favorites.

1. In his shoes.” In April, a group of New Jersey postal workers honored a late colleague by hosting his 14-year-old daughter, Elaina Ficarra, on Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day — another touching example of how USPS employees take care of their own.

2. ‘I still remember the fear.’ To help mark Veterans Day, Jessie Harris, a USPS custodian and an Army veteran, candidly recalled the 135 days he spent in captivity as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam era.

3. Follow-on mission.” What do you do when you’re a two-star general with the South Dakota National Guard who is recently retired but still looking to serve your country? If you’re Tim Reisch, you begin a new career as a rural carrier associate for USPS.

4-5.Setting an example and Count on him.” Is there something in the water in New York City? These profiles of two Big Apple letter carriers, Anthony Puccio and John Vick, focused on the massive amounts of sick leave — 4,000 hours and 5,000 hours, respectively — that they’ve banked during their long postal careers.

6. Heart of the matter.” Of course, sometimes you actually need to use sick leave — as Ruben Hernandez, a Fresno, CA, letter carrier, learned when he used accumulated leave for the first time in his three-decade postal career while recovering from a heart attack this year.

7. Mr. Dependable.” When Bill Vance heard the Postal Service needed a substitute rural carrier in Gowanda, NY, he applied for the job and was hired. Forty-five years later, Vance and his trusty red Jeep are still working part time for USPS.

8. Meeting the challenge.” The Postal Inspection Service is on the frontline of the nation’s effort to combat the scourge of opioid abuse. This article focused on a single case and introduced readers to a few of the inspectors who are leading the charge.

9-10. Mr. Benberry’s memories and ‘I’ve been fortunate.’Among the many longtime employees who appeared in Link this year, here are two standouts: Randy Benberry, an Indianapolis mechanic who brings his lunch to work each day in a paper bag and marked his 56th year as a postal employee, and Raymond German Jr., a Gaithersburg, MD, mail processing clerk who has clocked 58 years as a postal worker with no plans to retire. “I just come to work and do my job,” he said.

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