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‘A good postal person’

This carrier ensures customers always get their mail

Letter carrier leans against postal delivery truck
Richard Morales, a letter carrier, stands near a road on his route in Port Washington, NY.

My name is Richard Morales and I’m a letter carrier in Port Washington, NY, which is part of Long Island. I’ve been serving this community since I joined USPS more than two decades ago.

I’m a native New Yorker. I was born and raised in the Bronx, then my family moved to Manhattan’s Upper West Side. I’ve lived on Long Island for the past 28 years.

Before joining the Postal Service, I served in the Army and later became entertainment director for a company that provides live music for events. After 9/11, the industry took a hit and no one was really in a partying mood. I was the junior man on the team and was let go.

I was a homeowner with a wife, two kids and no job. I remember looking at a magazine and seeing an ad that USPS was hiring in Brooklyn.

I loved the idea of being your friendly neighborhood mailman. During orientation, I was given the option of where I would like to work. Long Island was my first choice. I landed in Port Washington, and 23 years later, here I am.

I have a park-and-loop route, with close to 600 points of delivery — business and residential. I walk upward of 6 to 8 miles a day.

If you’re fortunate enough to live on my route, you will always get your mail, regardless of the conditions. I take it very seriously.

That’s what drives me: When people see me after hurricanes, certain acts of God, severe weather — they associate me with a return to normalcy. After a storm, the trees might be down and the power might be out, but when customers see Richie out there delivering the mail, they know things are getting back to normal.

I’m a veteran, so I can translate those skills to this job. When you have a toughness of mind, it makes it easier.

People laugh, but I like to say that in life, all you need is a good hairstylist, a good mechanic and a good postal person.

We’re a postal family now: Both my sons work for USPS on Long Island — one in Deer Park and one in Huntington. They saw their dad working a stable job with benefits and they wanted to follow in my footsteps.

My wife is so happy — she has three men now with postal careers.

“On the Job,” a column on individual employees and their contributions to the Postal Service, appears regularly in Link.