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Out of the cold

A rural carrier helped a customer who was stranded after a fall

Clifton, IL, Rural Carrier John Kooyenga

Rural Carrier John Kooyenga was delivering mail in Clifton, IL, on a bitterly cold day in January when he saw a customer on the ground near a residence.

The 85-year-old man, who lives in a remote area, had been stranded for more than an hour after taking a tumble and losing his cellphone in a snowbank. He was unable to stand on his own.

Kooyenga helped the customer get inside and warm up. The man declined medical treatment, but he contacted the local newspaper, which published a story about the rescue — much to the surprise of Kooyenga’s co-workers.

“John is very modest and had not mentioned his heroic actions that day,” said local Postmaster Pamela Schubbe. “We were all a bit caught off guard but not surprised once we realized it was John.”

Employees featured in “Heroes” receive letters of commendation through the Postmaster General Heroes’ Program. The nomination form is available on Blue.