Making mail mountains into molehills

By Staff Sgt. Charlotte Reavis | 143rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) | Aug. 21, 2018

CAMP TAJI, Iraq — On July 19, members of the 328th Human Resources Company, supported by the 787th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, along with a few other volunteers from units across the camp, received and sorted 500 bags of mail.

Sgt. Jerome Norton, the postal supervisor for the 328th, stated that the truck driver previously used was no longer able to get on base so the mail was backed up until they were able to get a driver able to access the camp.

“We had approximately 16,500 pounds, within 500 bags and totaled around 2,700 pieces of mail,” he said. Norton continued to say that because they had help from other units, they were able to sort all of the mail within two or three hours.

The bags of mail were stacked almost to the ceiling of the mail room and all down the hallways. Typically, the mail coming in is only half of what they saw on July 19 and Norton said without help it can take them three to four hours to sort and process all of the mail.

“We support all of the U.S. forces, Coalition forces, KBR contractors, SOSi contractors and even some foreign nationals who have the availability to access to the USPS post office,” the Bosier City, La. native said. “My team, my whole unit, we are spread out throughout Iraq, supporting Iraq.

The bags of mail were piled taller than the personnel stacking them and covered not only the mailroom itself, but the entire hallway. The servicemembers did not wait for the bags to finish unloading before they began scanning in and sorting the mail.

“Soldiers want to get mail just like they want to get paid,” Norton said. He continued to say that not only is mail a morale booster, but it also helps soldiers and contractors send things home so they have less things to carry when they are ready to head home.

Norton said that if there is anything he would like personnel at Taji to remember, it is to be patient with the mail services.

“We are here to support the soldiers” Norton said. “We want to get the mail out, we want people to have smiles on their face and hopefully a package will do that for them. That’s what we are here for.”