CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait (Army News Service, Dec. 19, 2006) - For deployed Soldiers, gifts and holiday cheer usually come through the postal service.
The Army Reserve's 312th Adjutant General Company from Charlotte, N.C., are in Kuwait to help process mail for troops serving in Kuwait, Iraq, Qatar and Djibouti.
"We deal with people's morale every day," said Sgt. Coy Dabbs, custodian of postal effects for the American Post Office at Camp Arifjan.
"Here, mail means so much," said Dabbs. "You can talk on the phone but you can't send a picture through the phone, and you can't take it back to the barracks."
During the two months before Christmas, the postal company processes nearly double the amount of mail.
In November, the 312th AG Co. processed 60,000 pounds of incoming and outgoing mail, according to Dabbs.
"The volume has increased from 200-250 packages a day to 400-450 a day," said 1st Lt. Derrick Redd, 312th platoon leader. "It's really the amount of packages that increases, because now people are mailing out multiple packages."
Headquartered at Camp Virginia, the company has platoons spread out to other camps in Kuwait and Qatar.
Redd said his Soldiers work alongside civilian contractors at Camp Arifjan, the busiest American Post Office in theater.
Soldiers and civilians working in the post offices on various camps share knowledge and experience to ensure all postal and military guidelines are consistent, said Iris Brown, a contracted civilian now in her second year at Camp Arifjan.
"We work together to make sure all policies are followed," Brown said.
Together, the postal workers ensure such contraband items as explicit material or illegal substances don't get through the postal service.
"That includes the handling of packages, making sure the customs forms are filled out correctly, boxes are inspected thoroughly - just really ensuring great customer service," said Redd.
"I know they are making a difference," Redd said. "Being able to provide that little piece of home really does make a difference."
The Soldiers and civilians alike take customer service and job performance seriously, said Brown.
"It's more important during the holiday season because the Soldiers are away from home," she said. "Just being able to meet and greet them, I feel like I'm helping them."