You've got mail
January 3, 2012
CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait -- It is 2:30 in the afternoon and Soldiers are lining up in front of a connex, excitedly waiting for the doors to open.
"The mail connex holds quite a bit of morale for Soldiers," said Boise, Id. native, Pfc. Vinnie Angelos, mail handler for the 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division.
Mail clerks begin their day by arriving at the post office around 9:30 to pick up any packages for Soldiers in the Ironhorse Brigade. After gathering all of Ironhorse's letters and packages, they return to the brigade area to sort the mail by battalion.
"Lifting some of these packages feels like you get a work-out in," Angelos chuckled about the three to four hour process.
Once the packages are sorted by battalion, representatives pick up the mail to distribute to their Soldiers.
While deployed, mail has always been the primary morale booster for servicemen and women.
"It makes you feel as though you are little closer to home," said River Falls, Wis. native, Pfc. Koehl Heebink, a forward observer assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, of the Ironhorse Brigade, about the package he received. "It gives you something to look forward to during the day."
When a loved one from home sends mail to their servicemember overseas, it takes about five to eight days to receive.
Although the time frame to receive mail is short, it has not always been that way for Ironhorse Soldiers. In Iraq, it would take anywhere from one to two weeks to receive a package from home.
No matter how long the wait is for mail, the reaction is always the same.
"When you give someone their package, getting to see the look on their face is priceless," Angelos said about the effect of mail. "It makes their day."