CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo - When Soldiers deploy, they rely on the little things to get them through each day. One of the biggest morale boosters is to get mail. Soldiers from the 912th Human Resources Command Postal Team, out of Orlando, Florida, and assigned to Area Support Team-Balkans, held a postal "rodeo" and cookout for Soldiers assigned to Multinational Battle Group-East, Feb. 27 at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, in order to wrangle Soldiers' final shipments of their nine-month deployment.
The post office provided free food and longer postal hours to encourage Soldiers who may be returning home soon to mail packages early and avoid the last-minute rush.
"Over 200 packages and letters go out of here in a day," said Kelli Norman, the finance clerk for the 912th. "We serve not only Camp Bondsteel, but also to the Soldiers assigned to other bases."
Norman explained that today was a great day for Soldiers to come out and not just mail packages home but also hang out and enjoy each other's company and the beautiful weather.
"We know that Soldiers like to wait to the last minute to mail things home," said Spc. Bryan Pociatek, who also is from the 912th and a postal clerk at the Camp Bondsteel post office. "But as our replacements get here and we try to train them, we know things will be more hectic."
"We are trying to help out everyone all around," added Pociatek.
"Receiving mail is just as important as sending it," said Eddie Fears, also assigned to AST-Balkans, and the officer in charge of the post office. "The job in the post office ranks pretty high in importance when it comes to helping Soldiers' morale."
"Receiving mail from the U.S can take anywhere from 10-20 days," explained Fears. "The 912th has done a great job of processing the mail quickly and efficiently to serve all of the U.S Soldiers located throughout Kosovo, and it brings a little piece of home to them."
Fears spent the day at the grill, cooking hamburgers, hot dogs and sausages for all who attended. They provided snacks, cookies and drinks, and Soldiers mingled and talked about the things they mailed home and the deployment that will soon come to an end.
"We are dedicated to doing our job right," said Norman. "It feels good to be a part of a process that serves not only Soldiers, but the world."