By Spc. Angel D. Martinez; 113th Mobile Public Affairs DetachmentNovember 19, 2007
CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq - As the 1st Cavalry Division prepares to redeploy, the 4th Infantry Division begins to arrive, and with the holiday season just around the corner, mail clerks on Camp Liberty find themselves getting very busy with thousands of packages and letters coming in and going out.
Grover Beach, Calif., native, Spc. Vincent Daly, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Cavalry Division, opens his shop every morning around 9 a.m. and sorts the mail he has left from the night before.
The heavy work starts at around noon when he has to drive the truck to the Joint Military Mail Terminal, which is a section in the Baghdad International Airport where all mail arrives, and pick up any mail he is responsible for.
Most of the time only one person runs a mailroom such as this one, but he has the support from his unit's supply section. Personnel from this section take turns to help Daly with his duties.
With just two people, most of the time, they still manage to provide mail service for more than 1,000 people, Daly said.
With so many people to support, Daly's workload during the holidays could seem a bit over whelming, due to the expected increase in letters and packages.
Postal offices here and in the U.S. will be packed with care packages, Daly said. The JMMT and the different mailrooms on post can get very busy with a much higher volume of parcels coming in and going out than normal.
Daly wanted to remind troops expecting packages to prepare for delays, as the holidays draw closer, packages will probably take longer to reach their final destination.
"Last (Christmas) we received more than 800 care packages for HHC alone," he said. "Be patient with the mail. It'll get here eventually."
All packages sent to Soldiers in Iraq must go through a process to reach its desired destination. As parcel numbers begin to rise, each location can begin to back up, which slows the movement of all mail, Daly added.
Every letter and package must first go to New York, where it is then, sent to Kuwait. There, the mail is sorted by zip codes, and sent to the proper JMMT. From there mail clerks, like Daly, pick up and distribute the mail to their rightful owners.
Daly has been in theater for more than a year and is scheduled to redeploy soon with the First Tean. The three-year mail room specialist seems to really enjoy what he does and finds that the job, although busy, does pay off.
"I think it brings happiness when people get their boxes," Daly said. "If I can make them have a happy day then that's rewarding to me."