SOUTHWEST ASIA --
Receiving a letter or package is usually a nice feeling for most people, but for deployed military members it can mean so much more.
The post office at the 407th Air Expeditionary Group helps thousands of service members stay in touch with loved ones everyday through the delivery of care packages and letters from home.
Three Marines with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force, Crisis Response-Central Command run the base post office alongside two U.S. Air Force personnel.
“There is a lot of good with having the Air Force Airmen here working with us,” said Staff Sgt. Maurice Jones, SPMAGTF-CR-CC postal chief.
The three Marines are deployed from Camp Pendleton, California where they all perform postal duties at the same post office, but for the two new Air Force Airmen working in the post office is entirely new to them.
“I like it, it’s something different,” said Staff Sgt. Desiree Tuazon, 407th Expeditionary Force Support Squadron NCO in charge of postal services. “I’ve been doing commanders support staff my entire career and this is a great opportunity to do something different.”
Tuazon admits it is a lot of work but it keeps her busy and the days go by fast.
“This new crew of Airmen just came in and got the ball rolling right away,” Jones said. “They want to learn everything, which helps because 90percent of the customers we serve everyday are Air Force members.
“At first it was intimidating coming to work with the Marines but we worked to build a rapport with them,” said Tuazon, a native of the Philippines, and deployed from Beale Air Force Base California. “We figured it’s a good opportunity for us to learn from the Marines and see how they do things.”
The post office processes and sorts over 1,000 pieces of incoming mail each day.
Once the mail truck arrives to the base, a forklift is used to move the 10 or more tri-walls from the truck to the post office. The mail is then sorted and distributed to Airmen, Marines, Sailors, coalition partners and civilians assigned to the base.
“Postal is very important to the mission, the base and the people,” said Jones, a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania native.
“All these boxes and care packages help a lot of people, like when companies that care about military members send us snacks and hygiene gear and stuff like that it really helps people out,” Jones said. “So whenever the mail shows up and they get these care packages and you see their facial expressions, they love it.”