Many people send care packages during the holiday season to their deployed loved ones, but not many people think about what it takes to get those packages to their destination. Here is a little bit of insight into that:
Operation North Pole Ramps Up for Holiday Mail Rush
Story by Cpl. Katherine M. Solano
Marines with the 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward) Postal Detachment sort through more than 10,000 pounds of packages and letters during a mail delivery aboard Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, Nov. 18. Twenty-four service members joined the postal Marines to work through the holiday rush as part of Operation North Pole.
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan - The Marines with the Postal Detachment, Headquarters and Service Company, 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward) are accustomed to moving upward of 10,000 pounds of mail per day, but with the holiday season approaching, that amount will nearly double.
With the increase of letters and packaging reaching 20,000 pounds or more per day, the postal Marines reached out to other units for service members to temporarily work at the postal lot from Nov 1. through Jan. 1.
The influx of mail led the leaders of the 2nd MLG (FWD) to enlist the support of 24 extra pairs of hands in Operation North Pole. Without the extra help, Lance Cpl. Markevis Seth, a postal clerk with the Postal Detachment, says there would be too much mail to manage.
“People don’t realize how much mail means until they deploy,” Seth said. “Everything they get out here has to come through us. What they buy at the PX is delivered through us first.”
Their organization and teamwork allows for a seamless process of unloading, sorting, organizing and packing the large amounts of mail to be delivered to both civilians and military personnel around the battlespace. Not only does the detachment receive mail for Camp Leatherneck, it handles mail to be delivered to forward operating bases and camps all around the Regional Command Southwest area of operation.
While the amount of time and effort put into a workday is drastically increasing during the holidays for the postal Marines, Seth says it is worth it, especially when they get to see the Marine’s face who is on the receiving end of their hard work.
“Everything they get to make them smile out here comes through us,” Seth said. “A lot of them tell us they appreciate it.”
Join the Iowa Troop Pantry this Sunday (November 27th from 1-4 pm) at the Iowa City Area Association of REALTORS® (847 Quarry Rd, Suite 110 in Coralville) to pack holiday care packages for our deployed service members from Iowa. For more information please contact Maria at 319-430-8118 or firstname.lastname@example.org.