Photo Information

The entrance to the new postal facility aboard Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, is adorned with a sign dedicating it to Lance Cpl. Tavon L. Hubbard, who was killed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. More than 10,000 pounds of mail is sorted and delivered at the facility on a daily basis. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Katherine M. Solano)

Photo by Cpl. Katherine M. Solano

Operation North Pole ramps up for holiday mail rush

21 Nov 2011 | Cpl. Katherine M. Solano

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 servicemembers 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.”