Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Brings Tons of Mail to TF Bayonet

"Christmas Brings Tons of Mail to TF Bayonet
By Spc. Gregory Argentieri, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service

FORWARD OPERATING BASE FENTY, Afghanistan, Dec. 25, 2007 – Soldiers from 458th Adjutant General Postal Company stationed here run the central mail hub for the entire Task Force Bayonet area of operations and are responsible for handling, sorting, and processing all incoming and outgoing letters and packages through Jalalabad, Afghanistan, for thousands of soldiers.
The holiday season began early for the military postal service on Forward Operating Base Fenty. At the beginning of November, the number of packages and letters being handled tripled and was expected to peak during the days surrounding Christmas. Officials expect the rush continue through the end of January. Mail before the holidays was averaging 3,000-4,000 pounds a day. The mail increased to between 8,000-13,000 pounds a day since November, officials said. “Santa Claus is the little white planes, and we are the elves,” said Army Spc. Tanya M. Runnels, from Jasper, Texas, with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 173rd Brigade Support Battalion (Airborne), and part of the FOB Fenty postal team. “We’re working our butts off to make sure the mail gets out to the soldiers. It’s important; it’s Christmas time. That is our job; we’re the mail people.” “We get to supply the mail for all the ‘Joes’ out there, the guys who are really fighting the war. It’s good stuff, and it makes us feel good,” said Army Sgt. Brian R. Boss, from Valliant, Okla., of the 458th Adjutant General Postal Company. “Since arriving at FOB Fenty in February, the 458th has personally handled, carried, either loading and unloading planes, or loading and unloading helicopters, 900,000-950,000 pounds of mail. Before our deployment is over in February, we will have moved more than 1 million pounds of mail.” "

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