25th ID mail clerk ensures first-class delivery

| September 13, 2011 | 3 Comments
Sgt. John P. Patton, battalion mail clerk, Headquarters and Headquarters Bn., 25th Infantry Division, looks at the unit designation on a piece of mail in order to place it with the appropriate unit pick-up area at Camp Liberty, Iraq, recently. On a weekly basis, Patton will sort anywhere from 500 to 4,000 packages and letters among the different division units.

Sgt. John P. Patton, battalion mail clerk, Headquarters and Headquarters Bn., 25th Infantry Division, looks at the unit designation on a piece of mail in order to place it with the appropriate unit pick-up area at Camp Liberty, Iraq, recently. On a weekly basis, Patton will sort anywhere from 500 to 4,000 packages and letters among the different division units.

Story and Photos by
Spc. Breeanna J. DuBuke
29th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

BAGHDAD — A deployment presents many challenges for Soldiers, one of which can be staying in contact with family and friends back home.

The battalion’s mail clerk is responsible for getting letters and packages to Soldiers from their families and friends.

Keeping 25th Infantry Division Soldiers in contact with their home life is the job of Sgt. John Patton, mail clerk, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 25th ID. For the last nine months, Patton has been the only mail clerk for 25th ID, the only person orchestrating the process of getting packages and letters to division Soldiers.

“(Patton) is the direct line between the families and the deployed Soldiers,” said Sgt. 1st Class Wilfredo Ramos, noncommissioned officer in charge, U.S. Division-Center Detainee Operations, and mail orderly for the Provost Marshal’s Office.

Having that connection to family and friends is one of the many things that helps keep Soldiers in good spirits during a deployment.

“It’s a big morale booster for the troops,” Patton said. “Everyone loves getting mail.”

Every morning, Patton drives to the Joint Military Mail Terminal at Sather Air Base, here.

“All mail goes through (the terminal) before it gets distributed to the different battalions,” Patton said.

While at the terminal, Patton fills out several forms to account for all the mail he receives that day, including letters, packages and insured mail.

“It’s a lot of steps,” said Sgt. 1st Class Keith Johnson, NCOIC, Communications Help Desk, 25th ID, who often aids Patton in retrieving the mail from the terminal.

On a weekly basis, anywhere from 500-4,000 packages and letters are shuttled from the terminal to the battalion mailroom. The packages and letters are then separated out to the individual units and sections of the division for mail orderlies easy pick-up.

“It’s a lot of hard work,” Patton said.

At the beginning of the deployment, the mailroom experienced an influx of mail, but Patton was able to keep the mailroom running smoothly. For his hard work, he recently received a certificate of appreciation from the division and was recognized as the Lightning Warrior of the Day.

“It made me feel good to know that my hard work doesn’t go unnoticed,” Patton said.

(Editor’s Note: This is an online exclusive.)

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Category: Deployed Forces, News

Comments (3)

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  1. nitza vega says:

    Just want to thank you for the great job you do day in and day out!

    Thank you

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