They’ve got mail

Published 9:46 pm Saturday, December 29, 2012

Pfc. Klamente Bowers, of Suffolk, and Pfc. Karen Law, a native of Prince George County, prepare to process a package on Dec. 21 at the Kandahar Airfield post office in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Both soldiers are human resources specialists assigned to the 502nd Human Resources Company, 3rd Sustainment Brigade, and are working overtime to ensure fellow soldiers and their family members receive mail during the holiday season.

By Sgt. Tanjie Patterson

U.S. Army 3rd Sustainment Brigade

KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — While Santa and his elves are hard at work at the North Pole, so are the soldiers of the 502nd Human Resources Company, 3rd Sustainment Brigade in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

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The company includes Pfc. Klamente Bowers of Suffolk. He was among about 15 soldiers are working overtime at the Kandahar Airfield post office ensuring that soldiers, Department of Defense contractors and family members alike are able to receive packages and letters during the holiday season.

While there is no guarantee that mail will arrive on any specific holiday, the soldiers try their best to process outgoing mail as fast as possible.

“We try to push the mail out in a timely fashion, but sometimes we face challenges such as items that can’t be mailed,” said Pfc. Karen Law, a human resource specialist with the 502nd Human Resource Co. and Prince George County native.

Law explained that all packages are thoroughly inspected, and some must be checked and approved by customs agents. The post office is open seven days a week on Kandahar Airfield, and the workload increases for the mail handlers during the holiday season.

“During the holidays, the mail load increases by 50 percent and our storage space is limited, so we try our best to push the mail out as soon as possible,” said 1st Lt. Blossom Jefferson, the officer in charge of the Kandahar Airfield Army Post Office and Washington, D.C., native. “When we face the space difficulties, or any other obstacles, we just think about how much means to the ‘war-fighter.’ Then, the long hours become worth it, and the extra effort is put in to ensure that everyone gets their mail.

Law shares similar sentiments about providing for her fellow comrades.

“Even though we do work long hours, it feels like people are depending on me and it motivates me to know that I’m helping others,” she said.

Jefferson said it’s all about being a team player.

“It helps to know you are the connection between the family members at home and the soldiers on the battlefield.”