MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Dedicated, professional and hard working are words that describe a group of Marines that are busy with their vocation before some Marines are warming up for their morning workout.
These Marines are the postal clerks who work at five different post offices around Camp Lejeune, and they have a simple motto, said Master Gunnery Sgt. Crawford Wheeler, the postal chief and the Consolidated Post Office here.
“Our goal is to deliver today’s mail today,” said Wheeler.
At five o’clock in the morning, a truck load of mail is delivered to the post office, which is the first delivery of what will make up the post office’s daily shipment of 10,000 average pound of mail, said Wheeler. The mail is then sorted and delivered to units on base.
The Marines work throughout the day to make sure the mail is delivered as quickly as possible, said Wheeler.
“A postal clerk is always under the gun to make sure everything gets delivered,” said Wheeler.
Postal clerks have a variety of jobs, said Wheeler. They sort mail, handle priority packages, work finances and provide postage for official mail.
“We understand that this job is a great moral booster for the Marines, and we take pride in that,” said Sgt. Victor Blandino, a platoon sergeant with the Post Office.
Even though the postal clerks work hard to make sure the mail is delivered expeditiously, there are some things that can be done to make their job easier and more efficient.
Correct and complete mailing addresses, proper packaging and mailing the parcel in a timely manner are such things, said Wheeler. This ensures a letter gets to its recipient on time and undamaged. Sending a letter or package in a timely manner is very important when sending mail overseas because it can take six to nine days before it arrives.
People must also be careful when they are sending perishable items through the mail, said Wheeler. Perishable items can not only damage the package it’s in but it can also damage other people’s mail. Liquids need to be packed in plastic bags to avoid leaking. This can also pose safety hazards for the clerks who have to handle the packages because they don’t know what the liquid could be.
The job of a postal clerk is also to recognize when a package may contain contraband or suspicious items, said Wheeler.
Pornography, alcohol and firearms are all items that have been found in packages meant for Marines overseas, said Wheeler.
Even with these obstacles the clerks are dedicated to their jobs, said Wheeler.
“These are the best Marines that you could possibly have,” said Wheeler. “They are dedicated to mail delivery and they are dedicated to customer service.”