News: Human resources specialists ensure families, soldiers stay connected during the holidays
Story by Sgt. Tanjie Patterson
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.
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, Va., 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 work-load doubles 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 that 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.”
This work, Human resources specialists ensure families, soldiers stay connected during the holidays, by SSG Tanjie Patterson, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.