MPS sorts abundant pounds of postal goods
ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- Every day, the military postal section of the Andersen Post Office distributes mail to the Airmen of Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.
"We are in charge of all official incoming military mail and any mail for dorm residents," said Master Sgt. Hazel Smith, 36th Communications Squadron postmaster. "A little yellow package slip in someone's mail box can make their day. Being able to get that feeling, especially so far away from home, is priceless for them and it makes our job that much more important."
The five Airmen who make up the MPS sort through approximately 5,000 pounds of mail each month, with a large amount of that going to the dorm residents.
Before the dedicated MPS can sort the mail into its appropriate box, it has to first arrive at Andersen.
The mail arrives at Guam's Won B. Pat International Airport every evening at 6:30 p.m., where it is unloaded. Then the mail, which can be anything from love letters to specialty goods purchased online, makes a short journey to the Barrigada Post Office, which is located less than 1,000 feet from the airport's property.
Once the mail reaches the post office, anything bound for Naval Base Guam or Andersen is separated from mail for off-base addresses and then delivered, Smith said.
Once the mail arrives on base, the Airmen of the MPS sort and distribute the mail. While there are U.S. Postal Service employees on Andersen, MPS handles all official military mail, dorm resident mail and parcels whereas the USPS handles all out-going mail.
"Airmen in the dorms differ from other mail recipients because we are their only means of receiving their mail," said Senior Airman Samuel McDonald, 36th CS postal clerk. "Their official mail could be anything from a Tricare statement to a government travel card. We do our job efficiently so that they can receive what they need to do their job."
However, many Airmen check their post office box hoping for something a little less mission essential.
"Mail is a huge morale boost for Airmen in the dorms," said Smith. "My advice, especially to dorm residents waiting on official mail or packages, is to check their mail after lunch. That's usually when everything has been passed out, and Airmen have the best luck at receiving their items. Depending what it is, it's like getting a little piece of home."
The Andersen Post Office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon, but closes Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. for training.
For more information on the MPS, call 366-5259.