A Million Miles of Safe Driving

South Sioux City, NE, City Carrier Patty Koenig

South Sioux City, NE, City Carrier Patty Koenig

Little did Patty Koenig realize when she started her employment at USPS as an LSM operator in Sioux City, IA, that she would one day join the Million Mile Club. Yet, after 30 years of safe driving, that’s exactly what she accomplished.

After 11 months as an LSM operator, Koenig transferred to South Sioux City, NE, as a city carrier. She has continued to deliver out of the same facility ever since. Last week, Koenig received generous praise and a special plaque highlighting her dedicated accomplishment of driving more than 1,000,000 miles without a preventable accident.

“Watch everything that is going on around you,” Koenig suggests to other drivers. “You cannot always predict what another person or driver will do.”

Postmaster Elmer Smith was honored to have the opportunity to celebrate Koenig’s achievement. “As her Postmaster, I have observed her dedication to driver safety. One of the things I appreciate is how politely she will caution children to be careful around the LLV and to wait until she has moved on before they retrieve their mail.”

Quick Employee Action Snuffs Out Fire

Scotland, SD, HCR Driver Daryl Erickson

Scotland, SD, HCR Driver Daryl Erickson

Scotland, SD, HCR Driver Daryl Erickson was running errands when he noticed the wheel on the semi-truck in front of him was on fire. He flagged down the driver and warned him of the danger, convincing him to pull over, coincidentally, in front of Erickson’s house. While the truck was hauling liquid feed (not fuel), the fire still posed a serious threat.

The driver attempted to put out the fire with his extinguisher, while Erickson grabbed a garden hose to assist. That’s when the air bags on the suspension ruptured and exploded. When the truck driver moved under the truck to investigate, the intense heat caused a tire to blow. The driver experienced some eye abrasions and temporary hearing damage but was otherwise unhurt. He assisted Erickson in extinguishing the fire.

“Someone in the bank called me a hero,” said Erickson. “I’m just glad I was there to help.”

Two weeks prior to this event, Erickson was first on the scene of an accident in a rural area where he noticed skid marks and a van in the ditch. He called 911 and convinced a passenger to leave her injured husband and child in the van rather than move them. The van had lost control and hit a tree. All occupants required treatment but suffered no further injury thanks to Erickson’s quick response and insistence that the injured not be moved without proper equipment.

Employees Help Connect Firefighters with Loved Ones

Glide, OR, Contract Carrier Steve Sulffridge, Postmaster Lisa Tenbrook, and Retail Associate Annie Earls.

Glide, OR, Contract Carrier Steve Sulffridge, Postmaster Lisa Tenbrook, and Retail Associate Annie Earls.

Long, grueling days battling the Cable Crossing Fire near Glide, OR, exacted a heavy toll on firefighters. Spending weeks away from family and friends only served to exacerbate the tough conditions endured by the brave men and women who fought to control the blaze. In an effort to ease their burden, employees from the Glide and Idleyld Park Post Offices pooled their resources and created a special way for them to communicate with people back home.

The generous employees, including Contract Carriers Steve Sulffridge and Peter Decius, Postmaster Lisa Tenbrook, Retail Associates Annie Earls and Gary Ozburn, and Part-Time Postmaster Don McArthur made personal donations to fund the purchase of 740 pre-paid postcards to allow firefighters a convenient way to connect with loved ones. The cards proved popular with the hard-working crew and were quickly scooped up.

Though some of the crews demobilized from operations and made their way home, unused cards found a new home at the Stouts Creek Fire near Milo, OR, where firefighters are now able to enjoy the convenience and personal touch of mailing a postcard message back home.

Mailbox Helps Firefighters Stay in Touch with Friends and Loved Ones

Mailbox and firefighters

The Wenatchee valley area in north central Washington state suffered severe wildfires early this summer that destroyed a number of homes and thousands of acres of forest land.

Fire fighters from around the northwest spent weeks battling the fires. They set up an Incident Command Center at the Cashmere Middle School where the fire fighters established temporary quarters.

Cashmere City Carrier Jim Kimber came up with a plan to assist the away from home fire fighters to keep in touch with their families. With approval from Cashmere Postmaster Steve Pierson, Kimber designed and built a secure box for fire fighters to deposit outgoing mail. He set it up in the camp and stopped by each day to collect the mail.

Kimber received a letter of thanks from Nathan Rabe, Incident Commander. It read in part:

“At the peak of the incident, we had almost 400 fire fighters and support crew working to contain the fires.  (We) would like to thank you for helping (us) get set up with a mailbox. Your hand-crafted box made it possible for our fire fighters to send letters back to their loved ones, keeping them in touch. We also appreciate your help in picking up the mail.”

Neither Rain, Nor Snow, Nor Moose Can Stop the Mail


Though the moose in this photo wanted to travel his own way across the road, it didn’t stop Victor, MT, Rural Carrier Linda Stone from delivering to her customers.

A customer recently sent a card to Postmaster Jason Uskoski praising Stone’s unwavering dedication to her job:

“Not snow, not rain, not wind nor moose can stop USPS Mail Carrier Linda Stone from delivering the mail on Bear Creek Trail in Victor, Montana.

“Jack and Jane H.”

Coast Guard Celebrates Stamp

Coast Guard1

During a Newcomer’s Welcome Aboard Fair at the US Coast Guard facility in Kodiak, AK, community members came together to enjoy food, have fun, and visit tables organized by local businesses. They also had the chance to cheer the introduction of a special stamp.

The recently released United States Coast Guard Forever Stamp made a debut during the festivities. Event attendees cheered the stamp release, which marks the 225th anniversary of the Coast Guard.

Ilwaco Celebrates Coast Guard


To celebrate the launch of the United States Coast Guard Forever Stamp and honor members of the Coast Guard, two Postmasters in the Portland District came together to assemble a special dedication ceremony in Ilwaco, WA.

Ilwaco Postmaster Jim Wills and Ocean Park, WA, Postmaster Barbara Henry worked with a local artist to design a special postmark for the event. They also arranged to have the artist attend the gathering to sign commemorative envelopes. Members of the community appreciated the opportunity to support the men and women of the Coast Guard, many of whom live in the local area. The event was well-received by residents.

United States Coast Guard

Coast Guard

In an oil painting on masonite, renowned aviation artist William S. Phillips depicts two icons of the Coast Guard in the United States Coast Guard Forever Stamp issue: the cutter Eagle, a three-masted sailing ship known as “America’s Tall Ship,” and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter, the standard rescue aircraft of the Coast Guard.

One hundred years ago, the agency received its current name when President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the 1915 “Act to Create the Coast Guard.” The origins of the Coast Guard, however, go back to 1790, when President George Washington signed into law an act that provided for a fleet of ten boats, or “revenue cutters,” to aid in “the collection of duties . . . imported into the United States.”

Today’s Coast Guard has 41,000 active-duty men and women; 8,000 Reservists; 8,000 civilian employees, and 30,000 volunteer auxiliary personnel. In addition to saving lives at sea, their responsibilities include enforcing maritime law, overseeing aids to navigation, carrying out icebreaking operations, protecting the marine environment, responding to oil spills and water pollution, ensuring port security, supporting scientific research at sea, combating terrorism, and aiding in the nation’s defense.

The stamp set is now available for purchase at usps.com/stamps, the Postal Store, at 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724) and at Post Offices nationwide or visit ebay.com/stamps to shop for a wide variety of postage stamps and collectibles.

Get It Back – Package Intercept Helps Customers Redirect Sent Packages

Package intercept

For customers who change their mind about sending a trackable package after they’ve already dropped it in the mail, there is good news.

USPS offers Package Intercept, a service that allows customers to redirect shipments that haven’t been delivered or released for delivery. Customers who use the service can have a package or mailpiece redirected to a different address, returned to the sender or held at a Post Office for pickup.

For customers who’d like to take advantage of this service, visit usps.com to learn more.

Carrier Saves Elderly Customer After Hard Fall

Wichita, KS, Chisholm Station City Carrier Nathan Cowles.

Wichita, KS, Chisholm Station City Carrier Nathan Cowles.

Wichita, KS, customer Robert L. was walking from his garage to the house when he lost his footing and fell down onto the cold, unforgiving concrete of the walkway. When the elderly gentleman found that he couldn’t get up on his own, he called to his wife for help. Tuddee rushed to her husband’s side, and as hard as she struggled, she didn’t possess the strength to help him up. She ran to the front yard to find help, but her neighbors were at work and unavailable to assist. That’s when she saw a beacon of hope.

While Chisholm Station City Carrier Nathan Cowles finished up with deliveries on the street, Tuddee spotted him and called out for his assistance. Cowles heard Tuddee’s frantic plea and rushed to render aid. Tuddee guided Cowles to the back yard where he helped her husband up from the ground. Cowles offered any additional assistance the customer might need, but Robert declined.

Robert and Tuddee felt grateful for the assistance Cowles provided them, and hand delivered a special letter to the Chisholm Post Office praising their hero carrier for his much needed help.

“Nathan, over the past years, has always been very kind and respectful knowing that my husband and I both have cancer,” Tuddee wrote in the letter. “We feel that he goes above and beyond.”


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