A half-century of service excellence

Colleagues celebrate Phoenix, AZ, P&DC Distribution Clerk Francis Peters (holding framed art).

Phoenix P&DC Distribution Clerk Francis Peters was recognized on Wednesday, April 12, for 50 years of service with the USPS. Acting Phoenix, AZ, Senior Plant Manager Marty Chavez and Acting Lead Senior Manager Sunny Kuruvilla presented Peters with a diamond 50 year service pin and a letter signed by Postmaster General Megan Brennan.

In addition, Chavez presented Peters, a longtime New York Jets fan, with a framed commemorative envelope celebrating 50 years of Super Bowl history and the Jets’ victory in Super Bowl III.

Appreciative and soft-spoken, Peters thanked Chavez, Kuruvilla and fellow employees who joined them to applaud Peters’ career and enjoy a slice of cake to honor his service. Peters also recalled first being hired in 1966 as “Christmas help” at the old processing center in downtown Phoenix, as well as working parcels in the basement of Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the state fairgrounds and loading outgoing mail onto trains. Peters has worked in Phoenix mail processing facilities for his entire career.

“A career spanning a half-century is certainly indicative of a unique dedication to duty and to country,” Brennan wrote in her letter to Peters. “It is an accomplishment of which you should be proud, and one which deserves the admiration of your fellow employees and the community as well.”

A wealth of knowledge packed within a hundred years of experience

Harlan, IA, City Carriers John Zimmerman, Wayne Behrend, and Fred Lybarger.

Harlan, IA, City Carriers John Zimmerman, Wayne Behrend, and Fred Lybarger.

For more than one hundred collective years, Harlan, IA, City Carriers John Zimmerman, Wayne Behrend, and Fred Lybarger have faithfully delivered mail along their routes. While many things have changed over the years, some things stay the same – like their dedication to customer service and commitment to safety.

“They say there have been many changes over time working here, from walking routes with relay boxes to their current state of almost completely mounted routes,” said Harlan Postmaster Joann Miller.

Miller had the pleasure of presenting each team member with a service award, with Behrend and Lybarger each receiving a 30-year award and Zimmerman receiving his 40-year award. While they all have a healthy collection of service years under their belts, Miller hopes they have no retirement plans anytime in the near future.

“We wish them well for the many more years yet to come,” said Miller.

Disabled Veteran Support

Wendover, UT, Retail Associate Vicki Morris

Wendover, UT, Retail Associate Vicki Morris

Military veterans have given much in service to their country. It takes a special dedication and commitment to put oneself in a potentially dangerous situation to protect others, and their sacrifices are never forgotten by a grateful nation. One veteran in Wendover, UT, recently expressed his sincere gratitude for the service a retail associate provided him when he was unable to collect his mail.

Retail Associate Vicki Morris recently received a letter from a grateful disabled veteran who thanked her for her extraordinary efforts to ensure he received his medicine and mail. The veteran made frequent visits to the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Salt Lake City, UT, for chemotherapy and multiple operations. He often endured extended hospital stays and wasn’t able to regularly retrieve his mail.

Morris knew of his ongoing hardships, and took steps to set his mail aside until he was in a position to collect it. Her efforts ensured that someone who honorably served his country had at least a small measure of that dedication returned in kind.

The Heart of a Community

City Carrier Leonard Frantz, Retail Associate Kathryn Woelk, and Rural Carrier Edward Weber.

City Carrier Leonard Frantz, Retail Associate Kathryn Woelk, and Rural Carrier Edward Weber.

Many customers have the pleasure of getting to know postal employees in their local communities. For one location in KS, the community has had the benefit of enjoying the superior service of three particular employees for more than 30 years.

For more than three decades, three employees have called the Hillsboro, KS, Post Office home. Rural Carrier Edward Weber, City Carrier Leonard Frantz, and Retail Associate Kathryn Woelk each began their careers at Hillsboro within 8 months of each other in 1984 and 1985. During that time, they’ve seen many changes within their office, including the people that have come and gone and two Post Office buildings that have housed operations.

“These three employees are just awesome and provide great service to the Hillsboro community,” said Hillsboro Postmaster Rebecca Tibbetts. “They each care and assist the customers they see every day. The Hillsboro community is lucky to have their dedication to mailing and delivering items daily.”

Wyoming Postmaster Praised by Thankful Customer

Smart chip credit cards

Recently, a USPS customer in Wyoming sent a letter of appreciation for her local Postmaster. The following is her story:

“In December I was involved in a credit card dispute with a company, and I was in the right. The company was dishonest and was blocking my case with a technicality, which was that I did not have the tracking number of a letter I had sent them. (this was my fault, I had discarded it)

Even though it was the busiest time of year for the USPS, Riverton, WY, Postmaster Shawn Moore heard my story and was sympathetic.

Looking up the number did not work so he went through a box of receipts and found one, but it didn’t have the tracking number on it. He continued to search for ways to find the number. This required several phone conversations and, I assume, a considerable amount of his time.

Finally, when he had gathered all the information he could, he drove the receipt to my husband’s office on his way home from work!

I won the dispute and received my refund.

I don’t know Shawn, but I would imagine that you are already aware of the type of dedication and kindness he brings to your organization. I trust he is appreciated and recognized for his astounding customer service.”


Melinda McLaughlin

An Era of Trust

Many technologies have come and gone during the existence of the Postal Service, but there’s one thing that remains a constant: the importance of our letter and rural carriers. The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum has recently unveiled a new website that goes into detail about the history of Rural Free Delivery and the rural carrier.

In the 19th century, many families in hard to reach areas of the country had to make lengthy, infrequent trips to receive their mail, including news publications on current events. When Rural Free Delivery was established as a pilot program in 1896, such excursions became a thing of the past as rural mail delivery connected these families with the rest of the world on a regular basis. By the time Rural Free Delivery was adopted as a permanent part of the Postal network in 1902, rural carriers had quickly become a welcomed site to isolated families across the countryside.

Becoming a rural carrier was not an easy decision. Each rural carrier was required to buy their own clothing, transportation, and any equipment they might need to carry out their duties. After such expenses, some rural carriers began looking for ways to produce supplementary income. This fact was immediately picked up by manufacturers salivating at an opportunity to increase sales. Businesses began targeted advertising campaigns aimed at promoting ways for rural carriers to earn extra cash. Manufacturers also created specialized versions of their products such as modified wagons, heaters and uniforms (though none were required) to appeal to the growing ranks of the rural carrier.

Beyond delivering the mail, it was the task of rural carriers to instruct their patrons on the type, size and location of their mailbox. Many creative versions of homemade mailboxes presented a challenge for rural carriers. Oil cans, used tins, and random boxes found in the barn were often poor and sometimes messy substitutes for functional mail receptacles. Mailbox standardization in the early 20th century made the task of delivering mail a much easier one.

While technology and equipment have changed many times over the years, the dedication of our letter and rural carriers to quality service hasn’t. For more information on the history of rural carriers and Rural Free Deliver, go to: www.npm.si.edu/rfdmarketing.

What technology do you think could be used for mail delivery in the future?

  • Hello, I'm Benny the Blogger: I'm the world's most famous postal employee. My hobbies are snappy quotes, kite flying and publishing. I was born Jan. 17, 1706, but don't call me old.

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