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Aberdeen Post Office staff provides help for deployed troops

The staff at the Aberdeen Post Office flexed a little extra muscle in December, above and beyond its regular holiday rush. Over the course of several days, a team of five employees processed shipments totaling in excess of 1,000 pounds – all postmarked to various military installations overseas. These packages contained an assortment of comfort items that had been collected and assembled by volunteers of an organization known as "Some SAY Support. We SEND Support," or S5.

Members of S5 recently visited the Aberdeen post office to personally thank the postmaster and her staff, whose stellar customer service made these shipments possible.

"My staff and I were very appreciative that the S5 organization thought enough of us here to recognize what we do, but good customer service is what our staff provides each and every day," Aberdeen Postmaster Michelle Cornish said.

The S5 effort originated out of Fort Monmouth, N.J., and is managed by Barbara Schirloff of Project Manager Mission Command (PM MC), based at Aberdeen Proving Ground. Col. Jonas Vogelhut, project manager for Mission Command, presented awards to both the postmaster and members of the S5 organization, and during the visit he recalled his time spent as a deployed soldier.

"Receiving care packages from folks like you shows that the American people care and are thinking about our troops in harm's way," Vogelhut said. "When I was deployed, I was always pleased to receive magazines and books from all the generous supporters. It helped me keep a touch of home close to my thoughts and give me a quiet break from each day's activities."

Cornish accepted the award on behalf of the entire postal staff, and recalled her own honorable service to the armed forces.

"Being a [veteran] and having many friends that are also vets, active duty and retirees, my heart will always be with the military, and whatever we could do for any soldier or fellow vet is never too much," Cornish said.

The S5 organization draws support from many sources, including the Mid-Atlantic Chapter, Army Aviation Association of America (Quad A) and the Aberdeen Chapter, Association of the United States Army (AUSA), which provide the postage for shipments year-round. In addition, CACI provides a secure area for sorting and packing the cartons prior to shipment.

To commend the volunteers associated with this effort, Vogelhut presented additional certificates to Alex Barge, Roger Eckard and John Gallagher of Avenge Inc.; Stephanie Bruett and Kit Roach of CACI; Edward Carnes, president of Quad A and Scott Cheseldine, president, Aberdeen Chapter AUSA.

In addition to Cornish, many on the post office staff are also veterans or have personal ties to someone in the military, and as such, did not think twice about moving extra packages during the holidays.

"We are here to serve whenever they need us," Cornish said.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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