Wednesday, June 09, 2004


Its a postal jungle out there.
At the first post office on Victory, the one where the mail sat Monday, Deal was told, "It's not here," a sergeant said.

He remembered the folks who came for it the day before, remembered telling them they could get the mail with an authorized soldier present, but told Deal "We don't keep mail 24 hours. It must be at the other post office on Camp Victory."

He said all this confidently, and also confidently stated the mail had been sent to Taji, about 20 miles away, totally contradicting himself.

At the next post office, about one mile away from the first, Sgt. Michael Rush, of Tallahassee, Fla., was a lot more helpful, not in the sense that he gave the men their mail, but in the sense that he felt their pain, and had a plan for helping them.

Cards were filled out, promises were made and a bunch of magazines that could not be delivered to their intended recipients were given to the unit as sort of a parting gift.

Rush said the problems of moving units and mail catch-up are constant, and as a veteran of every foreign deployment since "Desert Storm," dealt with them calmly and philosophically.

Then, it was off to a PX and Burger King, which to the men enduring the nasty conditions and food of a tiny base in the Green Zone, looked like a desert oasis.

As for the mail itself, lots of the stuff at the post offices had been battered by travel, iffy forklift operators and weather, but that part doesn't matter much.

Even the most scuffed and crushed box from home looks good to these guys.

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