Post Office delivers during holiday season

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Tristan Truesdell
  • 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Delivering care packages to and from friends and family can be essential to Mustang personnel. 

Airmen at the Osan Post Office work diligently each day to deliver mementos to customers, connecting servicemembers to loved ones abroad.

“No mail, no morale!” exclaimed Airman 1st Class Jennifer Knope, 51st Force Support Squadron postal finance clerk. “Based off the volume of incoming and outgoing mail, there’s a lot of customers trying to reach out to their loved ones and vice versa.”

Each year starting mid-November and up until the end of January, the pace at the post office picks up due to the increase in holiday mail volume.

“During the holiday season, we see double, sometimes triple the amount of packages we ship out per day,” said Knope. “To put that in perspective, outside of the holiday season we average 100 packages a day.”

The facility provides services to nearly 12,000 customers throughout the base community, ranging from active-duty servicemembers and families, retirees, Department of Defense civilians, contractors and more.

“We get significantly busier during the holidays, including lines out the door,” said Knope. “It’s also common for customers to send out multiple packages at a time.”

Behind the scenes, a handful of postal service center Airmen and volunteers arrive at the post office at 5 A.M. each day to receive mail trucks with contents for Mustang personnel.

“One, sometimes two 40-foot trailer trucks come to us filled to capacity each day,” said Airman Marcus Som, 51st FSS postal clerk. “Each truck holds about 3,000kgs of mail with 600 to 700 pieces to be delivered to customers.”

Last year, it was reported the facility received over 75,000 packages for customers. The post office team is preparing this year in anticipation of those same numbers, if not more.

“Right now, we have a hold-mail implemented for the holiday season,” said Som.

“During the holidays we understand some people may be on vacation or just haven’t had the time to pick up their items,” he added. “So, with hold-mail, customers can rest assure their packages will be waiting for them.”

As the rush comes full swing, there are several processes in place to help customers send out or pick up packages stress-free.

“If customers are sending packages to the U.S., they need to provide a filled-out customs form,” said Knope. “This process can also be completed online through Click-and-Ship with the U.S. Postal Service, so all a customer needs to do is show us the associated QR code and we’ll scan and send their package on its way.”

If a customer has more than five packages in need to be sent out, it is recommended to set up an appointment with the post office beforehand.

“We take care of our appointments before the post office opens,” said Knope. “It can be frustrating waiting in line, but with appointments we can take care of you one-on-one and process you much faster.”

For members expecting deliveries, it is best to pick up packages as early as possible to not fill the facility’s remaining storage.

“If you’re someone who is working late or simply unable to come in to claim your package, you can get a parcel locker set up with our customer service,” said Som. “That way, you can come in to the post office at any time and receive your mail.”

Even though the holiday season can seem overwhelming, the post office team conquers the surplus of mail with the help of volunteers.

“We have a sign-up sheet for those interested,” Som concluded. “Currently it is full, but if you want to volunteer - all you have to do is show up to the backside of the post office at 5:30 or 7:30 A.M. and ring our doorbell.”