"Not the victory but the action. Not the goal but the game.
In the deed the glory."

Friday, June 09, 2006

He Who Controls the Mail, Controls Information

My normal job is pretty boring. While it has some perks, the day to day work is not all that exciting. A few times a week I get roped into helping out with the mail operations. Our section is responsible for getting all of the mail for the Squadron picked up, sorted, and delivered. It may not seem like a big task, but with the amount of soldiers that we have it takes a good chunk of time. SPC Benes and SPC Burnham are the primary mail orderlies, it is their job to make sure everything is running smoothly. They are both great guys and go about this sometime thankless job with a good attitude. For some reason, everyone seems to think that if they let the mail clerk know they have a package coming it will get here faster. The conversation usually goes like this:

Joe Soldier: Hey, beans (Benes nickname), have you seen a a package for me yet?
Beans: Umm, no, if it was here you have it by now, we pass out everything every day.
Joe Soldier: But my wife/girlfriend/mom/aunt/etc mailed it 5 days a go, it should be here by now. Are you sure?
Beans: Yes.
Joe Soldier: Well, it was sent in a white box about yea big (soldier describes the standard rate box that we get about 100 of every day). Will you keep an eye out for it?
Beans: Sure, I would love to.

Of course there really is no looking out for any packages, but it is always good to keep the joes happy.

Here is the JMMT. Not sure what that stands for, but I'm pretty sure the J is for Joint and one of the Ms is for Mail. Other than that you are on your own.

A Blackhawk in the process of taking off.

This is our mail truck. It is an up-armored LMTV (Light Medium Tactical Vehicle). It seats 3 comfortably with room for a .50 cal on the turret.

Another shot of the truck. Benes and Burnham are both 88Mikes (truck drivers) in the Guard so they have no problem driving this bad boy around. Burnham and Benes are both college students when back at home in Lincoln.

Empty back end of the truck. We took out the seats to open up some more room. The fork lift drivers aren't always the best so the extra room helps.

Our mail on the loading dock. They load it with a fork lift. The normal day we pick up around 4 pallets full. The forklift gives me bad memories of my "sentence" at Fleming foods.

Okay, I skipped a few steps. The forklift puts it on the back of the LMTV. We then haul it back to our building, with a stop on the way to drop off/pick up our laundry at KBR. Another thankless job that the mail guys do without complaining. At least they don't complain in front of anyone. Once we get back to our building we then pull it off by hand and carry it to the mail room. We also have a forklift to unload it, but it is currently not working so we just haul it by hand. It gets a little mundane, but we try to recruit help so it goes fast. The worst job is being in the truck, you end up bending over picking up every package for 30 minutes, not so good on the back. Usually we let SPC Burnham stay in the truck, he is only about 5'6" so it isn't quite so bad on him.

Here are the stars of the show, Birdman (l) and Beans (r) in the mailroom. Another successful mission complete in the S1 world.


JH said...

Nice work!

Anonymous said...

You can't know how your blog just made my day!!! THANKS!
Mary Benes (Beans Mom)! :)

Anonymous said...

Had no idea that you were a mailman too. Ray's brother would be proud. And laundry? Thousands of dudes sweatin' in the desert laundry? That doesn't sound good.
I'm wondering how you guys keep track of where each guy is on the base and who is new and who was sent home or transfered to a different area.
Ole' Birdman & Beans sound like good guys to be working with. In their picture is it neccessary though for Beans to be slingin' the 16 while in the mail room alone with the Birdman.
I can just hear those conversations. Joe Soldier saying "Hey Beans, have you seen my package?" " thanks man." Ha Ha Ha

Good to see pictures of what you're up to.

Your Good Buddy B

Anonymous said...

Sorry, forgot to tell you and Rik Happy Anniversary.


Anonymous said...

Thanks B. and thanks to Steve for my roses!!!!

Kendra Tucker said...

Steve- If you can get around to it, give all the guys and gals over there a big hug... and give yourself one too while you're at it. We are praying for you every day.
-Kendra Tucker
(friend of Beans mom, wife of 267th Ord. Co. soldier)

Sack said...

We only drop off laundry for our section. KBR has facilities set up all over base where they wash it for us. It is a great benefit. They hire the Locals to come in and work it. They do nice a job, I haven't lost so much as a sock yet. Keeping track of our soldiers is a challenge, especially with how many we have. There are lots of spreadsheets involved. We require the units to provide us daily with an update to where all the joes are, and then we consolidate it and push it up to our leadership. We also have a web program that we keep updated with where everyone is. Quite a challenge. The M16 goes everywhere we go, except the pool!!! After a while it almost becomes a part of you, it feels funny when you don't have it slung.

Rick Robinson said...

JMMT stands for Joint Military Mail Terminal

Sack said...

Nice work! We figured out the T was for terminal after I posted this but didn't come up with the other M. Although the civilians get their mail there too so it isn't entirely accurate. I checked at the Bazaar to see if they had JAG, but no luck. I'll check back next week.

Anonymous said...

We want to thank you for sharing this with us; The Burnham's or the Birdman's. Burnham and Benes do a great job with the mail. We loved the photos and the blow by blow of the mail detail. Keep up the great work guys....We will keep the boxes coming you know the one's yeah by yeah sent by Mom's, Dad's, Sister's, Aunt's, Grandma's etc...

Take care guys and stay safe...God Bless you all

Mom Birdman