Fort Dix
 
Postal Soldiers prepare to set up shop
Ryan Morton
ASA-Dix Public Affairs

Soldiers from the 678th Human Resource Company (HRC), Platoon 4, conduct a casualty transport training exercise at Army Support Activity-Dix (ASA-Dix) April 28. The 678th HRC, Plt. 4 is an Army Reserve unit out of Louisville, Ky., and is preparing at ASA-Dix for an upcoming postal operations mission in Iraq.

Ryan Morton

Soldiers from the 678th Human Resource Company (HRC), Platoon 4, conduct a casualty transport training exercise at Army Support Activity-Dix (ASA-Dix) April 28. The 678th HRC, Plt. 4 is an Army Reserve unit out of Louisville, Ky., and is preparing at ASA-Dix for an upcoming postal operations mission in Iraq.

"It's more personal when you receive a package or a letter than seeing something on the screen. The emotional uplifting of a smell that a loved one might put on the letter or even a picture with a message on the back increases the appeal. You don't always have a laptop or internet to see, feel, smell, or touch. Soldiers are really excited to receive letters. It is just a personal feeling that cannot be replaced," said 1st Lt. Jeffrey Strotman, 678th Human Resource Company, 4th Platoon commander.

His unit, an Army Reserve organization from Louisville, Ky., is currently training at Army Support Activity-Dix for a deployment to Iraq where it will run a military post office. According to Strotman, a resident of Clearwater, Fla., the differences between conducting postal operations in combat and non-combat zones are minimal, except for a couple of limitations like not having overnight mail.

"The process is tailored to the United States Postal Service and the Soldiers are able to utilize the postal services as though they were at their hometown post offices. It's also fairly prompt. In the past what used to take a week to a month or two, now only takes a few days to a week. There are those occasional instances when the mail is slowed, but rarely," said Strotman.

Strotman has a few Soldiers in his ranks who have deployed before, which he feels is invaluable.

"They are always willing to share their experiences with the others of us who have not yet deployed. I can only tell you how proud I am as the commander to be as lucky as I am to have them," he said.

"All my Soldiers are motivated and dedicated and it shows in their attitudes toward the mission and the ability to adapt. These Soldiers should be commended for their individuality and their ability to become a team," said Strotman.

The 678th HRC, 4th Plt. will continue to train at ASA-Dix and are slated to deploy to Iraq in mid-to-late May.