The Field Post Office Is About Service
Aboard a ship or in the back of a truck, military post offices abroad strive to provide the same services found at home. Facilities are often cramped, but can handle a huge amount of mail.
Today, military personnel who handle mail must be authorized and trained to do so in accordance with Postal Service and Department of Defense regulations. Working in a war zone and screening for hazardous contents in parcels can be dangerous, but workers get to see the positive effect that mail has on their comrades.
Field Post Office in Iraq
An interview with Specialist Sergio Tobias as he describes his responsibilities with the U.S. Army, Detachment 3, 394th Postal Company in Kirkuk, Iraq on January 10, 2006.
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Money orders available at field or shipboard post offices were a convenient means of sending funds, and sometimes the only financial service available to transfer money securely. This unused money order was aboard the USS Kanawha when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircrafts and sank on April 7, 1943. This artifact was recovered by divers and presented to surviving crew members on the fiftieth anniversary of the attack.
“With over seven million persons in the files, there were thousands of name duplications. At one point we knew we had more than 7,500 Robert Smiths.”
—Major Charity Adams Earley, 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion