Posted by: 103rdtransferwife | May 7, 2010

Houston, we have a problem

387 days until I don’t have to worry about my husband not getting the mail, because he’ll be home with me.

So the frustrations increase. I am very upset about something which is going on in my husband’s unit, and it is affecting all the soldiers. Somehow, although they had one at Fort Hunter Liggett, they don’t have a certified mail handler required by the army to distribute the mail. The message about this didn’t get passed on to many of the soldiers, so they had no idea what was happening with their mail. They were supposed to be told to go get their mail at the post office, however there is a catch with that as well. Seem the post office, if the soldiers actually knew where it was, is only open limited hours, meaning if the solider is on the day crew, it’s only open while he’s on duty, and if the soldier is on the grave yard crew, the post office is only open during the middle of his/her night. It would be like having the post office open from 1am to 3 am. Yes totally convenient for all the soldiers. Also note, the soldiers are working 13.5 hour days on average, every day. Somehow they are supposed to squeeze a trip to the post office, note they don’t have cars, into their very busy day of work, sleeping, calling home, exercising, personal hygiene and laundry. Yes, they have time for a daily hike to the post office.

I just don’t understand how I’m supposed to trust a unit that can’t successfully deliver the mail to keep my husband alive in a war zone. It’s very basic preparation for a unit deploying anywhere, that they need to be able to send and receive mail. VERY BASIC. It’s so basic, it’s like deciding to take a trip and leaving your keys inside the house… you car isn’t going far. Another frustration, they don’t have an ETA for having the problem resolved. Do they not understand how important mail call is, even in this day of instant text messaging and daily phone calls? I sent my husband something he left at home; I can’t send it via email. Another frustration, is that some soldiers knew about the problem, but not all. Why couldn’t they get the word out to everyone? Why couldn’t they make the effort?

As I’ve said, my husband is having a hard time. Trust me, he could have used the emotional boost of getting mail from home on a regular basis. Just a tip, graveyard workers who sleep all day are just as lazy as people who work during the day and sleep all night, meaning: They are not lazy.

I very much hope this unit figures out some of the very basic aspects of managing a unit before they get someone killed.

Update: It now seems, although the unit deployed on April 25th, they will have a mail carrier on May 11. Why this wasn’t done the day they landed, I have no idea. I’m sure this won’t happen, but I’d love for the person who dropped the ball on this to get a negative counseling statement. And why on earth will it take them 16 days to get a handler? It’s total and utter nonsense that it will take that long to get a mail handler. Send someone to whatever class they need to take TODAY and get this fixed NOW, not in over a week. Again, this is very BASIC unit management. Soldiers will get mail… do’h we need someone to deliver it.

I know I’m complaining. I keep being told things will get better…. um when? They keep seeming to get worse. I keep seeing signs of mismanagement everywhere, and guess what? Yes, if a unit can’t handle the easy tasks, like mail distribution, how on earth are they supposed to handle the hard ones, like keeping people alive?

I love sending mail.  Before we had Poppet, I used to send him something every single day he was gone.  Once Poppet was born, that by necessity had to slow, but I still send him something about 4 days of the week, and send him a care package of some sort every week. I’ve also given his address to our family and friends, letting them know he needs letters of encouragement and support.  Sending him mail is about the only physical, tangible way I can show him that I love him.  I can’t give him a hug, but I can send him a letter telling him how much I would love to hug him.  I can’t kiss him, but in the winter I can mail him some Hershey kisses.  I can’t make love to him, but I can send him a letter telling him all the things I’d do to him if he were here.  It is very important on both sides of the mail, not just to the receiver, but to the sender as well.  Also, it takes very little effort to take one of Poppet’s many coloring pages, stick it in an envelope, put a stamp on it, and mail it.  But I know how much my husband loves to get even those simple coloring pages.  And no comments on how awful the communication was in WWII or Vietnam.  Yes, I know things have improved.  However in today’s day and age of communication, the failure to ensure mail delivery is unacceptable.   This war has been going on for 7 years now.  Also, note they are still in the United States where, for the most part, we have had a very acceptable mail service for centuries.

For the record: My husband’s past units weren’t perfect, but they did always manage to get him the mail.

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