AVIANO AIR BASE, Aviano --
It’s early on a Wednesday morning. The sun hasn’t risen yet, the air is cold - and yet, a small team of Airmen stands ready to start the day.
The moment the truck rolls up to the delivery area, Airmen of the 31st Force Support Squadron’s military post office begin working as a well-oiled machine: unpacking, scanning, and accounting for each parcel as it makes its way into the building.
“We’re supplying all of the postal needs for the people here at Aviano,” said Airman 1st Class DeAnthony Lewis, 31st FSS postal clerk. “Anybody that has any packages coming, or is sending packages to those back home or downrange, has to come through us.”
The importance of the postal service has increased during COVID-19, providing a means of receiving essential items when people are staying home to help slow the spread of the virus. The post office staff has also implemented measures to protect staff and customers, such as cleaning and sanitizing work surfaces and door handles, and removing the requirement to sign for packages to limit contact.
Although this has increased the workload for the post office Airmen, they are keeping their spirits up.
“Everybody has such a great attitude, the morale has been high lately,” said Staff Sgt. Eddith Guaman, 31st FSS postal supervisor. “We try to do our best. I think that working with everybody and making customers happy and hearing that they appreciate what we do - the simple things are my favorite part of my job.”
The Italian government has issued restriction of movement for the general population which prevents people from retrieving their mail as often as they used to. The restrictions combined with the extra packages coming in have brought unique challenges for Airmen and the post office.
“When we do get big deliveries, we get full and we’re having to find places to put these things,” said Guaman. “Luckily, when we do open, sometimes the first sergeants and others come to pick up the packages for those members.”
Despite these hurdles, the post office team works together to ensure their essential mission continues.
The post office is open for parcel pickups Mon - Fri from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call 0434-30-7119 for questions and concerns.