Sasa Maksimovic is grateful for the opportunities the Postal Service has provided him.
The Rutland, VT, letter carrier fled his native Serbia during the 1990s Yugoslav wars and found a new life in the United States.
“Lots of young and smart people left the country,” said Maksimovic, who was a graphic technologies student when fighting broke out.
Upon arriving in the United States, he moved to Memphis, TN.
“The year that I came, there were only two of us from our town living here,” Maksimovic said. “The next year, I heard there were 30. It was parents [sending their kids]. All the infrastructure was dead. There was simply no future there.”
Maksimovic followed friends to Vermont, working as a restaurant cook until he joined USPS as a rural carrier associate.
“I remember walking one day and saw a [now] fellow employee walking around downtown and I thought, ‘I could do that,’” he said. “My mother retired from the [postal service] in Serbia. She was happy to hear that I have such a job.”
Eight years later, Maksimovic has become a beloved figure in Rutland, a city with about 16,000 residents and a postcard-perfect downtown.
“It is a pleasure to work with Sasa,” said Rutland Postmaster James Ragosta III. “He takes on additional work when asked and his customers really like him. I’m always receiving positive feedback.”
More than anything, Maksimovic appreciates the financial security USPS has provided — something his home country couldn’t offer.
“You can plan a future,” he said. “Here I am now, healthy and making money.”