Salute to service

Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan

The following message is from Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan:

Each November, on Veterans Day, we are reminded that our nation, our personal well-being and our freedoms are defended by those willing to put themselves in harm’s way. This day provides all of us with the opportunity to express our appreciation to those who have served in our armed forces.

I am proud to say the Postal Service is one of the largest civilian employers of military veterans, with approximately 100,000 current and former service members in our ranks. Our organization recently was recognized as one of the top federal agencies for veteran employment.

Veterans make valuable contributions to the Postal Service every day, and we are honored to have them continue their service to the nation with USPS.

Across the nation, our colleagues who are veterans wear specially designed pins and lanyards — and new this year, a special badge and badge clip. Distribution of these tokens of appreciation is underway nationwide, and our military colleagues will be celebrated at local events to thank them for their service.

The Postal Service is also proud to honor the country’s veterans through our stamp program, including the USS Missouri, Military Working Dogs and Purple Heart stamps that we issued this year.

On behalf of the more than 630,000 members of the Postal Service, we thank our veterans for the sacrifices they have made for our nation. We salute your commitment to service and dedication to duty, both in and out of uniform.

‘This is what life is about’

Postal employee holds holiday greeting card.

Sonya Dulan remembers the concern she felt about Operation Santa as Christmas approached in 1999, not long after a massive tornado tore through central Oklahoma.

Dulan, a USPS customer relations coordinator in Oklahoma City, oversees Operation Santa in her community. The national program allows customers to aid families in need by “adopting” their letters to Santa Claus and granting their holiday wishes.

“My thought was, ‘Oh my, this community has given so much to the survivors of the tornado that they will not participate in Operation Santa this year,’” Dulan recalled.

It turns out she had nothing to worry about.

“To my surprise, I could not keep enough letters available for people to assist the families,” Dulan said. “Individuals and organizations were contacting us every day to get letters from families needing help for the holiday. It was the best year the local program ever had.”

Dulan is one of several employees who are sharing their Operation Santa memories as USPS gears up for this year’s program, which will run from Nov. 18-Dec. 20.

The program’s new website, USPSOperationSanta.com, has instructions on participating.

Another employee with fond memories of giving back is Joan Barrett, a general expeditor at the Columbus, OH, Processing and Distribution Center.

She helped fulfill the wishes of customers in need during a previous assignment at a South Columbus Post Office and remembers how good it made her and her co-workers feel.

“This is what life is about,” Barrett said. “It was a great time.”

If you have stories about how you and your co-workers participate in the current Operation Santa program, email them to OperationSanta@usps.gov.

Gearing up

Attendee at a NPF convention.

MaryAnn Basilone, a USPS field account representative, recently became the first employee to recruit a business customer to attend next year’s National Postal Forum (NPF).

Basilone, who is based in Edison, NJ, signed up the customer during National Postal Customer Council Week in September.

“Our PCC Week event was a great way to get the conversation started with my customers. After that, it was about following up with accurate information,” she said.

Basilone recruited the customer through the Employee Customer Recruitment Program (ECRP), which allows eligible postal employees to attend NPF when they recruit five qualifying customers to register for the event.

The ECRP Blue page has information on who can recruit customers, and also contains promotional materials to share with potential NPF attendees. Employees can email questions to NPFFeedback@usps.gov.

The 2020 National Postal Forum will be held from April 26-29 in Orlando, FL.

Poetry in motion

The Postal Service has released a video with highlights from the recent Walt Whitman stamp dedication ceremony.

The stamp, the 32nd entry in the Literary Arts series, features a portrait of the beloved poet based on an 1869 photograph. In the background, a hermit thrush sits on a lilac bush’s branch.

“We think the stamp is beautiful. I personally love the lilac tone which, of course, evokes his famous poem ‘When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d,’” Cynthia Shore, executive director of the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association, says in the video.

Other highlights include comments from Erik Kulleseid, a New York state parks commissioner, and Darrel Blaine Ford, a Walt Whitman impersonator.

News Briefs

Scanning snapshot

Postal employee scans package.

Scanning snapshot. The Postal Service’s national scanning rating was 97.84 percent during the week ending Nov. 1, down from one week earlier.

Great Lakes (97.98 percent) led the areas, while Dakotas (99.1 percent) topped the districts.

Scanning allows customers to track their packages and mail, and it helps USPS improve efficiency and network management.

To see the latest results, go to the Informed Visibility site and select “Customer Experience,” followed by “DES 2 Scan Performance.” Employees must request access to Informed Visibility through eAccess.

Flag reminder. Monday, Nov. 11, is Veterans Day, one of six days each year that Postal Service facilities are required to fly the POW-MIA flag.

Because Veterans Day is a designated USPS holiday, facilities should raise the POW-MIA flag on the last business day before the holiday.

The POW-MIA flag must fly below the U.S. flag.

For more information, refer to the Postal Service’s Administrative Support Manual, which explains the organization’s guidelines on U.S. flag display and maintenance, as well as the requirements for displaying the POW-MIA flag.

Pride and joy. The latest USPS blog post introduces readers to the #PostalProud initiative and what it means to postal employees, especially during the holidays.

The entry highlights the Peek into Peak holiday initiative and features employees who discuss what brings them joy during the season.

“What really makes me proud of my daily work is the positive feedback received from our customers,” San Juan, PR, Business Mail Technician Michael Marcial tells the blog.

The Postal Posts blog is publishing holiday-themed posts each week throughout this year’s peak season.

Got news? Email your submissions to uspslink@usps.gov.