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MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C.--Lance Cpl. Lawrence L. Davis, II MHG mail/publications clerk here, swims through a sea of mail March 10. Since the redeployment of more than half of the II MEF, Davis and his fellow postal clerks are working overtime to tackle the surge of incoming parcels origionally sent to Iraq. Davis reminds all II MHG Marines, "The mail here is all piled up." Mail call, which is normally a one hour event, is now an ongoing process for II MHG.

Photo by Sgt. Tracee L. Jackson

II MHG sounds mail call

10 Mar 2006 | Sgt. Tracee L. Jackson

More than 65 percent of the approximate 27,000 Marines who deployed with II Marine Expeditionary Force, in support of the Global War on Terrorism, have completed the redeployment process. As Marines return to their families and loved ones, so does their mail. Care packages intended for use in the Iraqi deserts have been routed back to the rear in anticipation of the recipient’s relocation.

“Our mail room in H-24 is about to blow up,” said II Marine Headquarters Group company first sergeant, Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Kapla. “It’s important that every section sends a representative, or even two, to the mail room every day for mail call because our clerks are swimming in boxes.”

With post-deployment training, leave, liberty and lost time to make up, Kapla reemphasized the importance of claiming individual property.

“Checking in with the mail room should be a daily event for those returning from Iraq. Chances are they have several weeks’ worth of mail trickling in,” he said, referring to stacks of boxes that touch the ceiling of the small MHG mailroom.

Registering a change of address should occur any time an individual returns from extended temporary duty, school, or changes duty stations, just as if one would with the U.S. Postal Service, according to II MHG adjutant, Maj. Elaine Hensen.

Department of Defense requires mail to be expediently delivered to recipients via a designated mail officer. However, the responsibility doesn’t end with the mail clerks. Every unit should send a representative to the mailroom every workday.

“This regulation is especially important right now. It eases the stress levels of our postal clerks,” said Kapla.