German military mail service celebrates its anniversary
Deutsche Post has been delivering mail to soldiers overseas for 15 yearsBonn, 05/22/2007, 11:30 AM CEST
The German armed forces Bundeswehr and Deutsche Post have marked the 15-year anniversary of Feldpost, the German military mail service, at a celebratory event. For one-and-a-half decades Deutsche Post has been providing the link between Bundeswehr soldiers serving overseas and home. Currently it is delivering letters, packages, and parcels from home to some 8,000 soldiers serving in Bosnia Herzegovina, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Georgia and Uzbekistan.
What is considered part of everyday life in Germany is a highlight for Bundeswehr soldiers stationed overseas and often their only contact with home: mail. Letters and packages from and to home are a link to the family and friends for soldiers based in crisis regions. And it is especially important for them that a birthday letter to their wife arrives in the mailbox in time while, in the other direction, it is equally important to receive a package of Christmas cookies in time for Christmas Eve.
The collaboration between Deutsche Post and the Bundeswehr began in 1955, the year in which the Bundeswehr was established. The first mail was sent overseas in 1992 when the Bundeswehr was deployed on a humanitarian mission to Cambodia. The name "Feldpost" was used officially for the first time one year later. Feldpost offers to military personnel everything that Deutsche Post would also provide at home: as well as transporting letters, packages, and parcels soldiers can also carry out their Postbank transactions at Feldpost offices. All this is available to Bundeswehr service personnel at regular at domestic rates.
Just as in Germany, mail in crisis regions is delivered by Deutsche Post employees. They voluntarily apply for the position and are trained as Feldpost soldiers by the Bundeswehr. While in the beginning there were just ten Feldpost soldiers each year, Bundeswehr soldiers are now served by 120 Deutsche Post employees. They are very popular because they are a guarantee for the soldiers that contact is still being maintained with home. Around Christmastime and Easter the Feldpost soldiers are particularly busy. They are happy to carry out their duties in far-off countries, often at a high risk for themselves, due to the fact that a letter from beloved ones often works wonders for homesickness.