Bill payment arrives in deployed Airman’s package

Maj. Dave Simons
386th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

Like millions of Americans, Mary Morris was using the U.S. Postal Service to pay her bills, when it was accidentally delivered to a Ramstein Airman at a forward-deployed location.

Apparently, her payment fell into a care package that had accidentally broken open at a post office. The box was being sent to Senior Airman Patrick Walsh, 835th Communications Squadron communications project manager, from his family in Georgia.
When postal workers repaired and repackaged Airman Walsh’s box, Ms. Morris’ payment was inadvertently included in the package.

Recognizing the importance of the errant payment, Airman Walsh went to local postal officials to get assistance in sending the payment to the rightful billing agent.

“If it had been my check, I’d want to know where it’s at,” said Airman Walsh, who had looked through the bill envelope to see that it was a check.

He wrote a letter to the Lott, Texas, woman explaining the story of the payment that was “in the mail,” and advised her to notify her creditor about the mishap.

In a postscript, Airman Walsh said, “Your letter made it all the way to Southwest Asia.”

“I thought she’d get a laugh knowing it made it all the way to (Southwest Asia),” he said. “I’m sure she was just glad to get it resent and I let her know about it.”

With the Airman’s letter as testimony of the bill’s one-month delay, Ms. Morris was able to persuade the finance company to drop the late charge.

Melba Parker, the sister of Ms. Morris, sent a letter to Airman Walsh’s commander, Capt. Bruce Jenkins, 386th Expeditionary Communica-tions Squadron. In the letter she said, “This was very emotional – that Airman Walsh took his time and effort to do what he did under the conditions and other (dangers) he and his fellow troops face each day.” She also said, “Thank you and all the troops for protecting our country.”

Captain Jenkins said he thought this was typical of Airman Walsh’s character.

“It touched me that someone was moved by one of our troops’ actions,” the captain said. “I was proud of Airman Walsh and the fact that he would take time from his hectic schedule, mail the payment to the rightful party, and then write a letter to Ms. Morris explaining the situation.”