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My mailman's name is Kelly. He is a veteran. His knee was shot in Desert Storm, and he had to retire from the army. He never saw the person who shot him. He's not angry. I know I'd be really mad, but then again that's why I'd never be in the military - I just hate getting shot at.

I think he really likes being a mailman, even though it is not as exciting as being a soldier. He brings to his job the interest, enthusiasm and ability that I'm sure he used in his career as a warrior. He seems to know the names of the several hundred people on his route, and can put faces to names after meeting people only once. I live in an apartment complex of over three hundred residents, and Kelly greets everyone he meets by name. It's amazing.

One of the things I like best about Kelly is that he keeps track of our mail, no matter what. There are times when I put in my form saying that I will be gone for one week and then disappear for three weeks. When I come home I find that if there was too much mail in my mailbox Kelly has taken it to the Post Office for safe keeping. He delivers it when he knows I'm back. Since I virtual office when I'm not travelling, I'm totally dependent on being able to get my mail.

He's nice to everyone, even though a lot of people are not nice to him. The manager of these apartments is a total bitch, and frequently criticizes Kelly for small errors - such as delivering mail to the box of a person who has moved out (and, of course, left no forwarding address nor notified the post office that they are gone). She does this to all of the staff. And sometime the residents can be mean and/or stupid. One resident demanded that Kelly deliver a package after 6:00 PM personally to his apartment. The arrogance! We get our packages at the office here; they are not hand delivered to 300 apartments every day. So here is my ode to my mailman:

Neither pain nor rain
nor horrible bitchy apartment complex managers
nor harsh mean people
shall stay my mailman from his appointed rounds.

My mailman sees the sunlight in every person he meets
wheither young or old, kind or harsh.
He walks his days with pride and happiness
and takes care of us, our mail too.

(Yes, I know it doesn't rhyme. I don't do rhyming poems.)