Friday, August 10, 2007

Team Iraq

The USPS News Link reports retired Bedford, NJ, Postmaster Rick Squindo, a member of a team of USPS employees that helped restore the postal system in Iraq, has died of cancer.

Squindo was a member of the postal team that opened the new Iraqi Post International Service Center (ISC) at the Baghdad airport in 2004.

Before the team arrived, Iraq had not sent international mail for 15 years. Within a week of opening, the Baghdad facility had received seven tons of in-bound mail. The team also helped Iraq resume its membership in the Universal Postal Union.

Iraq's new postal code system was introduced the same day the ISC opened. "In effect, we ZIP-coded the entire country," Murphy said. "It took six months, working with an Iraqi team aligning the country and converting the system to Arabic."

When new Iraqi stamps were issued — the first ones without pictures of Saddam Hussein — the team created a special First Day Cover. They had 1,800 made and sold them for a modest $5 each. The covers sold out in less than an hour.

According to the USPS, they raised about $9,000 — 13.8 million Iraqi dinars — and donated it to the Iraq Memory Foundation, a three-fold project to collect oral histories of the Iraqi people, acquire and conserve historical artifacts, and to preserve records that document actions of Saddam Hussein's government.

For more information on Team Iraq, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM