Raise your hand if you have had problems with the United States Postal Service (USPS) losing your mail, poor service, or worse— theft. That’s what I thought. So many people have stories about the USPS yet no one is doing anything about. Well, over the coming weeks I will be writing a weekly commentary of what happened to me last week with the postal service.

Some regular readers may know that my only brother, who was older, Col. Phil Bossert passed away at the young age of 54 nearly four years ago. He had served three tours of duty in Afghanistan and was medevacked out of Kabul and died twenty months later. It was devastating to the entire family.

Recently, Phil’s widow Anita, my sister-in-law, packaged up fifty items that he had collected and sent them to me for my birthday. These were mint sets; uncirculated and proof coins that the U.S. Mint sells to collectors. Phil and I collected coins when we were kids and belonged to the local coin club, which our father took us to the monthly meeting. Anita, double-boxed the items and insured the box for a tidy amount.

When the box arrived at our home, it looked like it had had the shit kicked out of it. Nonetheless, several days later on my birthday, I opened the box to find no card and about six items loose at the bottom of the box. Upon further inspection, the box had been cut open the length one side along the edge and re-taped shut. There was no double box and the box itself was rather light, which I tell you now because that will have a bearing on this story.

As you can imagine, after speaking with Anita, I found out what she had sent me of my brother’s belongings. These were not just items of intrinsic value, I could care less about that, these were emotional and spiritual connections to my brother. Things he held, collected, that were now being passed to me and in the future, I would pass to my children for no other reason than they are keepsake.

So, I took the box and what was left of the contents and went to the post office on The Old Road just south of Calgrove where our letter carrier works out of. It’s not a regular post office where you can buy stamps, it is a sorting facility where packages for SCV flow through. I spoke to a supervisor there, a very nice gentleman, and I was very succinct in why I was there and what I wanted. I simply wanted the direct phone number and email address for the SCV post master.

Now, if you have ever tried to call your local post office you know that they virtually never answer the phone. It’s a phone that is in a closet that just rings and rings and rings. It’s a purposeful game and the supervisor I spoke to acknowledged that fact. He understood that I wanted the real, actual phone number that a human being will answer and that is what he gave me. He also acknowledged that theft is occurring on a regular basis at the USPS—I know you’re shocked.

Read more here: Commentary: The Broken, Thieving Post Office