MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — Postal officials here are reminding customers that the parcel-pickup window in the base post office will remain open for extended hours through Jan. 14.

Those hours are: Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“We’re still receiving large quantities of mail,” said Master Sgt. Alfred Wilhite, Misawa’s postmaster. “Keep coming in to check packages. We’re putting out mail throughout the day and the evening.”

From Dec. 24 to Jan. 3, the post office received 2,035 mail bags, letter trays and parcel pieces totaling 31,500 pounds. Mail shelves were overflowing at one point during the holiday crunch because people weren’t coming in fast enough to claim their mail, Wilhite said.

“We were processing about 500 to 600 pieces per day right before Christmas,” he said, saying the overflow has subsided.

The parcel-pickup window can keep extended hours because the post office hired 14 Japanese nationals during the holiday, Wilhite said.

Other bases in the Pacific reported some mail backlogs during the holidays, but operations are back to normal now and no extended hours are in place.

At Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, postal workers processed 22,000 pieces of mail totaling 340,000 pounds during the holiday season.

Base officials said shelves at the post office overflowed with mail every Monday during the holidays. But because of support from 100 volunteers and 10 holiday overhires, postal workers were able to keep mail flowing and free up shelf space for incoming packages.

After extended hours during the holiday, the parcel pickup window returned to normal hours this week.

Base officials stressed that military post offices have limited shelf space and customers need to check mail and pick up parcels daily throughout the year.

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Jennifer reports on the U.S. military from Kaiserslautern, Germany, where she writes about the Air Force, Army and DODEA schools. She’s had previous assignments for Stars and Stripes in Japan, reporting from Yokota and Misawa air bases. Before Stripes, she worked for daily newspapers in Wyoming and Colorado. She’s a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

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