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Lance Cpl. Nathaniel Z. Udovich, a 21-year-old mail clerk from Trenton, Mo., with Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1, sorts packages for Marines during the holiday season at Camp Baharia in Fallujah, Iraq.

Photo by Cpl. Chris T. Mann

Taking care of your own, one package at a time

12 Dec 2008 | Cpl. Chris T. Mann

The holiday season can pose a particularly hard time for some service members deployed overseas and away from their families.

 Lance Cpl. Nathaniel Z. Udovich, a 21-year-old mail clerk from Trenton, Mo., with Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1, is focused on a mission to brighten others’ spirits.

Udovich helps the battalion’s Marines and Sailors combat any lonely feelings they may have one mail package at a time. 

“Udovich is working twice as hard as he usually does to get the Marines their mail and packages on time for the holidays,” said Cpl. Chris A. Beaver, a 26-year-old field wireman from St. Louis, Mo., with the battalion. “Getting a package, anytime, will boost your morale over here in Iraq, whether it is just a care package or a special box from home.”

 Udovich ensures the battalion’s mail is sorted correctly into piles of registered, certified and high priority mail, as well as processes the standard mail the battalion receives. Afterward, he places the packages into containers. This tedious process has only increased with the large volume of items being sent during the holidays to the battalion’s nearly 1200 Marines and Sailors.

 Even though he stays busy with work, Udovich said he will frequently go out of his way to ensure a Marine gets a package that he has been waiting for.

 “When I get the chance, I like to hand deliver packages to Marines that have been waiting a long time for their package to come in,” said Udovich. “It gives me a good feeling to hand a Marine their package, and you can see their morale go up when they get a package from home.” 

 Udovich said even with the help of a few volunteers, he has been flooded with more and more mail. He said it is a sign that family and friends back home continue to support their loved ones.

“All of the packages that have come in lately just show you that families are still thinking about us, and sometimes these packages just let you have Christmas even away from home,” said Udovich. “It doesn’t matter how grown up you are, when you see a package from your mom or grandmother, you just get a smile on your face.”