Mix-up leads to USPS delay in pickup of soldier care packages

WEBSTER, TX (KTRK) -- Boxes filled with candy, cookies, beef jerky, hygiene products, magazines, thank you letters, and you name it sit in the office of the non-profit HOME, short for Help Our Military Endure. These are just some of the care packages that are supposed to go over to the troops deployed overseas.

Saturday the non-profit and dozens of volunteers took over the gym at Hope Church for a packing party to get more than 500 boxes shipped out in time for the holidays.

"We had made special arrangements with the Albert Thomas post office to pick up on Saturday around 1:00 all of the boxes that we had labeled and ready to go," says HOME co-founder Ronnie Duhon.

"We had them on the curb at the church ready to go," added volunteer Matt Demel. "We had to move some of the boxes back inside the church for storage."

Volunteers were ready to help postal workers load them. And Boy Scouts were ready to salute the boxes as they left on the mail truck. Matt Demel tried to get answers from the post office Saturday.

"They were unable to do anything to help us out," he said. "Can't, don't, not authorized, impossible, those were the words they were using."

Trudy Duhon says they've had trouble getting answers: "It's finger-pointing right now. that's all it is. I don't care who's at fault. Just get 'er done."

Frustration echoed by her husband.

"This sets us back two to three days at the most now," Ronnie Duhon said. "And now we have to hope that the post office can expedite these a little quicker for us now to make sure they get there in time."

We called the U.S. Postal Service to find out what happened. Here's the statement from a spokesman: "We value our package pickup service, initiated through My Post Office, in usps.com. Unfortunately, we have no record in My Post Office, of a request from this customer for a pickup of 500 Priority Mail packages. We regret to have learned of this miscommunication and will pick up the 500 Priority Mail packages this Tuesday."

That spokesman says they are still within the window for the shipment to make it to the troops on time.
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