Letter Carriers Recognized as Heroes of the Year

WASHINGTON, Sept. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Thomas Logue, a 28-year letter carrier from New Jersey, and Charlie Rose, a 23-year veteran in Ohio, are among those to be honored on Sept. 20. Logue, of Long Beach Island, who saved a boy pulled out to sea by a rip current and then engulfed by a large wave on Father’s Day, has been named 2012 National Hero of the Year. Rose, recipient of the Special Carrier Alert award, detected at least a dozen natural gas leaks on his route, saving lives and prompting the utility to replace 17,235 feet of pipe and Athens’ city council to require carbon monoxide detectors in 4,500 new rental properties.

Several other carriers also are being recognized as heroes. They represent thousands of letter carriers who not only deliver the mail to 150 million households and businesses six days a week, but often assist in situations involving accidents, fires, crimes or health crises.

Mike Hollmann III of Phoenix, Western Region Hero, was on his route one Saturday when he noticed a woman lying on the ground near her wheelchair being attacked by three angry pit bulls. Scaling to the top of a fence, he distracted the dogs until police came. Mike Sylvester of Duluth, MN, Central Region Hero, saved lives after an automobile hit a house, rupturing the gas line to the house and leaving the car smoking and its fuel tank punctured. Celia Ruiz of Virginia Beach, VA, Eastern Region Hero, observed her neighbor’s children thrown airborne after being stuck by a drunk driver and applied CPR. Cassandra Summers of Naperville, IL, Humanitarian of the Year, founded a non-profit group to redecorate the rooms of breast cancer patients.

Cartoonist Bil Keane, whose "Family Circus" artwork long promoted the National Association of Letter Carriers’ annual "Stamp Out Hunger" food drive, will receive the first Legacy Award. Keane, whose single-panel "Family Circus" comic strip began in 1960 and appears in almost 1,500 newspapers, died in November. A Philadelphia native, he lived in Phoenix.

The NALC Heroes of the Year will be honored by Fredric Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, at a special luncheon Sept. 20 at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Ave. NW. The event also marks the 30th anniversary of the reinvigorated Carrier Alert Program, a free program that elderly or homebound residents can join so vigilant letter carriers notify relatives or authorities at any sign of distress.

The NALC represents letter carriers across the country. Its 280,000 members make it the largest of the four unions representing employees of the United States Postal Service. Founded by Civil War veterans in 1889, the NALC is among the country’s oldest labor unions.