WASHINGTON, Oct. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — David Tozzolino, a 17-year letter carrier from New Jersey; Pam Pontius, a 29-year letter carrier from Florida; and Danny Thompson, an eight-year carrier from Texas, are among those to be honored on Oct. 10.
Tozzolino, who saved the driver and averted a catastrophe after a car veered off the highway, hit a parked car and ruptured a house’s natural gas line, has been named 2013 National Hero of the Year. Pontius, who protected an elderly couple from suspects casing the neighborhood and rescued a child from the suspicious van, is Eastern Region Hero. Thompson, who saved two children from a fire that burned their home to the ground, is Western Region Hero.
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.
Jason Jones of Cleveland, who helped save a 91-year-old postal patron who had collapsed in his home, is the Special Carrier Alert recipient. Five letter carrier branches in the Albany, NY region that quickly held a Saturday food drive and sent 13 postal tractor-trailers of food to New York City-area residents after Hurricane Sandy hit, will be honored with the Branch Service Award. James Barton of Kentucky, Central Region Hero, leaped into action to help a police officer subdue an aggressive suspect. John Dick of Michigan, Humanitarian of the Year, delivered mail and good cheer to the hospital bed of an ill patron whom he’d befriended over their shared love of motorcycles and then helped fulfill the man’s wish for one last motorcycle ride.
Several honorees are military veterans: Tozzolino was a Marine, Thompson served in the Army and Barton was an Army military police officer. One quarter of all letter carriers are veterans.
The NALC Heroes of the Year will be honored by Fredric Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, at a special luncheon at noon Oct. 10 at the Washington Court Hotel on Capitol Hill, 525 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC. For further information on the Heroes, go to http://nalc.org/commun/heroes/2013.html
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.