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Vanessa Raz - Castle Hill

Some would say Corporal Vanessa Raz from Castle Hill, Sydney, has one of the best deployed roles on Middle East operations.

Corporal Raz is the Task Group Afghanistan morale lifter responsible for distributing mail out to the 270 Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel deployed to Operation Highroad – Australia's contribution to the NATO led Resolute Support mission.

A 'truckie' by trade, her deployed role is as the Postal Manager for the Australian Forces Post Office (AFPO) 19 in Kabul, where she is known to the task group personnel as 'the Kabul Postie'.

"When people stop receiving mail they start getting a bit cranky," Corporal Raz said.

"I love seeing the smiles on people's faces when I bring mail to them.

"Being away from home we start to miss our families so when you receive mail or a care package it reminds you why you are here and that you've got something to come home to."

As the Kabul Postie, Corporal Raz is a representative of the Australian Post Office, which provides a special delivery service for Defence mail.

Friends and families in Australia can use the service to send up to 2kg at no charge to deployed ADF personnel.

Every week a Royal Australian Air Force C-130J Hercules aircraft delivers a shipment of large blue mail bags to the Middle East region.

On average, 500kg of letters, boxes and care packages arrive each week.

Corporal Raz sorts each bag into the different Task Group sections and processes the mail for delivery.

"That whole pile there is for the troops working out at Qargha where we have a Force Protection Element and mentors training officers at the Afghan National Army Officer Academy," she said.

Corporal Raz said that getting the post out to the different Task Group Elements can be challenging, especially when the road movements are stopped or when flights get cancelled.

"Being on operations in a conflict zone, a lot of unforeseen events can prevent the mail from getting to where it needs to go," she said.

"When Daesh attacked a hospital in Kabul city the roads were closed off for a number of days."

Being Corporal Raz' first deployment as a postie, it took her few weeks to find her feet, however she's now got it under control and even delivers some of the mail herself.

"If I can't get the mail onto a scheduled road run with the Force Protection Elements, I will deliver the mail myself," she said.

"I've driven the Unimog truck to Qargha and flown down to the Australian embeds in Kandahar and at the Resolute Support Mission Headquarters in Kabul centre to deliver mail."

While this is her first deployment as a postie, Corpoal Raz has been to the Middle East before.

In 2013 she was deployed to Operation Accordion as the Transport section Second in Command.

When she is not sorting through and delivering mail, Corporal Raz encourages everyone to keep fit.

Before joining the Defence force, she worked in the fitness industry and now uses those skills to "punish" Task Group Headquarters staff twice a week during her gruelling circuit and spin Physical Training sessions.

Corporal Raz is currently posted to the 10th Force Support Battalion in Townsville and is looking forward to going home for her own morale boost: cuddles with her dog Ninja and a drive in her Subaru WRX.