Cover Story

Heroes Among Us: USPS Employees Go Above and Beyond

A Postal Service™ customer in Royal Oak, MI, faced a dire situation. She lived alone and suffered a stroke that left her partially paralyzed and unable to get to a phone for nearly 24 hours. However, the woman knew that when her mail came, so would a chance to get help.

She yelled out to Letter Carrier Christopher Palmeri when she heard him push that day’s delivery through the mail slot in her front door. He immediately called 911 and located neighbors for assistance until emergency responders arrived. The woman later mailed a letter to the local Post Office™, detailing her harrowing experience.

“I was desperate at the time!” she wrote. “Had Chris not been attentive or listening, I would have had to wait another 24 hours before anyone was scheduled to come to my house.”

She added, “He is such a kind, thoughtful, and responsive individual. We are very fortunate to have him as a member of the United States Postal Service®, and I am eternally grateful for his aid.”

Palmeri is one of several thousand employees who have been recognized through the Postmaster General (PMG) Heroes’ Program. These men and women have gone above and beyond the call of duty in a variety of situations, such as helping lost children and sick or injured customers, spotting fires, and more.

Now in its sixteenth year, the program is based on a simple idea: Postal Service employees know the habits of their customers and the rhythms of their communities, and are often the first to notify emergency personnel when something is wrong.

Employees must be nominated for the PMG Hero Award. Corporate Communications reviews nominations for accuracy, then sends them to the Inspection Service and the Office of Inspector General for approval.

Following approval, each nominee receives a commendation letter from Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan. Honorees are also featured in “Heroes’ Corner” on the Postal Service daily employee news site, Link. Additionally, a heroes’ wall at USPS® headquarters in Washington, DC, displays stories and photos to promote these employees’ heroic acts.

To nominate an employee, complete PS Form 400, Corporate Communications PMG Hero Nomination, and email it to To download or print the form, go to, where you can also find the “Heroes’ Corner” archives and read more stories about heroic employees.