Million Mile Man

Published 12:19 am Saturday, October 25, 2008

EURE – Over a span of 30-plus years, Bryan Hudgins has seen it all.

The Eure Post Office rural route mail carrier once had a goat jump inside his vehicle as he was exiting the car to deliver a package.

On another occasion, Hudgins was met at the mailbox by a gun-toting woman.

Through it all, there’s one thing Hudgins has never seen…himself involved in a motor vehicle accident while delivering the mail.

Thanks to that accident-free effort, Hudgins has earned the U.S. Postal Service’s prestigious “Million Mile Award.” That honor also came with a lapel pin in recognition of his safety achievements.

In response, Hudgins said he has been truly blessed to not have been involved in any type of accident during his 31-year career. That record is stout, considering that he is on the road six days a week where he covers a 63-mile route and serves roughly 590 rural mail boxes.

Perhaps his spotless driving record is due to the fact that he has never been accused of driving too fast.

Eure Postmaster Deborah Pierce said Hudgins is a very reliable and dependent employee.

“His commitment to his job and his fellow co-workers and employees of the U.S. Postal Services as a Senior Assistant State Steward is very commendable,” Pierce said. “As far as him not driving too fast is good because safety and accuracy in the delivery to our customers are our goals.”

In return, Hudgins said he has enjoyed working with Pierce over the past 14 years. Pierce isn’t the only female postmaster he has to deal with. His wife, Joan, serves as postmaster at the Gates Post Office, prompting Bryan to say, “This makes for some very good arguments at home between management and craft.”

As far as his unique experiences as a rural route carrier, Hudgins pointed to a pair of instances. The encounter with the goat in his car resulted in no damage to any mail. In regards to the gun-toting customer, Hudgins said she met him at her mailbox and wanted him to use the gun to shoot a snake hanging from a tree limb over her house.

Hudgins’ work history began in July of 1977 as a substitute mail carrier at the Eure Post Office. His career has included full-time carrier positions at post offices in Wilson, Hertford and Ahoskie. He returned to the Eure rural route as a full-time carrier in 1988 and said he plans to remain there until retirement.

And he also plans to keep delivering the mail at his slow, steady pace, always with a smile on his face.