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1 million miles!
Statesboro mail carrier earns honor
W Carey Harville
Postal carrier Carey Harville sorts mail inside the Statesboro Post Office as he prepares to deliver his route Friday. - photo by JAMES HEALY/staff

Watch Studio Statesboro segment on Carey Harville. Click on link:

http://www.statesboroherald.com/multimedia/2579/

      If statistics are true, and thousands of vehicles are involved in accidents each day, then for more than three decades someone has been picking up Carey Harville's slack.
     Harville, a 37-year veteran of Statesboro's United States Post Office, has, since the 1970s, delivered mail to residents of Bulloch County without fail and without a single blip on his driving record.
      Friday, in the post office's sorting room filled with his delivering brethren, the 63-year old Harville was presented an award for the rare honor of driving more than one million miles without incident.
      "I would be remiss if I didn't say the Lord has smiled on me bunch," said Harville. "I'm proud of [the award] and the fact that I have been healthy enough to work this long. It really means a lot to me."
Greg Kimball, rural analyst for the United States Post Office's South Georgia District, presented the commemorative plaque and pin, officially marking Harville's place in the National Safety Council's Million Miles Club.
      "We do not have a lot of employees that reach 30 years or one million miles," Kimball said. "This is the ultimate award a rural carrier can get. It is pretty prestigious and quite a milestone. It's tough for anyone to work any job for 30 years."
      Harville's impeccable record and mile-tally were achieved on a more than 100 mile-long route that runs throughout southeast Bulloch County - The route includes parts of Ga. Highway 67, Harville Road and Highway 46.
    "My route is more than 100 miles long and about 60 miles of it are unpaved," said the carrier. "It can be pretty rough at times."
    "You always hear people talk about looking twice before you cross the road. Well, that is something I have always tried to develop the habit of doing," he said. "And I never just assume that the other driver knows what he is doing."
     According to estimates, which factor in length of Harville's route and the days in which he has driven, the long-time employee has officially covered 1,176,600 miles of terrain.
      "I don't know exactly how many miles it has been, but it is enough miles of driving without accident to be pretty awesome," said Chris Mitrison, Supervisor of Customer Service at the Statesboro office. "I have been here 16 years now, and known Carey the whole time. He has just been an excellent employee."
      "We are required to follow carriers a few times a year," said Mitrison. "No matter where I find Carey, he is always doing the job the right way. He is always doing everything he is supposed to be doing: keeping himself safe, his vehicle safe and his customers safe. He one of the best drivers we've got."
      According to Mitrison, the Statesboro Post Office has not had someone achieve the milestone in his more than 16 years on the job.
     "This is extremely rare. Every so often somebody is going to get in a fender-bender if they have been around long enough," he said.
    "Carey is a very good carrier. It is pretty hard to do what he has done," said W.C. Donaldson, who has worked with Harville for more than thirty years.
"It's rough. What is so bad isn't taking care of yourself, it is watching out for the other guy," said Skeebo Moore, another carrier with more than 30 years experience at the Statesboro office.
Harville's flawless one million miles were not accumulated without a fair share of close calls though.
"You catch yourself sometimes getting careless, not watching what you are doing, and somebody will have their brake lights on right in front of you," said Harville, about occasional near-misses. "I have barked a tire a few times trying not to run into somebody."
"It is dangerous especially around the college and town," he said. "Once you get past the fairgrounds, it gets a little easier. Just have to worry about muddy roads then."
Despite an attempt, not even Mother Nature could spoil the run to one million.
According to Harville, a deer once ran into the side of his truck.
"It didn't count as an accident," he joked. "She didn't have insurance, so we didn't have to worry about it."
In the more than 30 years delivering mail, Harville has sat behind the wheel of at least eight different vehicles, including the red Toyota extended cab pickup now used as his office - he has used only red trucks since 1986.
At no point, said Harville, did he consider reaching the million-mile-milestone.
"It was just one day at a time, one week at a time and one month at a time. You can't look too far down the line," he said. "Sometimes, when you look too far ahead, it seems like it will never get here."
"I just do what I get paid to do," said Harville joking. "I think I'm getting pretty good at it. With as many dirt roads as I have covered, it seems more like two million."
The only goal left, according to Harville: retirement.
The carrier has continued to work eight years after becoming eligible to walk away, but says his time with the post office is finally nearing an end.
"I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it isn't a train coming," he said. "It's retirement."
According to Kimball, Harville is the second-longest tenured driver in the region - the area includes Beaufort and Hilton head as its northern boundaries, Columbus in the west and extends as far south as the Florida border, he said.
"What [Harville] has done, is pretty impressive."

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