Tony Williams spends most of his day behind the wheel of a vehicle, except on the opposite side of the front seat from most drivers. During his more-than-32-year career as a mail carrier, he’s driven enough miles to travel to the moon and back – twice. Safely.
Carl Anthony Williams, who goes by Tony, earned an impressive award for those miles. Williams was recognized Friday as joining the “One Million Mile Club,” a distinction of honor for those in the United States Postal Service who’ve driven one million miles without being involved in a preventable accident.
Paul Steele, manager of Post Office Operations for the Gulf Atlantic District, and Statesboro Postmaster Mike Thompson made the presentation that included a plaque, pin and monetary award.
Steele, who also is postmaster in Augusta, has served in that new capacity only since April and said this was his first visit to Statesboro.
“I’m here today to present a very prestigious award,” Steele said. “This is a very difficult accomplishment to go that long without even a minor accident.
“Forty-one times around the world – that’s one million miles. Mr. Williams has gone over 30 years without a preventable accident. Regardless of the distance, it’s still challenging.”
Postmaster Thompson reiterated the uniqueness of the achievement.
“So many times, just on my 20-minute drive to work each day, I see things that could cause an accident. That many years, that many miles without an accident – that’s incredible.”
Williams is the fifth person to become a member of Statesboro’s USPS One Million Mile Club, joining Jon Martin, Clarence “Skeebo” Moore, Montie DeLoach and Mike Helmley.
Standing with his wife, Sharon, and daughter, Amanda Deal, Williams humbly accepted the award, and said simply, “I appreciate this.”
Williams said his day begins before 8 each morning when he sorts and places mail in the slots of “case 13,” his cubicle of sorts. Once the mail is “routed up,” to include packages that he sorts last, he grabs a nearby buggy and puts the mail in order.
Williams wheels the buggy to his vehicle, loads and is on the road before 10 a.m. to deliver to more than 660 customers, which includes more than two dozen businesses between Statesboro and Hopulikit.
If all goes according to schedule, the award-winning mail carrier returns to the office slightly before 5 p.m. and goes through motions he performs daily, unloading mail he picked up while out, checking back in and turning in his key, just to name a few of the rituals.
Williams said one of his most memorable days on the job took place during Hurricane Matthew. The old adage is indeed true, about rain and those other elements, and all of his mail got delivered.
“It was an unsettling thing; I didn’t know what was going to happen that day,” Williams said.
Also, Steele took the opportunity to give a safety brief and shared tips that could basically apply to anyone whose job requires a great deal of time behind the wheel of a vehicle.
The gist of his message included regular vehicle checks, wearing proper attire while working, lifting packages safely by bending at the knees and using thigh, not back, muscles and being conscious of common accidents like backing situations.
Steele said, “On behalf of the Gulf Atlantic District, congratulations again and be safe.”