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The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Harrisburg letter carrier Sam Dillard retires after 43 years

  • In 1970 Sam Dillard was just back from his one year tour in Viet Nam. He was looking for a job here in Harrisburg and found one with the U.S. Postal Service.
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  • In 1970 Sam Dillard was just back from his one year tour in Viet Nam.
    He was looking for a job here in Harrisburg and found one with the U.S. Postal Service.
    "I had served my country and was proud of it. I started with the post office a week after I got back," Dillard said.
    He continued to serve his country, but in a much different way.
    "I knew what death is and felt very fortunate to have made it back. I was infantry. I kept it to myself, I didn't want to inflict it on anybody," he said.
    Dillard is now 63 years old and retiring from 45 years of government service — two years in the Army and 43 with the Postal Service. His date of retirement is Dec. 1, 2013.
    He worked his first postal route for 10 years, his second route for three and a half years and then his third route for his remaining stint with the post office. He earned an award that recognized his estimated million driving miles without a preventable accident.
    "I have seen expansion here in Harrisburg. The town is spreading out. The worst thing here in Harrisburg that I have seen was the tornado in 2012. My route wasn't greatly effected by the storm, but one of my colleagues lost some of his people. People on your route become friends over the years," he said.
    Dillard said he really enjoyed the people at the post office.
    "The people I've worked with were all excellent workers. They care about the public. They will take the time to check on the elderly," he said.
    "The churches and the residents really came together after the storm."
    Dillard plans to spend a lot of time with his daughter when he retires.
    "She is the editor of the newspaper in London, Ky. Her name is Carrie. The county is about 60,000. We may move down there," he said.

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