Consider a million miles.
It equates to 40 trips around the world or two trips to the moon and back.
Frequent flyers would be excited to collect the miles two Dobson postal workers were recognized for Thursday morning, but that would require decades.
“This is a big deal,” said Dobson Postmaster Mike Rosenhaur. “These are big awards.”
Dobson letter carriers Terry Cook and Tim Caudle were honored with two of the highest honors bestowed upon federal employees. Cook was honored the 2014 U.S. Postal Service Joseph M. Kaplan Safe Driver of the Year Award. He and Caudle were also recognized for driving 1,000,000 miles over 30 years without a preventable accident.
“Less than 2 percent of carriers make it to 1,000,000 miles,” Rosenhaur said.
It was a sentiment echoed by District Manager Ronnie White, who was on hand to present the awards to Cook and Caudle.
“These are rare awards we’re presenting today,” he said, standing among a bustling sorting room in the Dobson Post Office. “To have two individuals in an office the size of Dobson’s get these awards is very unusual.”
Cook was selected for the Safe Driver Award out of 20,000 letter carriers in eight districts and five states.
The award was created to recognize outstanding drivers throughout the country who have driven a significant number of miles per year without incurring a preventable accident.
Cook, who lives in Dobson, has served as a rural carrier for 39 years, delivering to the Salem Fork, Devotion, Kapps Mill, Redhill Creek and Haystack areas. He will be retiring at the end of the month.
“This is a fitting way for him to retire,” Rosenhaur said.
Caudle, also a local resident, is a 34-year postal veteran who delivers mail to the Level Cross, Stony Knoll, Rockford and Copeland sections of the county.
He said he appreciates the recognition but the credit goes elsewhere.
“We can go out there and be as careful and safe as we can, but at the end of the day it’s due to the Grace of God,” he said.
The awards were presented by the National Safety Council.
Keith Strange can be reached at 336-415-4698 or via Twitter @strangereporter.