Word that the U.S. Postal Service is considering the closure of 3,653 local branches across the nation has been met with concern by those communities threatened with the loss of their post offices. This news has been particularly hard to swallow for the residents of Flag Pond, which is one of 60 post offices facing closure in Tennessee.
As Press Erwin Bureau Chief Brad Hicks reported in Monday’s paper, the folks in the rugged section of Unicoi County plan to do all they can to keep their post office open for business. Unicoi County Commissioner Loren Thomas, a lifelong resident of Flag Pond, told Hicks that losing its post office would be a cruel blow to a community that already has seen more than its fair share of bad luck in recent years.
“Flag Pond was a thriving community several years back and, just in the past 15 years, we have lost everything we have,” Thomas said.
The community has seen a number of businesses, offices and retail stores close over the past few decades. The post office has become a point of pride for its citizens. Without it, some residents would be forced to drive more than 20 minutes to conduct their business at the Erwin Post Office. The post office is a vital service for Flag Pond’s elderly citizens and those in the community who have PO Boxes at the location. These are residents who don’t conduct their business by email and don’t have any interest in doing so.
The people of Flag Pond have seen more than enough hardship in recent years. They shouldn’t have to face the indignity of losing their post office. This service is too valuable to be left to the whims of the budget crunchers in Washington.