PEORIA, Ill.– A Peoria man is celebrating 50 years of service to Central Illinois. His job takes him through all four seasons trekking through rain, snow, heat and more.
It takes a lot of dedication to have a single career span five decades, but it takes an exceptional person to inspire others along the way.
USPS mailman and veteran Dennis West, is this week’s CI Hero.
For West, an Army Veteran and man of service, it’s just another day on a job he loves: delivering mail to peorians.
“It’s fun out here,” said West. “You gotta just look at it that way.”
West is one those rare people who can say they’ve had one career for five decades.
“Once I set my goals on things I’ll stick with it,” said West.”I saw 32 years so I wanted to see if I could get 50.”
West began his routes in September of 1969. In March of 1970 he was drafted into US Army for 18 months, then returned to his job delivering mail in Peoria.
He served as a city carrier at various stations in Peoria, Illinois, and even briefly worked as a delivery supervisor. He’s carried his current route at the North University station for over 25 years and says the people he works with are great, and keep him going. His father, a clerk with the Peoria Post Office, encouraged him to work for USPS. Keeping with the family tradition, his son is currently a city carrier in Bellwood, Illinois.
More than 20 years later he and Scott Haney became friends and eventually a mentor and men-tee.
“He is more than happy to help any body. He’ll answer questions. He’ll offer advice. [He’s] just a great person to work with.”Scott Haney, friend and men-tee of Dennis West
Not only has West driven over 2 million miles with no accidents, he’s helped his fellow mail carriers along the way, inspiring them to strive for success.
“Try to find what you really like in life,” said West.
Receiving mail is often times something we take for granted, but West says it’s given him purpose and a reason to continue to thrive.
His advice for his fellow postal employees “Basically, come to work with a positive attitude…don’t bring any problems to work. Always have fun – that’s the reason I’m still here, as Im still having fun.”
West says he hopes to work for another three years before retiring.
Dennis West celebrated 50 years as a USPS employee on September 29, 2019.
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