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November 11, 2016

Faces of Fauquier: “Izzy” became a “postal hero”

Photo/Cassandra Brown
Isagani “Izzy” Ravelo delivers letters and packages to about 300 Warrenton homes and businesses each day.
When I was in the military I learned don’t walk away from responsibility or discrepancy. It’s not going to get fixed if you don’t do something.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
He never thought delivering mail would make him a hero.

Isagani “Izzy” Ravelo, a Warrenton mail carrier, delivers letters and packages to about 300 homes and businesses each day.

His route includes Broadview Avenue and Waterloo Street.

But in December 2013, Mr. Ravelo came to the rescue of an elderly woman who had fallen in her home.

“She normally would meet me up front,” he said. “If she wasn’t there, she would be sitting in the back, and I would check on her. I checked in the back, and I looked in the window and saw her on the floor.”

Mr. Ravelo quickly called 9-1-1, performed first aid on her severe head injuries and called a family member.

“When you see someone who needs help, you have to help,” he said.

Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe at the 2014 National Postal Forum recognized Mr. Ravelo as a “postal hero” for helping the lady in an emergency.

Neither snow nor rain nor dogs can keep Mr. Ravelo, a 19-year U.S. Postal Service employee, from delivering the mail swiftly.

He ranks dressing for the weather and “running away from dogs” as the job’s top challenges.

“I’ve gotten bitten several times,” he said. “That’s why I carry dog treats now.

“Last year in the blizzard, my truck got stuck by Moser Funeral Home. It’s not a challenging job, it’s just routine.”

Mr. Ravelo starts sorting and loading the mail into his truck at 8 a.m.

If he finishes his route early, before 4:30 p.m., and sometimes helps other carriers if they have heavier-than-normal loads.

He enjoys being outside during his workday and meeting new people.

“A little kid wrote me a letter last week and said thank you for delivering the mail,” he said.

Since moving to Fauquier County in 1987, when stationed at the Vint Hill Army base, Mr. Ravelo has watched the community change.

“Before, we could go shopping and leave our house open,” he says. “Now we have to make sure it’s locked.”

• Age

• Home
Vint Hill

• Work
U.S. Postal Service mail carrier in Warrenton, 1997 to present; clerk at the Warrenton Post office, 1996; U.S. Army, communications, 1973-96.

• Why do you do the job?
It’s very enjoyable. I like talking to people, meeting people. I used to be a clerk inside, but I’m an outdoor person. That’s why I switched over to being a mail carrier.

• Family
Wife, Edith; two adult children, Annaliza and Donny.

• Education
Northwestern State University, 1973; James Madison Senior High School, San Diego, 1972.

• Civic and/or church involvement
Member of Saint John the Evangelist Catholic Church; member of Mount Carmel (Masonic) Lodge 133 in Warrenton.

• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
Since 1987. I got stationed at Vint Hill in 1987. My wife said this was an ideal place to raise the kids, but now they are all grown and have their own families.

• Why do you live here?
I was in the Army, stationed in Germany, and they sent me to Vint Hill and I didn’t know where it was. I was a first sergeant for communication.

My wife liked the area. It’s a very friendly community. It’s not like a big city, where you say ‘hi’ to somebody and they look at you like who are you? I like the people who live here.

• How do you describe this county?
It’s a family-oriented community, just like where I was born in the Philippines. Friendly people.

• What would you change about Fauquier?
I’m not in the position of changing anything in Fauquier. I like the changes, but . . . in 10 to 15 years, it probably will be like Centreville, a big city. I welcome the changes if they are good. Now, behind my house, they have all kind of houses from the city. Big subdivisions. You don’t know who your neighbor is now.

• What do you do for fun?
Hunting, fishing. I love to run.

• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
Lake Brittle is fun near New Baltimore on a weekend or if you want to be alone. But now they have too many houses out there.

• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years?
It will be another big city. It’s growing.

• Favorite TV show?
I don’t watch too much TV. I like to watch the news and Sunday football.

• Favorite movie?
“An Officer and a Gentleman” and “Top Gun.”

• Favorite book?
Nicholas Spark’s books. That must be the feminine side of me coming out. He’s a good writer.

• Favorite vacation spot?
Back home in San Diego. Now, I have to drive at least three hours to see the ocean.

• Favorite food?
Everything is my favorite as long as it’s good. You put something in front of me and it looks good, I’ll eat it. Italian is good. I love Mexican.

• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom?
When I was in the military I learned don’t walk away from responsibility or discrepancy. I learned that in the Army. It’s not going to get fixed if you don’t do something.

A postal co-worker, Buddy Curtis, told me when I started as a mail carrier told me, “Always take care of the customer.”

• Who’s your hero and why?
Gen. Douglas MacArthur, because he saved the Philippines (during World War II). He went back to get us liberated.

• What would you do if you won $5 million in the lottery?
I’ve never thought about it. I guess help people who are in need. You won’t really know until it happens. It’s never going to happen so that’s why I’ve never thought about it.
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TooTrue · November 14, 2016 at 9:26 am
Izzy is such a great guy.
Historylover · November 12, 2016 at 2:31 pm
Issy was a great guy to work with. If more people had his outlook on life the world would be a better place. Larry Payne
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