MADERA, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Javier Alcala has delivered his last letter for the Madera Post Office.

It’s where he has been since 1987 when he transferred there from the post office in San Leandro.

Wednesday, friends and colleagues both new and old gathered around, with some nice things to say about Alcala and his positive spirit and dedication to his job.

He even got a Mayor’s Certificate from the Mayor of Madera, pins highlighting his USPS career, and a specially made card with signatures and well wishes from his friends and co-workers.

The postal service will always be indebted to Alcala, he’s a ‘Million Mile Driver’ award recipient, which means he’s driven over a million miles without even a fender bender. In his time with the postal service, he has driven the equivalent of 40 times around the Earth.

“I said, well let’s see how long I can go but 38… 38 years I think is enough,” Alcala said with a smile.

Even though there we some bad days, like when he had to walk in pouring rain or when he got chased by dogs, he said the people he worked alongside and the people he delivered to every day made it all worthwhile.

“A new family. A postal family. And we’ve really become close,” Alcala said, “I don’t know how many Quinceaneras, birthdays, weddings that I was invited to because they treated me as part of the family.”

His colleagues say the positive attitude and willingness to help he brought day in and day out, through crazy holiday seasons, elections, and more can never be replaced.

“I’m gonna miss just the way he brightens up the room. The way he wants people to be happy. As long as everybody’s happy, he’s happy,” said Mike Martinez, a fellow letter carrier in Madera.

Alcala said to his friends in the post office and around Madera, that it was not a goodbye, it was a see you later.

For now, he is ready to spend time with his family and friends, and he plans to travel the country in an R.V. before going off to explore Europe.