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National Guardsman are f*cked again by Uncle Sam

Does the complete and utter immorality ever stop? (Florida Sun-Sentinel):

Amid the chaos of war, Sgt. Roberto Orozco and about 35 other members of the Florida National Guard sent to Iraq relied on what they knew for certain: their military training, the love of their families and their government jobs back home.

Then one day in the combat zone, the men got a letter. When they returned home, the letter read, their jobs as full-time members of the Guard assigned to a federal drug interdiction program would be gone.

“We got shafted,” said Orozco, 43, a Miami father of three. “We come home from war, and this is what we get.”

Of course, you’re probably thinking, what about that law that protects people on active duty from losing their jobs?

…had the soldiers worked for a civilian firm, and not for the federal government, they might have been covered by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, which protects reservists from discrimination and job loss when called to active duty.

The letters, dated Jan. 12, 2004, informed the guardsmen that their jobs “are not militarily unique and are therefore better performed by other agencies.”

The letter then referred them to several job placement Web sites before concluding, “You are constantly in our thoughts; rest assured that every decision we make is with our Counterdrug deployed soldiers and airmen in mind.”

…For some, unemployment is not the biggest problem. Thirteen-year Operation Guardian veteran Sgt. Arthur Wells is being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder and waiting for a second surgery on a shoulder injured in Ramadi, Iraq, when he broke down the door of an insurgent’s house.

“It is horrible to go and fight for your country, and then get treated like this,” said Wells, 34, a Miamian who collects disability pay while studying to become an automotive technician. “I’m almost thankful I got hurt, or I’d be in a worse situation.”

In other words, bend over once more and smile when you go serve your country. Think this story will be in recruitment ads for the Guard?

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding