National Guardsmen and Reservists return from Iraq to find that they have lost their jobs, benefits, or missed out on promotions:
Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Labor Department reports receiving greater numbers of complaints under a 1994 law that is primarily designed to give Guard and Reserve troops their old jobs back, or provide them with equivalent positions.
Labor was receiving about 900 formal complaints a year before the Sept. 11. The statistical picture since then, based on fiscal years ending Sept. 30:
–1,218 cases opened in 2002.
–1,327 cases in 2003.
–1,200 cases from Oct. 1, 2003 through July 31. If projected over 12 months, the figure would be 1,440, the department said.
A few examples:
Larry Gill couldn’t return as a police officer in Thomasville, Ala., because a grenade injured a foot, making it impossible for him to chase criminals or duck bullets.
Jerry Chambers, of Oberlin, Kan., discovered that budget cuts eliminated his job as a substance abuse prevention consultant.
Ron Vander Wal, of Pollock, S.D., was originally told his job as a customer service representative was eliminated. He was rehired after filing a civil lawsuit seeking damages.