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Supporting our troops

A lot of small towns have been hit hard by the war in Iraq, as a lot of their police officers and firefighters also tend to be members of the National Guard and have been getting called up.

One such town is Stewartstown, NH, where the chief is also a sergeant in the NH National Guard. He was called up and sent to Iraq, where he was wounded and is now home recovering.

While he was gone, the town leaders decided to hire a full-time replacement for him. They sent Brendan McKeage a letter in Iraq informing him of this, but offered to keep him on as a patrolman on his return.

To their credit, the residents of Stewartstown unanimously denounced the move and censured the entire board of selectmen.

The legality of the town's move is being investigated -- one is not supposed to permanently replace a Guardsman while they are on active duty -- but the fact remains that regardless of the letter of the law, what the selectmen did was reprehensible.

I have a strong suspicion that there will be a few new candidates for the next election for selectman rolls around in Stewartstown...

J.


Comments (10)

I surely hope that those se... (Below threshold)

I surely hope that those selectmen are taught a valuable lesson in the next election.

However, I can understand the conflict - the town needs a chief of police... but still this was just plain stupidity on the town selectmen's behalf.

Best story I ever heard from a guardsman... he was activated and went to Iraq. When he returned he was told that he had been replaced... he sued - and won big (enough that he was taking some time off).

He won in no small part because his employer included in the letter the reason that they were firing him - because they didn't support the war and to hold his job would be considered 'supporting the war' by some of their board. The most shocking part of the story was the fact that his employer was his church.

At some point organizations will realize that this is not a productive thing to do...

Those selectment are sure g... (Below threshold)

Those selectment are sure going to have a fun time when the chief sees a speeding or parking ticket with their name on it crossing his desk.

"Half a mile over in a school zone, eh? I think that calls for a visit from 'Old Sledgey.'"

It's Support the Troops - G... (Below threshold)

It's Support the Troops - Giuliana Sgrena style!

The boys and gals are makin... (Below threshold)
Rob Hackney:

The boys and gals are making sacrifices in IRAQ.

People at home must SACRIFICE aswell.

Otherwise, in the end what are we fighting for? We need to pull together.

It occurs to me that the fu... (Below threshold)
pgg:

It occurs to me that the future promise of a permanent patrolman position would have been more appropriate to include in the job offer to the temporary chief of police.

I posted a quick rant on my... (Below threshold)
GSR:

I posted a quick rant on my little blog today on the same subject. The selectmen are the quintessential village idiots (now I understand where Cow Hampshire comes from). Thank goodness there were enough enlightened townspeople to call them on this moronic decision. Let's hope the Chief gets his title back and then arrests the village idiots for being stupid....one can only hope.

I think there is one possib... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

I think there is one possible way they could get away with it, but I doubt they intended on paying him his chief's salary to be a patrolman when he gets back.

Sure hope so - what they di... (Below threshold)
firstbrokenangel:

Sure hope so - what they did was illegal and I'm glad the Chief got his job back which was no one else's job,made it full time and gave him a salary.


Cindy

This may help reemployment ... (Below threshold)
Ray:

This may help reemployment rights of deployed military:

http://www.dol.gov/asp/programs/guide/userra.htm

Basic Provisions/Requirements

The pre-service employer must reemploy service members returning from a period of service in the uniformed services if those service members meet five criteria:

* The person must have held a civilian job;

* The person must have given notice to the employer that he or she was leaving the job for service in the uniformed services, unless giving notice was precluded by military necessity or otherwise impossible or unreasonable;

* The cumulative period of service must not have exceeded five years;

* The person must not have been released from service under dishonorable or other punitive conditions; and

* The person must have reported back to the civilian job in a timely manner or have submitted a timely application for reemployment.

While my kneejerk reaction ... (Below threshold)
epador:

While my kneejerk reaction was to suggest sending all the Selectmen to Iraq to help with the Democracy building there, I realized that last thing the Iraqis need is a bunch of dimwits like that "showing them the ropes." I say send them to China where their approach is more in line with the current government's ethics.




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