After firing soldier in 2000, USPS ordered to rehire him - and pay him $2 million

Courtesy of Rick Erickson

Army Special Forces Sgt. Maj. Rick Erickson has won his legal fight to be reinstated as a U.S. Postal worker - almost 13 years after the USPS fired him for taking military leave. Photo taken by the Army on Dec. 12.

A heavily decorated Army Green Beret, fired by the U.S. Postal Service in 2000 for taking military leave, must be reinstated in his mail job and retroactively paid by the USPS for back wages, benefits and legal fees — an amount that may top $2 million, an administrative law judge has ruled.

Special Forces Sgt. Maj. Rick Erickson — who has earned three Combat Distinguished Valor awards, the Purple Heart, and more than 30 other military medals — said the termination forced him to re-enlist in the Army National Guard and eventually serve in Afghanistan in order to generate income to support his three daughters. While in Afghanistan, Erickson’s unit was ambushed in 2004 and he was shot twice in the arm.

“It’s a shame I had to fight 13 years for something the Postal Service could have corrected with a quick decision. But they didn’t want to do the right thing,” Erickson told NBC News Tuesday. For now, he remains on active duty.

“This has been torture to me, to my family and friends. I’m a single dad and I had to spend a lot of time away from my daughters. But this is not just about me. This is about every veteran that got fired from their job while serving their country,” added Erickson, 49. “Fortunately, I got the chance to fight it, to bring it to the courts. Most veterans who are fired just run out of money, say forget it, and go to a Publix (grocery store to work) and just move on. I’ve seen it so many times.”

USPS does not agree with the decision but is taking it under advisement, a spokesperson told NBC News on Tuesday. The U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board — which handles job disputes involving federal employees — handed down its order Dec. 14 that the USPS must re-employ Erickson no later than Jan. 18.

In addition to ordering the USPS to reimburse the soldier for nearly 13 years in back postal wages, the board also told USPS to immediately begin paying Erickson his postal salary — even if the USPS opts to appeal, a move that could extend the case another two years. Erickson said he doesn’t recall his hourly wage rate in 2000.

“I’m an aggressive guy so I was trying to become a post master,” Erickson said of his career aspirations when he worked for the USPS in Fort Myers, Fla. “Today, I sill have three daughters to take care of. Two are 21 and in college, and one is 17.

“It’s obvious the Postal Service did something wrong. But will they still spend the taxpayers’ money and keep fighting this because they don’t want to be proven wrong?” Erickson asked. “They need to ante up.

“I couldn’t be hired by any other federal agency. I was red-flagged (within the federal employment system) just because the Postal Service fired me. So I had to re-enlist,” he added. “I mean, how many civilian jobs are going to hire a Green Beret? What are they going to say, ‘Hey, Green Beret, go bag some groceries?’ ”

Click here for more military-related coverage from NBC News.

Erickson, who started serving in the U.S. Army National Guard in 1990, initially sought to overturn his postal termination in 2000. After he returned from Afghanistan, he ramped up his legal battle by filing an appeal in 2006 with the Merit Systems Protection Board. He claimed that by firing him, the USPS had violated his federal rights to serve in the military and hold another job, as stated in the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.

“In 2000, I was called to service. I was called up by the President of the United States to serve my country. The Postal Service fired me for using excessive military leave. Some employers just say: ‘You’re gone for six months? OK. Goodbye.’

“When you fight in combat, you can’t hold a grudge on your shoulder. You have to do your job,” Erickson said. “But I had to fight the enemy overseas and then I had to come back and fight the Post Office.”

In the years following his 2006 federal bid to regain his postal job, he won two decisions before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The USPS continued, however, to appeal his reinstatement, said Erickson’s lawyer, Greg T. Rinckey. In 2011, a federal judge remanded Erickson’s case — for the second time — back to the Merit Systems Protection Board in Atlanta.

“The USPS’ illegal conduct in 2000 was bad, but fighting this year after year is even more concerning,” said Rinckey, the managing partner of Tully Rinckey PLLC. He estimated that when the USPS receives the total bill for Erickson's back wages, benefits and legal bills, the tab will exceed $2 million, making it “one of the largest awards in an employment case against the USPS and the federal government.”

Rinckey said he expects the USPS to appeal.

“I never understand why an agency fights these types of actions when, in my opinion, it’s pretty clear cut. Why did they continue to litigate this? We were willing to settle this in 2006 and it would have been fairly simply to settle. They just kept going, raising the legal fees on it, year after year.”

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Comment author avatarTom Tom-2089970Expand Comment Comment collapsed by the community

Now because of this, will postage go up again?

  • 23 votes
#1 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:42 PM EST

They're going up anyway but what about the management people at the Postal Service? Who made the decision to fire this guy? Who made the decision to continue to litigate? These people need to be held accountable and if that means firing them, so be it. Good judgement is the most important asset of a manager; the information here indicates terrible judgement.

  • 106 votes
#1.1 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:01 PM EST
Comment author avatardirpExpand Comment Comment collapsed by the community

This is the disgusting action of your Republican government employees at work.

When I had the opportunity to put together a company policy for persons on military leave, we not only held the position of each employee, the company paid their medical/dental/life and continued their pay or reserved it for when they came back. Our company of 850 employees had two on military leave during the Iraq wars. One was gone for two weeks, the other for 8 weeks of training.

In both cases we had a meeting of the board of directors and decided it was the right thing to do. We knew we did not have to do all we did, but we could, legally without any question.

It was the one thing for which our legal experts said no one would question someone getting paid and not showing up to work.

  • 44 votes
#1.2 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:03 PM EST
plain bobDeleted

Think of the big picture. stop thinking of yourself. This person served our country and what did he get for it, a loss job and people like you who thinks of just himself. This is not the first time the post office did this to our serviceman. THE POST OFFICE SHOULD BE ASHAMED. I wish someone would look into this unjust and fire the people doing this to our serviceman!

  • 79 votes
#1.4 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:06 PM EST
Comment author avatarH-D-78109Expand Comment Comment collapsed by the community

When are you guys ever going to learn that the Postal Service does NOT recieve TAXPAYER money? Everytime there is an article about the postal service everyone keeps talking about how it is going to get money wither from the taxpayer or the government, it gets neither, however, our government loves taking money from the postal service. On the subject of this is a damn shame what the USPS has done to him and not taking the easy repair for this situation by just re-emplyoying him and paying him what they owe him! The postal managers are all like the people that fired him. If the postal service would force thier managers to do what they are supposed to do then they would not have any labor problems.

  • 58 votes
#1.5 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:19 PM EST
Comment author avatarneoatgExpand Comment Comment collapsed by the community

The problem is did he serve his country? he was not fired for being solider on leave he was fired for abuse of the military Leave act in a time of peace the USPS claim he only worked for 4 day over serval years during a time of peace. Could he of been special ops yes he could but it's highly unlikey he spent 1420 days on such missions with only 4 days of brake between them. that's 1 day a year he went into work.

  • 16 votes
#1.6 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:24 PM EST

Tom Tom-2089970

Now because of this, will postage go up again?


Yes, but only for you, because you asked that frivolous question.

  • 27 votes
#1.7 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:24 PM EST

Dirp,... Where the hell do you get that these were Republican governmental workers?! I have been with the Postal Service for many years and every supervisor and above have been, almost without exception, Democrats or sympathizers! The vast majority of Governmental workers, for every agency, are Democrats and vote accordingly! Trying to blame the Republicans for this stupidity is the peak of ignorance and shows how the libs try to blame their own screw ups on anyone but themselves!

  • 45 votes
#1.8 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:44 PM EST

Hey dirp, I think you misspelled your log on, it should be drip. Why make this a political smear when the association of ones party has nothing do to with this?

  • 27 votes
#1.9 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:46 PM EST


This is the disgusting action of your Republican government employees at work.

Do you have any proof that USPS managers are exclusively (or even predominately) Republican, or is this just your personal prejudice?


Hey dirp, I think you misspelled your log on

Nope .... it's onomatopoeia.

  • 18 votes
#1.10 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:56 PM EST


You're an idiot! Most of the postal workers I know are Democrats. Most of the government workers in federal, state, and local governments are dems.

The guy deserves pain and suffering too! We ask our military reservists to go fight wars, but they can't hold their position within an organization. That in my opinion is CRIMINAL, not just civil.

  • 29 votes
#1.11 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:57 PM EST

More fine reporting by MSNBC. "“In 2000, I was called up for (Operation) Desert Storm,”. Desert Storm was in 1991. Operation Enduring Freedom was in 2001. I doubt the gentleman said what they attribute to him. Don't these news agencies do any fact checking or editing anymore? They don't even seem to use spell check.

  • 33 votes
#1.12 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:57 PM EST

Mike C, I was wondering if I was the only one who caught that. It's kinda like the article that said the Austrian guy got to the Antarctic ahead of the Englishman but got there in 2011 while the Englishman got there 100 years earlier in 1912.

  • 15 votes
#1.13 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:35 PM EST

Tom Tom

don't worry about the cost of postage , the US Senate began the bailout of the postal union back in April of this year , YES ANOTHER UNION BAILOUT and the postal service and union morons are going to be get billions in bailouts before it is over , did you know that?, NO you didn't because the inept liberal sociaist media didn't want you to know it befor the election , and you left nut Chavez's can check it out for yourselves

  • 13 votes
#1.14 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:54 PM EST

I'm glad he got the two-mill and his job back (he deserved a lot more). Now, the way to pay for that is to fire every single person who was involved in his firing and then dragging their dupas to rectify it. That means everyone involved, from the execs down to the secretaries, anyone and everyone involved in crossing the t's and dotting the i's in how he was treated. What would be paid on their salaries will help cover it. But wait! There's more. They also lose their pensions and the money put into them goes to pay for this. I don't care if it's some beer-bellied guy who put in 40 years, or some blue-haired gal who did the same and is just two weeks away from retirement. They lose everything. Let them find a job, in their sixties (or whatever) to pay their bills. If they can't and end up losing everything, tossed on the street, homeless, hungry, cold and sick, well, no big loss. "I was only doing my job" is no excuse for the likes of them. We didn't allow the defendants at Nurmberg to use "I was only following orders."

  • 24 votes
#1.15 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:55 PM EST


This is the disgusting action of your Republican government employees at work.

Wow drip, get real. There are just as many Democrats/liberals working for the Federal government as Repus/cons. The vast majority do their job well. Before posting such an inane comment look in the mirror. I imagine the return image is pretty disgusting.

  • 12 votes
#1.16 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:55 PM EST

The most recently retired Postmaster General has a retirement that would pay for this 2 million in less time than the litigation. Seriously.

I read this as UPS, when I saw the headline. Admit I have new reading glasses on order, and not from a benefit package. This would be bad enough from a dumplass grocery chain or car dealership. The friggin Post Office?

Where are the human resource people in our countries public service? Fighting for the Taliban from the sound of this story.

  • 6 votes
#1.17 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:59 PM EST

The post office is at least $10 Billion in the red in just the last two years. That $2M is insignificant. Only 12 years to fight a government office? They are getting more efficient!

  • 8 votes
#1.18 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:06 PM EST

I can understand why the USPS would keep fighting a losing battle. The USPS fosters a horrific culture that just can't seem to get it together. I used to be a US Postal Inspection supervisor that held to the USPIS code of conduct. The USPS Code of Ethics is just a document...nothing else. For example, my manager did not like the fact that I did not support a USPS postal worker who said he was "in fear for his life". He said he was afraid his boss was going to kill him. I asked him why he thought that. He told me "Because he told me to get back to work." I said "Okay...and what else?" "That's it" he said. I asked him why he felt threatened. "I could just tell by looking in his eyes" he said. So, I blew off the call and did not call the so-called Postal Police, because there were not any in-service Postal Police near his location. So I told him he would have to call 911 for immediate assistance. This was the beginning of the end for me, as unbeknownst to most US citizens, part of the US Postal Inspection Service's job is to cover up anything that "does not look good to the public". The same manager knowingly completed official USPS documents with untruthes. So, I asked her to fix it such that the facts were included. She did not. I reported her and she fired me. It took me over a year with an attorney to "settle" with an award of attorney's fees and wiping my record clean. The USPS fought me tooth and nail all the way. I requested my personnel records via the Freedom of Information Act and found that lies in my records had not been totally removed. So, I saved the USPS money by personally calling their attorney and telling him that I have proof that they are now in default of a legal settlement. Well, including myself, I always thought the USPS moved slower than a sloth; but this time, it only took their personnel office 24 hours to honor my request. If I felt like wasting any more of my life with the USPS, I could have sued for megabucks, but I relented. So, if the Washington DC office of the USPS can turn around my request in less than 24 hours (I received a personal letter guaranteeing that nothing negative will ever be found on my record), then why can't they provide the service that their "competitors" provide? Oh yes, they cleaned up my record SO GOOD that it can no longer be found. I guess that's one way of handling it....the USPS way. Now I have to keep my paystubs and personal documents to prove to my subsequent employer that I did in fact work for the USPIS. Just fricken former boss did not get reprimanded for falsifying official USPS forms (a felony), nor did she lose her job. Our jobs required a security clearance, so if she had been charged and convicted (with clear evidence and several witnesses available), she would have lost her security clearance AND her job. I suppose that's too many personnel actions for the USPS to process for just one person. Otherwise, I just don't get it.

  • 24 votes
#1.19 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:31 PM EST

Tom Tom, the only way it will go up, is after the USPS ruins UPS and FedEx. The government ordered both of those companies to start giving the USPS some of their business. The UPS driver in my area isn't happy at all about this. As the driver stated, when management is forced to pay over blown benefits by the government, the government fix for it is by forcing business away from those companies that are successful, so they don't lose face with the USPS employees.

  • 4 votes
#1.20 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:39 PM EST

@neoatg - The US has been in a state of war since the first Gulf War. That whole region has been consider a war zone since then. Don't forget the soldiers who have died during this time of peace, Khobar Towers, the USS Cole, the 3 Embassy bombings as well as other events. You probably don't even remember any of this since you were safely at home while military members were dying during those years of peace.

  • 12 votes
#1.21 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:50 PM EST

The Post Office is just one more division of what happens to "government controlled" enterprises that are nothing but unaccountable wastes of tax payer funds.

  • 5 votes
#1.22 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:55 PM EST

So who are these rocket scientists who make these decisions at the post office? In my opinion, they are a bunch of "mental midgets" who should be ashamed of themselves. How in the world do they look themselves in the mirror? God save us from such people.

  • 3 votes
#1.23 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:56 PM EST

The USPS doesn't use tax money and doesn't operate on tax money. It is a government instituted, regulated and sanctioned commercial monoply. USPS employees are not government employees. The USPS would not be operating at a deficit had the US Congress not raided USPS pension and benefit funds.

  • 11 votes
#1.24 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:20 PM EST

President Obama should issue an executive order to the USPS to cease and desist in this insanity. Not to mention the payout, but the continued litigation will cost us taxpayers a fortune. And as this is a unionized organization, he shouldn't get too much opposition except from the idiots that run the USPS.

  • 1 vote
#1.25 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:41 PM EST

@ jim=4120631; You're correct, they do not use tax money. But the billions it takes to keep them afloat year after losing year IS our tax money. They're constantly getting bailed out by the government.

  • 6 votes
#1.26 - Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:54 AM EST

steel toed boot Yeppp, billions and billions, poured down a drain. Who are the meat heads and morons making decisions for the USPS? Obviously, none of them have ever heard about USERRA.

That law protects people in the military and veterans from losing their job if they are called to military service.

Whoever made the bad decisions regarding Sgt. Maj. Erickson, do not deserve to be working for the USPS, and shoud be fired, due to incompetence, or just being stupid.

  • 8 votes
#1.27 - Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:11 AM EST

That law protects people in the military and veterans from losing their job if they are called to military service.

I personally know of many activated military members that returned to NO JOB or 'That position no longer exist'. It was just not the USPS, many had held other government positions, both State & Federal. A few are relatives that had worked as DEA and POLICE Officers. Most were later offered lower paying positions, many required relocating and loss of seniority...

The most common reason cited - 'You held a critical position that could not be left empty...'

  • 4 votes
#1.28 - Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:06 AM EST

Are the people who made the decision to prosecute this for 12 years the same people who make operational decisions for the USPS? That may explain why a monopoly has been operating in the red for so long.

  • 3 votes
#1.29 - Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:09 AM EST

Sgt. Maj. Rick Erickson sorry but you may think you have won, really your Lawyers are the Winners..... Just compare what you get with what they are going to get. Yes, USPS screwed up and it has been ongoing battle..... THANK YOU for your Service.....

    #1.30 - Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:51 AM EST

    This article did not say," In 2000, I was called up for Operation Desert Storm, and the fired me" Why do you idiots make this up. It states that he started serving in the Reserves in 1990. He was fired in 2000 after being called to active duty. Reservists get called to active duty all the time for short or long periods and over the course of that ten years of employment, he could have been called up and then sent back home several times. Where did your numbers of only 4 days of work in 1420 days? You people just like to make up drama in here. Bottom line, if he was serving in the Army reserves and was called back to active duty, which I think his chest proves he has been there, done that, as we like to say, and the USPS fired him due to it, then they owe him his job and back pay to include everything he would have made, plus benefits, plus raises as they would have come around. That is what the judgement was for and a government agancy should know the law better than anyone. They broke it, pay up. And to think that, as a single father, he had no choice but to stay on active duty as the firing effected his eligibility for government employment. He spent years in combat away from his young daughters who are now,all but one, adults. They had to deal with the issues of when daddy was coming home and would he come home. This should have been handled 6-8 years ago and the people who started the problem fired. Mr. Presdent, you should be looking into this and making sure that the federal employers know the law. He deserves every penny of whatever he gets for this case. And for the ones who want to play the political card, he was fired in 2000 after serving in the Reserves and working for the USPS for 10 years. Only 2 of those years had a Republican in office. This time frame was when President Clinton was downsizing the military and cutting budgets in the 90's. His watch, and his federal workers fired this man for serving his country. Know your history and what was going on before opening your maouth and inserting your foot. Break the law, pay up. The more money they waste in appeals, the more money this soldier will collect when the next judge slaps them with a judgement. Sometimes it is much easier and less painful to the company to admit they screwed up and broke the law and correct the problem. HOOAAH, Sgt Major, stick to your guns.

    • 10 votes
    #1.31 - Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:54 AM EST

    Since 1990 I have worked for two different companies (one Fortune 500 and one mid size) both companies are manufacturing. Both companies had reservists or Guard folks called up, not only were there jobs waiting for them when they got home, the companies both continued to cover dependent insurance and to make up the difference between their civilian pay and the military pay - neither of which are required by law (the law only requires you to hold their jobs).

    • 2 votes
    #1.32 - Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:56 AM EST

    Gunner - Actually if he was called up for Enduring Freedom GWBush was President, but from dates that cant be. How can it be Clinton's or Bush's fault if the USPS violated the law - it is or was the Managment of the USPS.

      #1.33 - Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:03 AM EST

      “I’m an aggressive guy so I was trying to become a post master,”

      That, in addition to a lack of details, would suggest there's a lot more to the story yet tomorrow you'll want to hang a clerk because your stamp was the wrong flavor of mint.

      • 3 votes
      #1.34 - Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:41 AM EST

      so bring back a guy who knows how to go

      • 2 votes
      #1.35 - Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:11 PM EST

      H D this,The USPS has not directly received taxpayer-dollars since the early 1980s with the minor exception of subsidies for costs associated with the disabled and overseas voters. Since the 2006 all-time peak mail volume,[6] after which Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act",[7] (which mandated $5.5 billion per year to be paid into an account to pre-fund retiree health-care, 75 years into the future—a requirement unique to this agency[citation needed]), revenue dropped sharply due to recession-influenced[8] declining mail volume,[9] prompting the postal service to look to other sources of revenue while cutting costs to reduce its budget deficit.[10]

      • 3 votes
      #1.36 - Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:37 PM EST

      The USPS fires people? While I see many fine workers delivering the mail and at the Post Office I see a lot that need a good swift kick in the @ss. Including the jerk that I get once in a while who always puts my neighbors mail in my mailbox (literally every day he delivers) and the temps that never close the door on the mailbox.

        #1.37 - Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:28 PM EST

        Not to burst anyone's bubble about his qualifications, but could it be that the main reason he was hired in the first place was because of veterans' preference? All federal and state and some municipal jobs have some type of veteran preference. Sometimes, the extra points are what give a veteran who may not be as qualified as a non veteran with more relevant experience that relates to actual job the position.

        I'm all for helping our veterans out but not at the expense of someone who may have a combination of education and experience for a government position. Especially those positions that require some additional skill sets and specific education. I don't think I would feel safe if my local police department hired some veteran with no law enforcement background instead of someone with a criminal justice degree. Same goes for the post office. Working with the post office is more often than not a public facing one whether it is in a post office or on a route. The American consumer is an irrational creature who often doesn't react well to slow and inefficient service or having a package ruined. How would a veteran with PTSD and other possible mental problems react to an irate customer without losing his or her cool? Even when you don't have that set of issues, it can be frustrating dealing with customers who think they are right when more often than not they aren't on a daily basis.

        More often than not the service you get at your local post office is less than stellar and I don't think it would hurt USPS to maybe look elsewhere for help. I think they would maybe benefit by looking at any grocery store or department store and hiring their employees because most retail workers in the private sector know they have to provide excellent service in order to keep their jobs and keep the customers coming back.

        • 1 vote
        #1.38 - Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:51 PM EST

        Kelly I've found without exception, that if a veteran is qualified for a job, you will find no harder worker & not only that, a worker who will "take charge" as that what our military is trained to do. They will not sit on their butts waiting for someone to tell them what to do, they will go out & FIND something to do. Further, these men & women have dealt with more than you can ever imagine. An irate customer is nothing to them. How dare you question veteran's preference. You are able to spout your absurd prejudice against our veterans BECAUSE they fight to give you that right. It is my right to tell you to piss off.

        • 2 votes
        #1.39 - Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:53 AM EST

        This brainwash line that the military "fights to give me my right" is erroneous and annoying. Our rights are given to us by our creator.

        I don't know when it was exactly that this "line" started being indoctrinated into the military and their families, but it is obvious that they are way too receptive to the brainwashing technique used on them.

          #1.40 - Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:33 AM EST

          No, USPS will simply pay the $2 million using Forever Stamps.

          • 8 votes
          #2 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:44 PM EST

          No, insurance pays for this. This will not come out of our pockets it will come out of their insurance company's pockets. It's amazing to me how selfish jerks like you two just think about yourselves, rather than seeing what this story is all about.

          • 23 votes
          #2.1 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:07 PM EST

          Tz, do you think the USPS has an insurance carrier? I seriously doubt that. I think, if you do some serious checking, you'll find no federal agency, administration, organization, etc., has a private insurance carrier. They are ALL self insured, meaning the moneys for fines or penalties comes out of OUR pockets.

          • 13 votes
          #2.2 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:24 PM EST

          The USPS is not a federal agency; it is considered a civilian company.

          • 21 votes
          #2.3 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:44 PM EST

          It is a Congressionally regulated, government sponsored agency.

          As such, it probably does not have "employers liability insurance."

          BTW: paychecks for postal service employees say "US Treasury", right ?

          • 11 votes
          #2.4 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:54 PM EST

          The USPS is not funded directly by taxpayer money and that includes employees and benefits like health insurance and pensions. The only operations subsidized by the federal government financially are that of overseas operations such as mail delivery on air craft carriers or in warzones. The rest is funded completely by stamps and other services/products the USPS offers as well as direct union dues from employee paychecks.

          I agree that if the details as they were reported in this article are true then the USPS screwed up, but you ruin any valid criticism you give of the USPS by including inaccurate or false criticisms. I've liked your posts so far @frosty so I hope you try to stay on the factual side and not taint the otherwise intelligent commentary you've been offering.

          • 4 votes
          #2.5 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:56 PM EST

          The USPS is self insured. Congratulations Sergeant Major Erickson.

          • 18 votes
          #2.6 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:56 PM EST
          plain bobDeleted

          plain bob -- why bring your hate into this . . . obama has nothing to do with this

          • 15 votes
          #2.8 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:16 PM EST

          BTW: paychecks for postal service employees say "US Treasury", right ?


          So does your Federal income tax refund check if you get one, so what does that prove?

          • 6 votes
          #2.9 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:28 PM EST

          Andy, Obama is really running up one hell of a tab! I can't blame him for this stupidity, but, there is plenty more that is Obama's and the Democrat's fault. I just wish that even one member, other than Hillary, would take the blame for their screw ups instead of constantly blaming everyone else! And stating that Obama and the liberals are screwing things up is truth, not hate!

          • 2 votes
          #2.10 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:47 PM EST
          plain bobDeleted

          plain bob,

          Then why bring his name up at all? Just to get your jab in there to what you admit is completely false blame. By the way, your opinion is just that. Don't confuse it with actual facts.

          • 4 votes
          #2.12 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:25 PM EST

          To all the idiots bashing Obama over this it has been going on for 12 years. Obama has only been in office for 4. HMMM I wonder who was in charge for the other 8 years. Can you tell me Obama haters? Might it be the president who lied to get us in 2 unfunded wars that you admire? NAAH he never did anything wrong according to the lemmings.

          • 16 votes
          #2.13 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:00 PM EST

          Lord have mercy, Sgt. Maj. Rick Erickson's problems started in 2000, and somehow some of you have turned this into a President Obama's fault.

          What is wrong with you people, your hate for this man is actually overwhelming.

          • 13 votes
          #2.14 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:24 PM EST

          @ dirp .I'm not going to call you names just because you disagree with one party the other unethical posters due, I respect sound like you have, or had ,a respectful position in policy writing-making and that is clear to me ,but I worked for USPS for 25 years. Management are UNEDUCATED MOST UNETHICAL Individuals, placed in the position by by sleeping with each others. Postmasters on the other hand are relying on managers decisions, because they carrie out their (postmaster) tasks .Postmasters show up in the morning ,slip away for so called meetings and never see them back for the rest of the day .PAID 60 -80 thousands a year .I'm not surprised what they did to this soldier ,Shame is not enough to address .One more think we were pushed ,almost forced to vote democrat by the UNION almost 90% of postal employs are democrats .

          • 3 votes
          #2.15 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:42 PM EST

          Wow !! 2milion dollars is a hell off a lot of money for a guy I bet you never realy put in a hard days of work for the postal sercice ,I am not talking about his militairy servive here,but simple how much did he do as a postal worker ???? I think they screwed the postal service, I really do.

          • 3 votes
          #2.16 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:49 PM EST

          Loss of wages for 12 years plus him having to re-enlist and go to afghanistan, loss time with his children. 2 million is fair. USPS dragged it out and paid attorneys good money to drag it out. If you have that kind of money to fight it for over 10 years, then you can pay 2 mil if found liable. It was a gamble usps took and they lost.

          Pay up! That probably also includes retirement contributions that were not made in those 12 years. There's alot to take into account folks, that we don't know about.

          • 5 votes
          #2.17 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:14 PM EST

          Nah, the Postal Service screwed themselves by firing him. He is a veteran, served in the military for YOU and I, has a PURPLE HEART, has been shot multiple times, and has 3 daughters. It is the LAW to hold the spot for a service member when they return from duty. What you have here is simply idiots calling the shots. It happens more often than you'd think.

          • 4 votes
          #2.18 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:21 PM EST

          For those idiots who want to immediately go to their default position of stating that it is President Obama's fault, I remind you to check your history and note that it was Nixon who caused the Postal Service to get on the path they're on. Last I checked, he was a typical RepubliCON poster boy: Corrupt, self-preserving, and ready to sidestep the law when it suited his needs. Oh, and he had a short memory too.

          • 5 votes
          #2.19 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:26 PM EST

          Just to clear up the 2 million for 13 years issue:

          That works out to $153,846 per year and $12,820 per month. Pretty high wages for your average postal worker if you ask me. I'm guessing there are punitive damages included but I haven't heard anything said about any of it being punitive. I also wonder if they adjusted it for money he earned while serving. It seems at least arguable that he shouldn't get the damages for NOT working for the PO( 2 mil) AND ALSO get the money earned while working for the government at the same time. Sounds a bit like double-dipping.

          For the record, I believe this serviceman definitely deserves to be compensated by the Post Office. I just think the amount is a bit excessive.

          • 3 votes
          #2.20 - Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:38 AM EST

          Wow.. Bashing Obama and Bush . Clinton was in office in 2000. Geez.

            #2.21 - Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:31 AM EST


            The nearly $2 million he would receive is not solely back wages while he was an active military serviceman, but also the value of any benefits that accompany the postal job as well as all his legal fees fighting the USPS to get his job back. Considering he has been fighting for his USPS job since 2000, I would bet that the legal fees he's accumulated are quite substantial.

            • 2 votes
            #2.22 - Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:24 AM EST

            DonInPhnx - that 2mil also includes legal fees, which could easily be half of the award after a 12 year legal battle.

            • 1 vote
            #2.23 - Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:34 AM EST

            The problem here is that the bureaucrat who made this idiotic decision has no skin in the game. The taxpayers need to be able to hold government employees economically accountable for making choices that cost Americans sums like this, rather than choosing to cut our losses.

            • 1 vote
            #2.24 - Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:38 AM EST

            The reporting on this is not up to par. In the brief that is linked, we can read that the Sgt.Major worked a total of 4 days for USPS between 1996 and 2000. I'd certainly like to have more info before making any across the board condemnation.

            • 3 votes
            #2.25 - Tue Jan 1, 2013 8:43 AM EST

            In reply to:  DonInPhnx #2.20

            I am sure the amount which sounds excessive to you includes more things such as interest on the wages.  I am a disabled veteran who worked for USPS for 12 years. I was shocked with the attitude of far too many USPS managers and supervisors who were totally against the USPS hiring veterans especially disabled veterans in spite of federal law giving five points hiring preference to vets and another five points to disabled veterans. Being a disabled veteran I got ten points added to my test score. I was told by the testing official that I received the highest test score of anyone testing for the job that I was testing for and that was before adding the veteran preference 10 point. I was testing for an auto/ truck mechanic job and had over twenty five years experience as a mechanic including in the military and as a civilian. I waited four years before a job came open at any of the three locations which I had applied for.  Several years after I was hired I found out that three others had been hired in our area and none of them were veterans. I later found out that the nurse working for the USPS had changed the doctor's evaluation from "QUALIFIED" to "UNQUALIFIED" The doctor was a contractor who did not work for USPS but who did many evaluations for them as a contractor. The nurse had only seen me once for less that two or three minutes when she gave me paperwork to fill out.  By the time I found out what she had done she was retired and too much time had passed for me to take anyone to court. The nurse who took her job when she retired told me that the prior nurse highly disliked veterans and that she had seen many cases where veterans had been screwed out of a job by her   I was also shocked by the prevailing attitude of management that they were protected by higher ups when they broke state or federal laws. Management would fire someone illegally and if asked if they understood that the person would be reinstated later, likely with back pay, the answer was that getting the person fired for a couple of years or more would ruin the person financially maybe causing them to lose their home as well as leading to a divorce  so the manager would win in the long run. I spent 27 years in the military and never had I seen such power filled and hateful people. Not all of management are that way but as promotions on up the chain are strongly controlled by the people with connections to those already in power mismanagement breeds more mismanagement.

              #2.26 - Mon Dec 14, 2015 3:33 PM EST

              Wow! What a great story! It's time that employers take responsibility and give back to our fighting men and women which they rightfully deserve. I would like to personally thank this service member for protecting our freedom!

              • 37 votes
              Reply#3 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:46 PM EST

              Absolutely. This happens more often than is known. Any veteran who thinks they are being denied their rights should contact a Veteran's Advisor. You can fight the government and win.

              • 13 votes
              #3.1 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:50 PM EST

              $2 million? Crap, I should have gone to work for the Postal Service... that's one sweet paycheck, about $154,000 per year.

              • 11 votes
              Reply#4 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:49 PM EST

              Matt you're not the brightest bulb in the batch are you? that whole $2 million doesn't go to him, there's also lawyers fees and costs. Use the brain God gave you for a minute.

              • 28 votes
              #4.1 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:08 PM EST

              Tz-3189354 - so? It would still come out to $154,000/year gross. When you tell people what your income is, you most likely tell them your gross income, not including taxes and other deductions (benefits, 401(K), etc.)

              • 1 vote
              #4.2 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:08 PM EST

              It is not all going to his pay. Read the article before you post and you will realize a major portion is going to be legal fees, and expenses.

              • 10 votes
              #4.3 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:17 PM EST

              Ryan, Matt said "sweet paycheck", implying that all the money was going to Erickson. TZ was pointing out that wasn't true. His attorneys will get a sizable chunk and there are other litigation expenses to be paid out of the award. So, your comment is off the mark. His "gross" will be considerably less and, if the award is largely or totally compensatory damages, he'll be paying large tax bills on that remaining amount.

              • 6 votes
              #4.4 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:21 PM EST

              Idiot, that includes compensation, lawyers fees.

              • 3 votes
              #4.5 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:10 PM EST

              You dont pay taxes on legal judgments usually.

              • 2 votes
              #4.6 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:02 PM EST

              This is why the USPS is going broke, It is run by morons. Face facts, move on, and save money...but no the USPS will drag on for years to be proven right. Idiots.

              • 28 votes
              Reply#5 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:53 PM EST

              Absolutely perfectly said, gruntersdad.

              Idiots and morons, bufoons and dolts running the USPS. No wonder they're broke. And to think they pulled this BS on a career military veteran. Beyond despicable!!

              • 12 votes
              #5.1 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:42 PM EST

              Hmm that could be any private employer who fires soldiers who go into Military service.

              • 3 votes
              #5.2 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:46 PM EST

              Yay for people with no information.

              No the USPS is in trouble because the GOP under Bush forced through a last minute change to the USPS benefits Fund demanding they build a unheard of 75 year fund on every postal employee current past and future in a time span of 10 years.

              Without this Obvious bit of sabotage by the GOP the USPS would of been ruining a profit these last several years.

              • 13 votes
              #5.3 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:50 PM EST

              Good point not to mention the USPS is not allowed to make a profit by law. Hard to run a business that way.

              • 2 votes
              #5.4 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:55 PM EST

              It's not just the postal service. Go into ANY county, city or state government office or investigate the agency and you will find under-qualified, self-absorbed and "entitlement-minded" employees all over the place.

              Of course there are exceptions - those with a legit work ethic - but they are by far the minority in goverment jobs.

              • 7 votes
              #5.5 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:57 PM EST

              Gimmeabreaordrink yay for baseless claims. There are always a few bad apples no matter where you look they are not however the majority in any area including government jobs. Your inflating the few for the many here to support a preconceived dislike for public employees.

              • 8 votes
              #5.6 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:02 PM EST

              I agree that USPS is ran by mostly morons with no talent. They either kiss _ss to promote or are promoted due to nepotism. Most of them has no accredited degrees or management experience. That's why the fired a distinguished military personnel for serving our country, then fight the appeal process in court years after years. It's no wonder that USPS is in its current financial dire strait. You get morons to manage your business, you get moronic results. They need to "clean house" with USPS management and get people with real life, non-postal management skills to run the "quasi-government" agency.

              • 3 votes
              #5.7 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:09 PM EST

              A Tate or just remove the insane 75 year retirement fund requirement that has prevented the USPS from ruining a profit for the past several years.

              • 5 votes
              #5.8 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:16 PM EST

              There are many people out there trying to eliminate the prefunding requirement but you have a bunch of idiots in congress that think they know how to fix it (the same politicians that have huge financial problems within thier state). Some of the senate bills will end up destroying the USPS. The USPS employs 20-25% veteran (a high % of Disabled vets as well). It is a shame that out of the 260,000 carriers and 100,000 clerks (approx) that the USPS managers and some politicos are doing thier best to destroy a place where good jobs for veterans are available (congress could pressure the USPS to hire a higher percentage)

              • 3 votes
              #5.9 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:31 PM EST

              "... that has prevented the USPS from ruining a profit for the past several years"

              You have one thing right, the USPS has been ruining profits for years.

              "No the USPS is in trouble because the GOP under Bush forced through a last minute change to the USPS benefits Fund demanding they build a unheard of 75 year fund on every postal employee current past and future in a time span of 10 years."

              Sorry, that dog won't hunt. Democrats have controlled the legislature since 2006; try again.

              • 3 votes
              #5.10 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:12 PM EST


              Sorry, but you're wrong. This was a Republican bill, originally introduced by Republican John McHugh, and passed in 2006 when Republicans held a majority in both houses (231 R to 206 D in the House and 55 R to 44 D in the Senate). It was signed into law by Bush.

              • 8 votes
              #5.11 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:36 PM EST

              False, one of the typical lies Republicans tell to hide their own mistakes. It's really amazing that myth still continues. Democrats did not "control" Congress in 2006.

              • 5 votes
              #5.12 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:40 PM EST

              During a four year stretch (1996-2000 - Clinton Presidency, No active wars), BEFORE 9-11, he was only at his USPS job for four days. Other than that he was at his second job, the reserves. The USPS fired him because of excessive military leave. I could see him winning if it had been during a time of war, but it wasn't. Something just doesn't seem right.

              • 14 votes
              Reply#7 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:02 PM EST

              Where the heck are you getting that? He specifically says that he was called into active duty for Desert Storm in 2000 and that's when they fired him? Geeez ...get your facts straight and READ the whole article before commenting...then you won't sound so ignorant. KNowledge is power, ignorance is weakness.

              • 10 votes
              #7.1 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:11 PM EST

              And tz you just proved your weakness.... Operation Desert Storm occurred 1990-91....

              • 15 votes
              #7.2 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:14 PM EST

              Read the freaking lawsuit ace. Don't read the article. And get your history right. Operation Desert Storm (17 January 1991 – 28 February 1991).

              • 11 votes
              #7.3 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:16 PM EST

              Desert Storm was not fought in 2000. The entire Gulf War was fought from August of 1990 to the end of February/beginning of March 1991. The Sergeant clearly misspoke and/or the person writing the article misunderstood. Additionally I don't know how you can say IAM got their facts incorrect since nothing IAM stated was reported in the article. You COULD be asking for evidence for IAM's assertions- personally speaking IAM's claims are pretty outrageous and I'd like to see some evidence to back them up- but there aren't any inherent contradictions with what IAM stated and what was reported in this article. The Sergeant was not called up for Desert Shield/Desert Storm in 2000. He would have been activated for some other reason and since the 9/11 attacks did not happen until 2001 it makes it very strange as to why he was taking excessive leave. Perhaps this is why he won the case: because he was only taking the regular 2 week drill leave that he was scheduled. But we do not know that information since it isn't reported in the article.

              • 6 votes
              #7.4 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:18 PM EST

              Cartoon, it has become painfully obvious that IAMMYOWNWOMAN and I are the only ones who took the time to click the "judge has ruled" link and to read the suit. It states VERY CLEARLY at the bottom of the FIRST PAGE that "The appellant began working for the Postal Service in 1988. During the time he was employed by the Postal Service he was a member of the National Guard. Due to his military commitment, the appellant worked for the Postal Service for no more than four days between 1996 and 2000. The Postal Service removed the appellant from his position effective April 7, 2000, for excessive use of military leave." That, to me (a 12 year veteran), seems VERY excessive, and should not be covered by the protection in place for short term deployments. I was IN the national Guard during that time, AFTER Desert Storm (1991) and BEFORE 9/11. We were NOT at war.

              • 5 votes
              #7.5 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:49 PM EST

              The United States has been in an active period of war since 1990. You can try and divide up the Gulf War and Iraq and Afghanistan, and maybe it makes it easier to think about our modern wars in such a way, but it doesn't change the fact that this country has been in an active state of war for over 22 years.

              I'm a member of the American Legion, where to join you have to have served at least one day of active duty during wartime. The specific dates can be found here.

              Regardless of how long he worked for the US Postal Service, he still went through the screening and background check process required to be hired by that business, and as he was accepted into that position, that made him a legitimate employee. And it is in violation of FEDERAL LAW to fire an employee for reasons of military service, be it active duty or reserve.

              They violated Federal law. They must now pay the penalty for that.

              • 6 votes
              #7.6 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:50 PM EST

              As a veteran of the armed forces and a former postal employee, I applaud the decision. USPS has a history of doing whatever they want to their employees and most often get away with it. Wartime or Peacetime, when a reservist or guardsman is called for duty, they must report! There are laws that prohibit a serviceman or woman from being penalized for reporting to duty by civilian employers. As a hiring manager of one of the top healthcare companies in this country, I saw first-hand how a reservist or guardsman would not even be considered for employment because of their military ties. It's downright shameful! Good for you Sgt Major Erickson!!! God Bless and have a great holiday!!!!

              • 8 votes
              #7.7 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:54 PM EST

              This article is a mess but, I think the Sergeant Major refers to the areas in and surrounding Iraq as Desert Storm rather than using the country names. He did serve in Desert Storm in 91 according to the report but, we were still over there in 2000. It wasn't necessarily for combat but, we did have troops there. There is a possibility that there was a mission he was called in since he was Special Forces. This happens regardless of whether or not we're "at war".

              • 3 votes
              #7.8 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:58 PM EST

              @OC Dad you are right I did miss that. OK then yeah it does appear that his termination was due to his showing up only 4 times in a 4 year period. The judge seems to have been under the impression that since this was all approved through his command that it was therefore covered and thus meant the USPS could not fire him legally.

              I wonder if his time off had to do with his being in the Special Forces? I guess I'm just not understanding how he got that much service time as a reservist. A friend of mine was laid off from his job after they nearly went bankrupt in the '07 crash and all he could do for several months (until he found a new job) was work for the air national guard. The maximum days they said they could give him were 17 and that's all he had to go off of until he was able to find his new job. Does it work differently in the reserves or with special forces? I don't know how this guy would've been called to service so often given other people's experiences that I've heard about.

              As for our activity overseas: my understanding is the only activity we had was in the coastal regions with the US Navy/US Marines and US Coast Guard and an active No-Fly-Zone over Iraq that began prior to Desert Shield and lasted until our invasion in 2003. I'm not personally aware of any troops being deployed to Iraq (perhaps Kuwait is what the Sergeant was meaning to say) during that time period- although that could be a case of that information just not being publicized.

              • 2 votes
              #7.9 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:04 PM EST

              For the record, Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990. If you think some of us weren't deployed prior to January 17, 1991, you must be smoking some good stuff.

              CSM Erickson was a member of the Special Operations Command. They are among the first to deploy in every conflict.

              Think back to the extensive deployments of units prior to the January 1991 invasion. It took months to deploy armored divisions.

              So, I don't need to read the history books for my knowledge on the subject. I lived it.

              • 9 votes
              #7.10 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:08 PM EST

              Good thing your opinion doesn't mean anything, because your story of the events is incorrect.

              • 1 vote
              #7.11 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:26 PM EST

              Did you all forget about the military actions we took part of in Eastern Europe in the late 90's. While the U.S. was not officially at war the guard and reserves were heavily called upon. Not to mention that this guy is spec- ops a community that gets called on and reactivated much more than most. He may well have earned his leave we are not the judges of that. We have no idea where he was called to serve or for how long or what he did while on duty.

              • 1 vote
              #7.12 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:30 PM EST

              Desert Storm was not in 2000. I should know, I was there in '91.

              • 10 votes
              Reply#8 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:03 PM EST

              I usually don't catch things like that but I did this time.

              • 1 vote
              #8.1 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:13 PM EST

              Desert Shield was August, 1990, and was changed to Desert Storm 16 January, 1991. But, I have trouble remembering the dates, and a lot of the time, keep slipping in 2001 instead of 1991, 'cause, as I age, dates have a tendency to run together. And we have been dealing with that part of the world since 1990.

              • 3 votes
              #8.2 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:15 PM EST

              I never confuse wars, neither do any of my comrades.

              • 2 votes
              #8.3 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:59 PM EST

              How dare the postal svc fire him? The outrage.

              • 1 vote
              Reply#9 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:04 PM EST

              I thought it was illegal for employers to terminate employees who were on military duty. You can't say to the military "Oh, you guys go on overseas and fight without me, my civilian employer won't give me the time off"...

              Why is this even a case? What maroon at the Post Office actively decided to not grant MILITARY leave? Whomever that guy (or gal) was, THEY should have to pony up some cash too... Make the responsible pay, not the rest of us.

              Then again, maybe this is why USPS employees go "postal"...

              • 6 votes
              Reply#10 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:05 PM EST

              What maroon at the Post Office actively decided to not grant MILITARY leave?

              Same one who won't stop Saturday delivery despite the HEMORRHAGING and insolvency of the USPS.

              • 3 votes
              #10.1 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:34 PM EST

              Actually, this is something that rings false for me. Obviously, no employer is going to declare that someone was fired for military leave. So the first question is, "why did they say they fired him?" Now, what nags at me is that he may have been fired for a very good reason (say, not doing his job) and the military calling came at an opportune time for him. (I don't know if this is true. But it would explain why USPS fought it in court.)

              • 1 vote
              #10.2 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:53 PM EST

              Janie maybe if we remove the insane GOP sabotage of the USPS they would be doing better. I've never heard of any other company having to hold a retirement fund of 75 Years for every past and current employee before. Yet the bush era GOP thinks that's ok for the USPS?

              • 3 votes
              #10.3 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:56 PM EST

              Pvblivs Apparently he was fired for only showing up to work for a few days over several years during a time of peace. The USPS claim he abused the military leave act to gain a paycheck. If true I don't see why this guy would of won his appeals he should of been fired period.

              • 3 votes
              #10.4 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:59 PM EST


              Janie maybe if we remove the insane GOP sabotage of the USPS they would be doing better.

              Are yopu aware that the cosponsors of the bill were one Republican and two Democrats?

              • 3 votes
              #10.5 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:06 PM EST

              Do you know that one of the Democrats withdrew his sponsorship when the bill changed from what it was to the 75 year insane requirement the other claimed he was not given knowladge of the requirement till after the vote.

              That the Sponcer of the bill was a hard line GOP who had made statement agienst the USPS before this bill.

              Also that the democarts have tried to undo the requirement no less then 4 times since then all blocked by the GOP.

              • 4 votes
              #10.6 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:24 PM EST

              so the other democrat just voted for it without reading it? hmmm, funny how these things always turn up

              • 2 votes
              #10.7 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:46 PM EST

              Did you know that all politicians are honest people who do everything they promise their constituents?

                #10.8 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:52 PM EST

                actually, we were not at peace time during clinton's presidency. sarajevo, bosnia, the czech republic anyone?

                • 1 vote
                #10.9 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:21 PM EST

                Army reserve unit I was in, activated for Desert Storm, luckily didn't have any of those problems. Private, and public, companies in this area even went so far as to continue to pay their salaries, for up to six months. And we were, supposedly, protected by federal law. Couple of independent truck drivers didn't have that kind of luck with their banks, and lost their businesses because of it. (And they were also supposed to be protected.)

                That was, and still is, I think, a FEDERAL LAW, yet here, an organization that is part of that federal government, doesn't have to obey those laws? Guess the lawyers wanted to get rich on this. Wonder if some of those USPS bigshots have ties to any of the law firms handling this case. Wouldn't be surprised.

                • 2 votes
                Reply#11 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:09 PM EST

                yeah Frosty, but it was up to six months.... click the link and read the first two pages of the lawsuit... "The appellant began working for the Postal Service in 1988. During the time he was employed by the Postal Service he was a member of the National Guard. Due to his military commitment, the appellant worked for the Postal Service for no more than four days between 1996 and 2000. The Postal Service removed the appellant from his position effective April 7, 2000, for excessive use of military leave." Then, he waited until 2006 to even complain about it. He didn't have to go to Afghanistan because he lost his postal service job - he wasn't even working at his postal service job.

                • 5 votes
                #11.1 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:07 PM EST

                I'm thinking there is another side to this story.

                • 10 votes
                Reply#12 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:11 PM EST

                I am too.

                • 2 votes
                #12.1 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:54 PM EST

                and you're both right... "The appellant began working for the Postal Service in 1988. During the time he was employed by the Postal Service he was a member of the National Guard. Due to his military commitment, the appellant worked for the Postal Service for no more than four days between 1996 and 2000. The Postal Service removed the appellant from his position effective April 7, 2000, for excessive use of military leave."

                • 3 votes
                #12.2 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:08 PM EST

                Orange County:

                If all that is true, he should be being jailed for fraud and should get a dishonorable discharge. And that story makes a whole lot more sense.

                • 2 votes
                #12.3 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:20 PM EST

                really, it stinks. milking the system.

                • 2 votes
                #12.4 - Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:47 AM EST

                Excuse me why should he be jailed - can anyone show evidence that he wasn't on active duty in those 4 years? (DOnt forget at that time our military was in the Balkans). HE may actually have been on active duty and that would not constitute fraud.

                Now about milking the system - since he has now spent 16 years active in the military - if he serves 4 more he will have a full 20 - does this not qualify him for retirment as a SGT MAJ - (his active duty pay could be over $5000 per month up to $7100 depending on service) - retirement for a SGT MAJ could start around $2500 per month and grow to close $10,000 assuming he is long lived. If he is reinstated to the post office one would assume his seniority would be restored and he could also have a pension there - a pension for exactly the same years as he served in the military - could this be the ultimate in double dipping.

                • 1 vote
                #12.5 - Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:32 AM EST


                You're excused. He no doubt waited so long to file his suit because he didn't want the military records with no mention of him serving to be produced. This guy wasn't serving the military. He was playing hookey, and then claiming military leave. He should have to prove that he was on duty. Otherwise, he is being fraudulent. He found a way to game the system so that he didn't have to work.

                • 2 votes
                #12.6 - Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:05 PM EST

                “In 2000, I was called up for (Operation) Desert Storm,”

                This is eithor BS or, again, NBC demonstrates its lack of accuracy in quoting people...

                I was in Operation Desert Storm in the 101st Airborne and in 2 OIF's. Desert Storm was 1990-91 NOT 2000...

                • 7 votes
                Reply#13 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:12 PM EST

                Airborne, All the way! I was a Screaming Eagle and in the GW as well, Brian35897. I hope the reporter messed it up as no comrade I know confuses their wars. GW -- 1990 to 1995 and GWOT -- 2001 to Present, per DoD. It's pretty simple and quite disrespectful to merge them together. // Glad the soldier got what he was owed and it's too bad it took so long.

                  #13.1 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:05 PM EST

                  I'm thinking it's a bad idea for anybody to tell a Green Beret that he's fired.

                  • 1 vote
                  Reply#14 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:14 PM EST

                  Why... vet's aren't the psychos shooting everyone up in malls, movie theatres, and elementary schools.

                  Most understand what honor is....

                  • 5 votes
                  #14.1 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:18 PM EST

                  You must not live next to a military base. Since the wars started in 2001 the crime rate has gone through the roof in Colorado Springs. And it happens to be a lot of returning vets that are committing them. The army really needs to do more for those guys when they come back.

                  • 2 votes
                  #14.2 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:23 PM EST

                  Good for you my Brotha! You kept up the fight and did not give in! What a disgusting shame that you lost your job for serving your country in a honorable manner, so that the P.O.S. who fired you could do so under the name of "freedom."

                  • 2 votes
                  Reply#15 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:17 PM EST

                  Open the lawsuit PDF that is in this article and read it. Thousands of people here work as grocery baggers but because he was a soldier he is too good for that? There is something so wrong with all this. The period in question that he was fired for is 1996 through 2000, when he only worked 4 days and asked for military leave for the rest. There was no war in Iraq or elsewhere during that time.

                  • 5 votes
                  Reply#16 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:19 PM EST

                  Green Berets get called out to do things that you will never know about all the time.... so no issue with that.... just the inaccuracy of the Desert Storm in 2000 crap.

                  Also I am with you in that he should not be deniggrating grocery store workers. At least they are working and not pulling wellfare while sitting on their butts at home.

                  • 4 votes
                  #16.1 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:24 PM EST

                  I read both the article and the lawsuit. True, they (MSNBC) got the Desert Storm timing messed up...they should know better than that.

                  Regardless, if this guy was a Reservist it doesn't matter if he was employed for 4 minutes or 4 centuries...if the Army called him for duty then he deserves his job back. It's the law.

                  DSP - CAPT/USNR

                  • 6 votes
                  #16.2 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:27 PM EST

                  Something rotten this way comes. The timeline doesn't match the events. If what he claims was true then shame on the other division of the same government. But it seems a bit odd that the events took place long after Desert Storm and before 9-11.

                  • 2 votes
                  #16.3 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:28 PM EST


                  Grocery baggers don't make much money, so they certainly may still be getting benefits of some sort. They are undoubtedly part of the 47%. You seem to be of the sort who assumes everyone who doesn't pay taxes or gets assistance are lazy bums who don't work. In fact, most do work, they just don't make squat (or they're retired Seniors). Members of the military are often in these groups as well!

                  • 1 vote
                  #16.4 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:46 PM EST

                  U.S. Military actions in Eastern Europe in the late 90's



                  Czech Republic

                  Appellant was Special Forces

                  • 1 vote
                  #16.5 - Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:35 AM EST

                  This is absolutely the right decision. Shame on USPS for the way they bungled this whole situation. Our military and veterans deserve much better than this.

                  USPS: Pay up or now and make things right ... or the price will keep going up.

                  • 2 votes
                  Reply#17 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:19 PM EST

                  You go Sgt-Maj.! One vet to another, I appreciate your service.

                  • 1 vote
                  Reply#18 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:25 PM EST

                  This does not surprise me at all. I worked for the Postal service for 15 years and finally left. Why? Because upper management does not value the members of the Postal workforce. I was a supervisor when I left so I know how they operate. Best decision I ever made. I'm glad to see this fine man receive vindication. Shame on the Postal Service!!

                  • 1 vote
                  Reply#19 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:31 PM EST

                  Methinks the WRONG person was fired.

                  I mean...really...after at least six years, the USPS (or the mooncalf that is making the same decision to drag this saga onward, and probably even the same joe that fired this soldier) STILL can't make the right decision?! No wonder they are in the red! The soldier has a lot of perseverance...Who would still want to work for such jerks?

                    Reply#20 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:33 PM EST

                    Can someone explain the timeline of events because it doesn't make sense. He was fired in 2000 because he was surviving in Operation Desert Shield in Iraq the article states. However, no American troops were in Iraq in 2000.

                    • 1 vote
                    Reply#21 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:33 PM EST

                    go for it what is wrong with this country law says go to war and you must be rehired all the other vets caught in this catch 22 sue sue sue !!!!!!!!

                      Reply#22 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:33 PM EST

                      Sounds to me like a vet using his military service to bilk the taxpayers for as much money as he could. This is coming out of our pockets ladies and gents. The guy only worked FOUR DAYS BACK IN A TIME WHEN THERE WERE NO WARS BEING FOUGHT.

                      Could be wrong, but from what I've read, he's a lazy person trying to milk as much money as he could.

                      • 9 votes
                      Reply#23 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:37 PM EST

                      Are you serious? It sounds to me like you are against vets getting benefits that they deserve. I'm sure there are a few that try to milk the system but they are few and far between because I never met a vet who was getting more that he/she deserved. Most don't get everything that they deserve. Don't start being critical of people like this until you've been in their shoes, there is a lot of money coming out of our pockets and being wasted on other stupid expenditures, this hardly seems like a waste.

                      • 3 votes
                      #23.1 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:03 PM EST

                      Alexmak so it's ok so long as your a solider to collect a paycheck without haveing to work now? 4 day over seveal years in a time of peace is an abuse of the veterns service leave act. There is noting to support his "called up to serve" claim.

                      Now could he of been called special ops yes, was he no one knows. And that's why based on the fact we know he should of been fired.

                      • 1 vote
                      #23.2 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:14 PM EST

                      Alex, I'm a vet, okay? Active Duty 88-91, Reserves 91-95, Guard 95-2001. Sergeant, US Army.

                      This Article is extremely misleading. It states in the lawsuit that "The appellant began working for the Postal Service in 1988. During the time he was employed by the Postal Service he was a member of the National Guard. Due to his military commitment, the appellant worked for the Postal Service for no more than four days between 1996 and 2000. The Postal Service removed the appellant from his position effective April 7, 2000, for excessive use of military leave."

                      Under USERRA,

                      A person who leaves a civilian job to enter active duty is entitled to return to his or her civilian job after discharge or release from active duty. However, there are five basic eligibility requirements under federal law:

                      • The person must have been released from service under honorable conditions and must furnish proof of that release;
                      • The person must have held a civilian job "other than temporary" at the time he or she entered active duty;
                      • The employee must have left the civilian job for the purpose of going into active duty, and must have given notice to his or her employer to that effect;
                      • The employee must apply in writing within 90 days of separation or release from training or service (lesser periods apply when the period of service is 180 days or less); and
                      • The period of service must not exceed five years

                      I would consider his position vacated, especially since he didn't go after this until 2006, a year after he was released from active duty, and years after he was terminated from employment with the USPS.

                      • 6 votes
                      #23.3 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:18 PM EST

                      Sicktired You are as stupid as they come. NO money is coming from taxpayers, not a penny. Know what you are talking about before running your blow hole !!

                      • 1 vote
                      #23.4 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:22 PM EST

                      You DO NOT get to be a Sgt. Maj. in Special Forces by being lazy.

                      • 2 votes
                      #23.5 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:23 PM EST

                      Sick, You would have been a victim of "friendly fire"

                      , for sure! From a former member of the 5th Special Forces!

                      • 1 vote
                      #23.6 - Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:59 AM EST

                      Iv,e work for the Post Office and they are back stabing S.O.B,s. I hope he gets all the back pay and more!

                      Vite-Nam Vet 1968-1972. INF.

                      • 3 votes
                      Reply#24 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:38 PM EST

                      thats why the post office runs in the red year after year.. Idiot government appointees run the show.. And there is no accountability since they are government managers ie,, they cant be fired.

                      • 2 votes
                      Reply#25 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:39 PM EST

                      Sigh SO many people have no idea what's going on with the USPS it's sad how you have been tricked. Under Bush before they lost power in 2006 the GOP in one of their last acts pasted a new requirement for the USPS retirement fund. 75 YEARS for every employee past and present this is unheard of, and to anyone not willing blind is an obvious act of sabotage by the GOP. They only have 10 years to get the fund filled as well. The USPS would of been running a profit for the last several years if not for this insane requirement.

                      • 2 votes
                      #25.1 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:10 PM EST

                      There must more to it than you've indicated. After all, the democrats were in charge totally for 2009 and 2010 and they didn't change the requirement to pay-as-you-go funding of the pension plan. Why's that??

                      • 1 vote
                      #25.2 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:25 PM EST

                      CME Mgmt and you just showed more misinformation the Democrats were not in "total control" they never had a filibuster proof majority in the senate. Lieberman was posing himself with the GOP after he was kicked from his state Democrats party hope to gain there favor during that time he voted against the Democrats more then with them.

                      No there is no more to it The GOP under Bush pushed through this requirement in a deliberate attempt to sabotage the USPS. Notice several GOP members have floated bills to privatize the USPS in the last few years. This is another attempt to force the average Americans to have no option but Private companies who can then jack-up rates to whatever they want without the control of the USPS.

                      • 2 votes
                      #25.3 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:48 PM EST

                      neoatg You are wrong. The bill that was signed by Bush in 2006 was co-sponsored by 1 Republican and 2 Democrats. Had that bill not been passed the Post Office would not be in trouble.

                      However you are correct about the Republicans trying to sabotage the Post Office last few years. However the current situation would be mute had that bill not been passed.

                        #25.4 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:49 PM EST

                        CME Mgmt,

                        Democrats have tried to change this law four times but have been blocked each time by the Repubs!

                        • 1 vote
                        #25.5 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:51 PM EST

                        ken which one Dem withdrew his support when they added the 75 year requirement the other claimed he was not told about it till after the vote.

                        • 2 votes
                        #25.6 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:13 PM EST

                        This is absolutely outrageous, a federal agency flouting federal law to begin with and then persisting to litigate against this soldier. Unfortunately, it happens all the time and employers get away with it. These guys are the backbone of the Army. As an officer I view them as what the Army is all about and we need to support them to the hilt. This is a national disgrace for a federal agency, a semi-corporation or whatever (the rule also applies to private employers for the most part) to have had any part in this. I am for every cent he gets and more. Somebody needs firing or worse.

                        • 2 votes
                        #25.7 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:43 PM EST

                        neoatg is correct about the politics behind the USPS being required to fund their pension plan for 75 years as a Republican ploy to privatize the Postal Service.

                        The GOP Congress has also forced the Post Office to pay $5 million a year into the Treasury for no stated reason.

                        They are forcing the USPS into hardship because their corporate sponsors are waiting just right of center stage to take over! It's absolutely shameful.

                        I make no comment about the case at hand because the full facts haven't been presented.

                        • 1 vote
                        #25.8 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:10 PM EST

                        Here's an idea, fire the postmaster general and hire the Sgt.Maj to take his place.

                        • 4 votes
                        Reply#26 - Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:41 PM EST
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