Disabled veterans worried about jobs at Sunny Point
BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A group of disabled veterans is worried about keeping their jobs at Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point. The vets serve as guards at the munitions depot, but newly enforced regulations mean they will soon have to take a physical test.
“I don’t understand why they’re doing it the way they are,” said William McGuire, president of the union that represents the federal workers at Sunny Point.
As a condition of their employment military workers across the country have to take a physical agility test, including 40 guards who are military veterans at Sunny Point. Half of them are disabled.
“I was hired, and the government knew I had that disability,” Sunny Point worker Sgt. John Messner said. “Now all of a sudden I have to take a pt test, which is going to aggravate the things wrong with my knees, my ankle, my shoulder and other things, so I’m very confused.”
Messner says many disabled veterans at Sunny Point are concerned they are either going to lose their jobs or have to relocate. He says more than that, he’s worried for the future work of disabled vets.
“We’ll probably see a lot of those people with the extra five points for disability. We’ll probably see fewer and fewer of them, because there’s a lot of them that probably would not be able to pass the PT test,” Messner said.
The guards’ union president says the PAT test will require personnel to run or walk a mile and a half in under 17 minutes and do a certain amount of sit-ups and push-ups. He says the policy that was made back in 2006 is unfair.
“How can you use standards from an active duty military person, a regular general infantry soldier who’s out in the field all the time doing this, hiking and marching through the woods versus somebody who’s a disabled vet, 10 to 30 point vet, who’s sitting in a patrol car,” McGuire said.
We talked to commanders at Sunny Point today. They said they were working on a response statement to this issue. So far, they have not sent it to us.
More: continued here