New military policy could leave disabled veterans jobless - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

New military policy could leave disabled veterans jobless

SOUTHPORT, NC (WECT) – Even though many are celebrating Memorial Day, some veterans say they aren't getting the love and appreciation they deserve.

In fact, some worry that it won't be too long before they are out of a job at the U.S. Army Sunny Point Terminal in Southport.

An army regulation change will become effective soon, essentially pushing some vets out of employment. It mandates that all vets, disabled or not, are now required to pass a physical test. The policy was made in 2006, and finally goes into full effect June 4.

For disabled veteran John Messner, running a timed mile is the one of the challenges standing between him and a job.

"My name is on the list of people who can't take the PT test, and I have no idea what's going to happen after that," he said.

Messner says he's just following doctor's orders. He's been a security guard for about 10 years, but the new regulation could leave him, and other veterans who once fought for their country, fighting for their jobs.

"Now they're being told, ‘Yeah, we hired you, you're a veteran you're a disabled vet, but you don't meet this new standard…even though you can do your job, you are basically no longer needed,'" said Dennis Scholz, another veteran who is not disabled.

Messner is just one of many who feel like the least the government could do is make an exception for the men and women who fought for freedom.

"There's a thing called grandfathering people," said Messner. "If you came in there without a PT test, I don't know why they can't grandfather you in until you're ready to retire."

WECT.com is told that about 40 veterans work as guards, and about half are disabled. A number of them have reportedly gone up the chain of command, requesting exemptions from the new policy.

So far, one vet has heard back, and his request has been denied.

WECT.com's calls to Sunny Point have not yet been returned.

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