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"It was never about the money, she said."
It was only about the money. It was a terrible mistake, but it was just a mistake. Rejoice in the fact that it was only a mistake. If this was something that was done repeatedly, maliciously or frequently a lawsuit might be in order. This woman found out immediately that her son was not deceased and to claim emotional distress, lack of sleep and that it affected her job performance for months is simply ridiculous.
Wow. Thank you Joan. Thank you Al. I have always liked the US Post Office and defended it against the jackals, but I like it a little less now. Would it go against policy to take that extra step and write a personal letter to this woman so that she feels a little less as if she should ever disagree with her government and demonstrate, that she won't be harassed in the most ugly manner possible? I guess people read into the news what they want to (1st comment) but I have to say, even a 9th grader paying attention in civics class knows the Federal Government is protected against civil lawsuits like this. Surely her lawyer told her this on her first visit, and surely her intention was only about retaining a sense of standing safely before her government exercising democratic rights.
phatcatpat: Have you ever had a son serve in a combat zone? If you had, I doubt you would be saying this was "just a mistake." Mothers and fathers with children serving in these wars fear going to their mailbox and answering the phone every day their child is in harms way. A stamp such as this should NEVER be used unless absolutely verified beyond a doubt. Unfortunately in today's society, ensuring terrible "mistakes" like this don't happen again often means hitting someone it the pocket.
I trained with an Army postal unit (not deployed) and also deployed with a different unit to Iraq, so am familiar with how mail works in a combat zone. The USPS doesn't manage casualty lists, DoD does. I'm unclear from the story whether the letter ever left the USPS system and was handled by military members. It seems like it would have to reach an APO before a records check could be made. I can't imagine a DECEASED stamp being made by a civilian at a stateside post office.
Beebee82 is right. No family member wants to see the uniformed casualty notification officers show up at their door. But even worse is to hear something through unofficial channels and not know the truth. Casualty management, among all the responsibilities that DoD has to juggle, is considered the glass ball that CANNOT be dropped. Family notification, handling of remains and effects MUST be done right. If this was a mistake by DoD it is a failure of the casualty system and I'm surprised it wasn't investigated.
Not quite sure what the section about her anti-war sentiments and her peer's alleged death threats is doing in the story. I think there needs to be more evidence present in order to infer a link between the two.
I do not know what is infer with the anti-war stance being part of the original article or the war is being fought by a small portion of the population. This article contains areas unrelated to the incident which detracts from the story.
I am happy to see she received help from Senator Franken's office and she is happy with the apology.
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