Marine Cpl. Todd Corbin deserves to kick back, relax, lie on a beach somewhere and enjoy life. But, unfortunately, things are never quite that simple.
Corbin, whose heroic deeds in Iraq have garnered national attention, is going back for three more weeks of military training on June 9. The problem is, by Ohio law, the sheriff's office can only pay him for 176 hours of military training, which the Huron County Sheriff's deputy already has reached.
The sheriff has come under some public fire for the suggestion that Corbin will have to use personal or vacation time when he heads off for training, or make up the missed work on his days off. While it seems unfair that a war hero would be facing such a dilemma, on the surface at least, it appears the sheriff's hands are tied. The good news is, Corbin will be paid by the military during his training though it will be less than he would receive from the sheriff's office.
Corbin's problem outlines a major problem many Iraq veterans are facing. When National Guard or Reserve troops return, many find themselves in following situations: their civilian employers have cut staff, including their job; they were passed over for promotions; injuries they sustained prevent them from resuming their previous jobs; and/or new employers are hesitant to hire returning veterans, knowing they could, and likely will, be called back at any time.
There are, of course, laws designed to protect their jobs, but many veterans are forced to file complaints with the Labor Department and fight for those rights. And, a third of the cases are never even heard, because the Guard or Reserve member is recalled to active duty.
Fortunately, Corbin's situation has a chance to work out, if not for the best, than at least in a way that allows him to keep his vacation time. And Corbin, as well as all the brave men and women serving in our armed forces, have certainly earned a vacation.