For U.S. military service members, coming home from war is supposed to provide a respite from the unimaginable stresses and anxieties of combat. But for Louisiana National Guard Spc. Sherman Crandle, his return home is presenting a whole new set of challenges.
Crandle volunteered last year to deploy to Afghanistan for a year. At the time he volunteered, he’d been working at a Best Buy in Covington, Louisiana for five days. According to the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, returning US service members are to be re-employed at the job they would have held if not for their deployment. Apparently Best Buy missed the memo.
“I called Best Buy checking if I still had my job,” said Crandle, “At one point, they told me no. The only way you was gonna get your job back was if we needed you. Throughout the rehiring process it took me about a month and a half to get my job back.”
Even after being rehired, Crandle is finding available shifts scarce. In the last four weeks, he estimates that he’s only worked six days.
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“I've got some money saved away for the situation,” he said, “but right now it's like really borderline. I might not be able to make it through this next month."
The Louisiana National Guard has helped him submit his resume to a number of other employers, but he is yet to hear back from any of them. Crandle is understandably frustrated at the employment opportunity he lost by serving his country. He told Louisiana news station WWLTV that he only wants to work hard for his family like he has for his country.