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Disabled veterans worried about jobs at Sunny Point

READ MORE: 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.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


sunny poing seccurity guard pt test

There is a system in place to handle this. It is the union, specifically afge 1708. The union needs to request to negotiate the change to working conditions, if an inpasse is declared then refer this to the federal service impasse panel and let them hear both sides and make a decesion on this matter. And that is how it is done folks. your old chief steward from the mid 90's until 2004.

Not Wanted

It saddens me to see how the DOD is treating us. It is the U.S. Government guards and police now. What U.S. Government, DOD position will be next?! We were hurt during service to this country and now this government just throws our lives and the lives of the people who depends on us in disarray. I just cannot write into words how the action of the DOD has just broken me. I just want to work and provide for my family...

Ane the beat goes on

First things first the base commander, the supervisor who went to a famous military school who must have finished last in the graduation class and past commanders ALL should be fired because the couldn't supervise a 1 women hooker in a whore house. They have been covering up stuff now all their stuff is coming back to bite them in the A**. Scott AFB need to do a FULL investigation on what going on there. Anyone who read this if you know anyone at Scott AFB let them know 1. Old guard fell asleep photos taken got some days off a few I am sure then able to get new job that almost doubles his pay the becomes union president then left the position the supposed to cash a check and the union wants the money back to me that sound like stealing to me . 2. Famous military grad tell a women to let it go when a racial comment was made to her I bet that COST Them $. 3. Others get waiver to get a security clearance ever though they used the Govt credit card for personal reason and not on orders and they get there car reposed may be they should have played Repo Games and they might have keep their car. According to Govt policy they HAVE to pay their bills or get a write up nothing happened, just using to Govt card they should have need fired. 4. People hire their friends that they knew from another place maybe they got drunk with them and crawl on the floor and they blackmailed them for the job that seems the norm their. The good old boy stuff has to stop there, look at Bruswick County Sheriff Dept. famous Ron Hewett he got caught and fired and went to prison now it need to be done at Sunny Point. Now about the PAT, the only ones that need to take this useless PAT is the useless as t*ts on a bore hog police who want to arrest someone because they can't be a real cop anywhere else. The security guards especially the dis able vets should do a modified PAT test. All the Disable Vets need to talk to their State Representive and Lolcal DAV rep.


I really can’t believe that the people I work with every day (veterans) are acting like this. Geez. Fire Department, Security, Operations, Etc. you know what we are on the same team. You are right we (guards) have known this was coming, doesn’t change the fact that some can’t take the test. Doesn’t mean they can’t do there jobs. That’s the WHOLE point people. Guess what some day you may have a health problem, and hopefully you wont loose you job at an age where you can’t find another. Think about it people. We do more than just ride around in a truck and carry a gun. We protect the base every day, down range, up range on posts and on the water. One mission to supply supplies to our troops. Get of the diatribe people.

Concerned employee and veteran


It's appalling that the Command has left the staff in a state of anxiety over their jobs. Someone knows what the plan is for the people not cleared to take the PAT,however they are not telling. That is poor leadership, and cruel to say the least.
The command, no doubt with an attorneys assistance has crafted the response that the PAT is a administrative screening tool, unrelated to the essential functions of the job. That short circuts any ADA claim, and clears the way for pink slips for the affected staff. Fiendishly clever I would call it.
This petty online bickering makes us all look foolish and should stop.
The issue is the commands response to the PAT, their failure to grandfather long term employees, and their failure to provide information to the staff in a timely manner. There is no grey area, what they are doing is Wrong and Shamefull!
Please contact your elected officials and tell them so.

Give us all a Break!

Wow!, where do I start.
It's not the Guards fault, it's not the Cops fault, and it's certainly not the Firefighter's fault; that this is happening.
Despite how you feel about the Guards, they have been protecting this installation since 1955; without the need to pass or fail a Physical Ability Test. Despite this fact, the Army has decided to adopt a Regulation (AR 190-56), that was never meant to be implemented on Civilian Personnel, that now puts their years of dedicated, professional service in question.
The Guards are all US Military Veterans. Since 1955 it is a pre-requisite to be a Vet in order to work as a Guard. The Civilian Federal workforce was created shortly after WWII to take care of military servicemen returning from combat, in an effort to help personnel rotate back into civilian life. Such personnel are protected under US Code Title 5 and the Office of Personnel Management.
Please understand that these USC Statues are federal law, and they supersede any Regulation, Directive, or Memorandums. Title 5, 3312 states that "agencies must waive medical or physical requirements when there is sufficient evidence that the employee can perform the essential functions of their jobs".
"They have been doing their jobs for over 50 years without incident".
The Department of Army is trying to circumvent Federal Law to further it's own agenda. They cannot arbitrarily change an employees conditions of employment to suit its own needs without some much as a say so from the governing body that protects those individual rights.
What the Army is doing is wrong and illegal; and if they get away with this, then where will it end. Today it's the guards, tomorrow it could be the Police or the Firefighter's or Surveillance personnel, etc. Those of you who are Vets and have spent time on this blog bashing other Vets; Stop it! They're your brothers, for pete's sake!

Comment toward The Union Guy

"They have been doing their jobs for over 50 years without incident".

Sorry to say, but the disabled veterans in question have not been here for 50 years. Disabled veterans like them have worked in those position. Remember its the position not the person who is protected. You still have to be able to perform the essential functions of their job. I feel for those who may not have a job as a guard in the near future. Management should have provided better guidance as to the possible future of those who have not been cleared to take said PAT and should be working harder to find a happy medium so many veterans are not put out on the street to fend for themselves.


There is a simple solution....while patrolling, take a nap. Have someone, like a supervisor, snap a picture of you kicked back. Past practice says you will get 45 days off without pay...but then they give you a higher paying job in a different department...right "JB"?

Ammo1738 says: "Armed gaurds do not have to run a mile and a half. Just shoot straight and stay awake long enough to observe a threat, then defend yourself and your area of responsibility. Oh, and it helps if you are not a little coward trying to hide behind a generally corrupt legal system." Right "JB"?

Get Real People

Those Vets that are there have been guarding the base for 50+ years are doing a good job. Those YOUNG and DUMB guards they want to hire will be the First dumb a**s ones to run right to the gun fire and then the will say it the do it right in there pants then shot them self and those around them. The veterans on the other hand will stop think then act according. There is a grandfather clause thing out there I am sure I heard of it haven't you?. The union and those who USE to be in change of the union get your head out of other people butts you cant say thing the go back on your word then your word don't mean SH**t. Stand up if you can if you are going to support your fellow vet the support them if not shut up and sit like a good boy. The only one who need a PAT is the police (joke), EMS ( joke) and Fire since there are not many fires there and all Fire Dept. does is eat then they need a test. I have alway been told there are people you don't mess with is 1. A Veteran 2. A Disable Veteran. The veterans should call the DAV and any other person the can. There are 40 +/- if all fail who will guard the base? the could't replace them fast enough and the there will be hell on the base.

How did the Fire Dept get brought into this

I am not sure how the Fire Department got brought into this. The FD is impartial to what is happening. Sunny Point Fire Department is a professional dept, as is all sections of Sunny Point and many other entities around the world. Your Sunny Point FD has the following requirements, that are NC State (IFSAC), IFSAC, or PROBOARD certifications requiring several hours a year of continuing education.

Fire Fighter 1, &2, Driver Operator Pumps, Emergency Medical Technician Basic, Hazardous Materials Awareness, Hazardous Materials Operations. All of these certification are for the most part a Dept. of Defense requirement (Some bases have more or less requirements). If new personnel do not have Hazardous Materials Technician, Hazardous Materials Incident Commander, and Shipboard Fire Fighting for land based Fire Fighters they are provided that training.

Most of the Fire Fighters have the following certifications. Fire Inspector 1,&2, Telecommunicator 1, &2, Fire Instructor 1, &2, Fire Officer 1, &2, Emergency Vehicle Driver, HazCat, HazCat WMD, various Hazardous Materials Equipment, & Detector training, Driver Operator Aerials, Driver Operator Mobile Water Supply, Public Safety Diver, Dive Master, Dive Instructor, Fire Dept Safety Officer, CAMEO, ALOHA, Technical Rescuer, Technical Rescuer Instructor, EMS Instructor,and several other certifications that I am sure that I have not included. All of these certifications have Continuing Education requirements that are maintained by each member.

Many of the Fire Fighters on base have served in the Military. Alot, if not all of the Fire Fighters have off base Fire Fighting Experience Payed/ Volunteer (Just because they are a Volunteer does not mean less training, Just less pay). There are alot of Fire Fighters that bring experience from many different aspects of Emergency Services.

There are several Fire Fighters that have Advanced Life Support (ALS) Certifications. ALS certifications require even more Continuing Education. SPFD has also became a Certification Entity for the state providing several certifications for Fire, Rescue, and EMS, providers in the local area, state, and federal entities, including SP Guards, and LEO.

SPFD also provides Mutual Aid to the surrounding area providing services such as EMS, Fire, Rescue, Hazardous Materials, and Dive/ Recovery. This is the reason why SPFD goes out into the surrounding Communities.

As I have said that SPFD has no opinion on what is happening on what is happening to the Security/LEO staff, However it is unfortunate that there is a chance that Disabled Veterans might or will lose their jobs.


I am very appalled at these comments made against disabled veterans that have given all, possibly released from the military because of their medical issues, and now face being released from a job that was intended for them, by our U.S. Congress. I use to work as a Military Ocean Terminal, Sunny Point(MOTSU)Security Guard. I was so thrilled just to get a federal job- just to get my foot in the door, because at MOTSU, applying and getting that security job is a doorway into other federal positions. Getting out the military with a disability ruins you chance to become that FBI, Customs, DEA, etc..agent you wanted to be. Look we didn't ask for this disability, we were hurt and I believe that the government promised that we would be taken care of. I don't want a hand out, I want a job. Being disabled, to have the schedule flexiablity to go to your VA appointments is what we are all looking for.
Now, as some one commented earlier, our fire department, as far as I know, doesn't have to take any PAT. In fact most are in the shape of round. A majority spend their time in Boiling Spring Lakes wasting yours and mine tax dollars on fuel. I have yet to see them train as the Wilmington Fire Department. As for the one talking about the Carter Fire, you might want to take a look at that video again. Those were MOTSU Security first on the scene and trying to fight that fire. That's right Vietnam and Gulf War disabled veterans.
Another thing about the Vietnam Verterans, most of them are long gone, but while they were here, they were harassed by management. Management informed these vets that they wanted a younger, slimmer, and faster security force; in other words, they wanted fresh youngsters with no military experience, just learning how to handle a weapon on the security force. Now, I don't know about you, but I would rather have a hard charging vet to watch my back.
My fellow tax payers, MOTSU has been wasting away our money since 9/11. They have hired MOTSU Police, who makes more money than the MOTSU Security, MOTSU has built buildings that no one can even use, since you have to climb about 50ft with no working toilets and get this, they are built on sand- and you know what happens when you build on sand; or maybe when you have to climb back down from 50ft to use the restroom? Ah, maybe that is why security has to take the PAT? Also, my fellow tax payer, how about you wanting a federal job? Well, guess what, MOTSU doesn't even hire with in Brunswick, Pender, New getting the idea? Friends and family only get you in the door. Maybe another reason that the U.S. Congress mandated security guards have to get out? Lets see,some more of our money has been wasted on boat docks...about 3 of them built and all were destroyed by wind/water- not hurricane strength at that. Oh, should I mention also, the minorities, the few we do have, only have manual labor jobs at the most. This federal installation has a GS14(makes over 6 figures), who by the way is probably a disabled vet and all he does is order furniture! Oh, I want to mention the provost marshall, who is in a very good round shape...will he take that PAT as his men he is in charge of?
Tax payer, if you only knew what is happening under your eyes, you would call your congressman, senator, or the president, because fraud, waste, and abuse (of power) is evident here at MOTSU.
Remember that female Brunswick County Sheriff deputy that was shot in her female regions- that was done by the faster, slimmer, and younger MOSTU Police- who by the way do the same EXACT job that security does. Talking about a waste of money...police cannot arrest nor give any tickets. A majority get the training at Glynco, Ga and leave for greener pastures. Wake up...the munitions that come here are palletized, our installation is almost exactly like the port in Wilmington. What will the security guards be running for. If a person can steal a palletized load, container handler, ship and not be seen, heck, they can have it. Our installation is too large and spaced out for running after some "threat". 9/11 happened because America has become too complacent not because our veterans cannot run. We need your help to keep our jobs, GET UP AND HELP US FIGHT!

Comments toward Help a Vet Keep a Job

"I want to mention the provost marshall, who is in a very good round shape...will he take that PAT as his men he is in charge of?"

Well, I will tell you if you truly need to know, both the installation Provost Marshal and Brigade Provost Marshal have taken and passed their respective physical fitness test. (PAT and APFT). So again, your facts are not accurate. My you should do some research prior to running your opinion.

BTW, there was a guard and lead guard that was on scene for the Carter fire before the fire department.


MOTSU guards

I am sorry that the disablied guards cannot pass a test, they have known was coming for 6 years, to show they are capable of doing their job. Maybe they can get a job guarding the Government officials in DC or maybe protect the Pentagon. OH guess not they only want people who are fit and capable of doing that job. As far as someone coming on the post and stealing something well far worse would be for them to come on the post and take it over because the guards had disabilities and could't run or climb or jump and stop the terrorists. Guard, you asked about when the guards would have to chase someone anyway. Isn't MOTSU a very large and mostly wooded area? Bad guys don't always stand still and let you walk up to them, they run into the wood swhere the guards cann't go, HMM. This whole thing sounds to me like a bunch of sorry people who thought it wasn't important enough to try to prepare and better themselves for the last 6 years. If something did happen there they feel let the rest of the nation suffer as long as we few have our jobs.

They were very capable of

They were very capable of doing their job 7 years ago without a PT test! This is not about how capable the guards can do their job. This is about the Army trying to get rid of a person with a disability. If this was a private company you would have the ADA, NAACP, and every other organization all over this. This is like a private company hiring someone with a disability because they have to and then you get people who really get paid to sit behind a desk, to think of a ways to get rid of them LEGALLY. If any of you really work at Sunny point, you would see that the guards are very capable of doing there jobs. Again this is about doing the right thing by people the GOVERNMENT hired as disabled Veterans and now wanting to FIRE them because they are disabled vets.

Allow me to Retort

Help a Vet keep a job,

(You picked the screen name, not me.) Where should we start? I guess the beginning of your post where you say, “I use to work as a Military Ocean Terminal, Sunny Point (MOTSU) Security Guard.” is as good a place as any. So by reading the rest of your post, and your post under the same screen name on the article about the Commander’s comments, you still work at MOTSU. So is it that you transferred to another division on base, or you are using the anonymity of the internet to hide the truth? You may want to go ahead and get out your friend Mr. Webster, or open Google in another window, I plan on using some big words that you may not understand. It is painfully apparent to me and the rest of the world that not only are your facts lacking; but your grasp on the use of the English language is deficient as well.
You are correct; the MOTSU Fire Department (FD) does not have to take a PAT. That sir, is where your factual post ends. It is unfortunate because that was the first sentence of your second paragraph. I am not sure if you are trying drag the FD into your quagmire of despair, or just generally unhappy with your life. Either way, you decided to make that ill-fated leap, so sit back and expand your lexicon.
“In fact most are in the shape of round.” Yes, those are quotation marks, that’s what we do when we repost something from your original post. You appear to be referring to the fitness level of the personnel in the FD. I would like to personally invite you over so you can assess my fitness level at the FD. Wait, that would ruin your internet anonymity, and it is much easier to hide behind a made up screen name and cast disparaging remarks. The offer stands, I will personally run the proposed PAT and you can decide for yourself if I am in shape or not. When we complete that, I will be happy to perform any of the other duties associated with your “former” employment as a MOTSU Guard.
“A majority spend their time in Boiling Spring Lakes wasting yours and mine tax dollars on fuel.” Yet another excellent display of your grasp, or lack there- of, the English language. At this point I feel it necessary to ask if you are disabled due to a traumatic brain injury. If this is the case, then I shall digress, it would be wrong of me to keep making such comments about your lack of factual information. The units you see wasting tax dollars in BSL are providing a service (Fire, EMS, & Rescue) to the citizens that pay those tax dollars. The next time you see us out with a patient stop by and ask them if they think we are wasting their tax dollars.
“I have yet to see them train as the Wilmington Fire Department.” I hope if you are still employed as a Guard that you are on nights. If not, you really need to consider a different line of work. If you are that oblivious to your surroundings, and have that little situational awareness MOTSU doesn’t need you. You would not be privy to all the training the FD conducts, nor do you need to be. I will however ask you this: Who provides your HAZ-MAT, Water Safety and Survival, CPR, EVOC, and ICS training? Oh wait, that would be the Fire Department.
You have already been called a liar on your comments about the Carter fire. I will second that notion. Perhaps now we come to the root of the issues which you seem to have. You wanted to be a part of the FD, but couldn’t make it for whatever reason. Or perhaps you just like stirring things up. Either way, you pick a bad topic far and away from the issue at hand. The remainder of your post seems to be filled with OPSEC potentially sensitive and other erroneous information. The female that was shot in the crotch, worked for Leland PD, not Brunswick County SO.
For the record, I am a Veteran myself, not disabled, but a Vet no less. It is hard to garner support from others when you make false accusations and spread fecal matter disguised as post about the internet. I certainly hope that your “former” (or current as I believe the case may be), coworkers don’t share your opinions.


Please read retired firefighter's comments below. If you cannot see the fraud waste & abuse (if power) going on, then DFPS you are blind. Congress created 0083/0085 for disable vets; they just need jobs to take care of themselves & family. If this job isn't for them, maybe you can come up with something for them to do so they won't be moochers off the government since you are such a learned person.

MOTSU Guard?

"As for the one talking about the Carter Fire, you might want to take a look at that video again. Those were MOTSU Security first on the scene and trying to fight that fire."

You sir are a liar. There were NO security guards fighting or attempting to help the fire department fight the Carter fire. You obviously are one of the ones who left your post and watched everything on TV

real fire fighter

you are not addressing a sir but a female who was a guard and now has another job on terminal.

Reply to Mr. Buster

Mr. Buster, I did not know that you are clairvoyant. You have NO idea who this is and referring to me as a female like you are so sure of yourself, just proved me right! Mr. Buster, I will be glad to reveal who I am are you? You would be very surprised to find out who I am. Name the place and time and I will be there. Take care and have a nice day. Looking forward to meeting you.


Better rewind that tape or get an eyewitness account. MOTSU GUARDS first there. Fire dept had to respond, guards are constant roaming patrol! Get yourself together because you weren't there & obviously not a vet. So quick to call someone a liar, but look how much money the government will spend transferring or creating jobs for our out of work vets. May also have to draw unemployment, since Joe Public nor the government doesn't want them to work.


Better rewind that tape or get an eyewitness account. MOTSU GUARDS first there. Fire dept had to respond, guards are constant roaming patrol! Get yourself together because you weren't there & obviously not a vet. So quick to call someone a liar, but look how much money the government will spend transferring or creating jobs for our out of work vets. May also have to draw unemployment, since Joe Public nor the government doesn't want them to work.

Guest Carter, There is no

Guest Carter,

There is no doubt that there may have been a guard on scene prior to the arrival of the FD. I know not all of you nap on patrol. Help a Vet keep a Job, stated that guards were fighting the fire. That is as inaccurate a statement as you can make, or we can just call it a lie.

WWAY you have it worng

If they were worried why have they done nothing in the six years management gave them to get in shape? They are off duty 1/2 a year and most have done nothing to help themselves or transfer into another job. The federal government is really the only one hiring people for all fields and they get 10 point preference because they have been deemed "disabled". Instead of taking charge of their own career they have sat back and thought this issue would go away. Now these guards want to portray this as they did not know this regulation was out there and this is somthing new. I beleive your station reported on this same issue several years ago with Officer Mitchel in front of the main gate. This is old news!

What about the five point prefence veteran that is not disabled? If they can't pass the requirement they face the same fate. This is not about disability...this is about ability to do the requiremnets laid out in Army Regulation 190-56. Google it and check it out. This policy is across the board and not about veterans.

here we go again

There is a new standard cut and dry. What they are not tellin you us that this has been a requirement since 2006. Sunny Point has not participated in this new regulation to give these veterans time to get in shape to pass it or find a different federal job either at sunny point or another federal installation. I agree with the last guests comments. These guards are armed and should be the best of the best if they are guarding ammunition for our troop overseas.

For some its not about

For some its not about "getting in shape". And since you know that Sunny Point has not participated in the new regulation, then you must also know about the Veterans that are NOT medically cleared to take the PAT. That is the real issue! These particular guards having been successfully guarding the ammunition for our troops without having to take the PAT for many, many years. But I guess since you know so much, you really already knew that too!!!

the folks effected by this

the folks effected by this have known about this for 6 years...this is not a "all of the sudden" thing...

This is straight from page 25 of the DoD Instruction

"Alternate PAT events are permitted for current CPs and SGs, with long-term medical restrictions or disabilities, but can otherwise perform the essential functions of the job. Alternate PAT tests must have the same energy demands as the regular test, and be validated."

It should be fairly easy to structure alternate PATs for those with disabilities. If you can't do sittups, can you do leg lifts? If you can't do pushups can you do chin-ups? If you can't do a mile and one-half run in seventeen minutes, can you ride a bike for five miles in thirty minutes?

If you can't do anything, what crappy level of security are you providing?

Essential functions could

Essential functions could include something other than driving a vehicle or shooting a handgun. It could mean a foot pursuit, climbing a ladder or a physical confrontation with a much younger, non-handicapped person in good shape. Think about it, physical testing at Sunny Point is a very good thing.

if they are guards, armed

if they are guards, armed guards, why shouldn't they have to pass a pt test. i agree that they shouldn't be required to do what an active enlisted man can do, but you should be able to protect and defend a muntions station.

Discrimanting against Disabled Vets

I'm a disabled veteran myself, who has worked at Sunny Point along side Of John Messner. I have had the opertunity to process new Police and Guards into the work force there. I have seen many capable (Disabled Military Veterans) come through the gates. The people that were let go had nothing to do with there disablity. This terminal has been operating for over 50 years with disabled veteran as guards, and they have handled every inccident that has arised with no problems. Management should look back and they will see that the 0085 series Guard positions were mandated by congress to place disabled veterans. I started in the 0083 and 0085 series back in 1980 and have never seen such over the years.