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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.

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50 Comments on "Disabled veterans worried about jobs at Sunny Point"

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Cr42076
2016 years 2 months ago

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… Read more »

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Guest8392720
2016 years 2 months ago

“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… Read more »

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Concerned Guard
2016 years 2 months ago

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… Read more »

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A.F. Jost
2016 years 2 months ago

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… Read more »

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The Union Guy
2016 years 2 months ago

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… Read more »

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