A heavily decorated Army Green Beret, fired by the U.S. Postal Service in 2000 for taking military leave, must be reinstated in his mail job and retroactively paid by the USPS for back wages, benefits and legal fees — an amount that may top $2 million, an administrative law judge has ruled.
Special Forces Sgt. Maj. Rick Erickson — who has earned three Combat Distinguished Valor awards, the Purple Heart, and more than 30 other military medals — said the termination forced him to re-enlist in the Army National Guard and eventually serve in Afghanistan in order to generate income to support his three daughters. While in Afghanistan, Erickson’s unit was ambushed in 2004 and he was shot twice in the arm.