Soldier Once Recognized For Bravery Fights To Keep Job
Ohio National Guard Soldier Doug Reed suffered catastrophic injuries in Afghanistan.
Reed returned home from war and resumed his job as the Jackson Fire Chief.
But now, the city is questioning his ability to lead.
Reed received a letter last week telling him to return his keys and gear to the firehouse.
He is now on paid administrative leave with the volunteer fire department while the city investigates complaints against him.
"It's a fairly wide range of complaints,” said Bill Sheward, Jackson City Safety Director.
“There just have been some things that have happened that are inappropriate and need to be thoroughly investigated,” Sheward said.
But Sheward is not elaborating on what those complaints are or who is bringing them.
“Am I getting the shaft? In a word, yes,” said Reed.
“Bullying still goes on, harassment still goes on in the workplace, and that's what this is,” said Reed’s wife, Jana.
The 29-year-military veteran suffered devastating injuries from a rocket grenade attack in Afghanistan in 2010. After numerous surgeries, he finally returned to the job he loved this January.
But Reed thinks changes he made to improve standards at the department may have ruffled feathers.
The couple said they are angry and feel betrayed by not knowing if internal politics or a personal vendetta may be at work.
"I'm not a puppet on a string they can make dance - and that may anger some people,” added Reed.
He’s still on active duty and has had four neurological and psychological evaluations this year.
But the city wants him to have another one by a doctor it chooses.
"Am I fit, mentally and physically, yes. I would say more so than most,” said Reed.
Reed said he plans to continue to serve his community no matter what happens with the investigation, even if he’s not with the department.
“What they do won't affect my life,” he added. “So if it does go through, that they say you're done, then my name may be on a political sign in the future, who knows?”
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