Published June 07, 2012
OMG! An Iowa soldier claims he received a text message from his boss saying that he was fired from his job at a Davenport gas station for not showing up - while he was at a training drill with the Illinois National Guard.
“I got a text from my boss saying I was a no-call, no-show on a day that I was on National Guard duty,” Sgt. Josh Hinkle told local station WQAD, “But I had provided them with documentation, told them I was leaving. I provided all the required paperwork. They have a drill schedule, with drill dates a year out.”
Hinkle was on the job for about a month as a clerk at the QC Mart gas station on Kimberly Road in Davenport, Iowa. He learned he was fired on Saturday via the text message.
“I’m not going to apologize for wanting to serve my country. If I want to go to drills on weekends, it’s my God-given right, no one is going to take my civilian job away from me because of that,” Sgt. Hinkle said in an interview with WQAD-TV on Monday.
Hinkle told the station that he had a six-day drill this month, and is scheduled for a 24-day drill next month, to train for a possible deployment to Afghanistan.
One manager of the QC Mart told WQAD that Hinkle was fired for buying and playing lottery tickets while on duty.
”He was caught playing instant tickets while he was working his shift,” said the unidentified manager.
Hinkle didn’t deny the manager’s claim, but also said he had no idea it wasn’t allowed. He claims that he was talked to about the infraction a couple of weeks ago, and that was the end of it.
Hinkle told the station that his firing had nothing to do with the scratch-offs and the text messages that he received, specifically refer to his absence while for Guard duty. He is hoping for legal help and backing from the National Guard.
“If it happens to me, it happens to others. We have rights as citizen soldiers. I’m still in the National Guard. I just want to go on my weekends and have a job when I come back,” he said.