Indiana Company Apologizes for Sending Termination Letter to Deployed National Guardsman

A company that sent a termination letter to an Indiana National Guardsman serving in Iraq has retracted it and apologized to his family.

A human resources manager at the Delta Faucet Co. plant in Greensburg sent the letter last week, saying Sgt. 1st Class David Veerkamp, 34, was being fired because he had not returned from a yearlong leave of absence.

He was called to active duty in June 2006 and remains deployed to Iraq.

"I was angry," said his wife, Misty Veerkamp. "I cried at first, but it took me about two seconds and I was angry."

Maj. Rob Palmer of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve agency said managers at Delta's corporate office in Indianapolis overrode the termination letter after he talked to them.

Federal law allows those called to active military duty to return to their previous jobs within 90 days of when their activation ends, Palmer said.

Delta officials apologized and said they would welcome Veerkamp's return to the factory in the city about 40 miles southeast of Indianapolis.

"We did not mean to cause any additional anxiety for the family of those serving in the military," the company said in a statement. "Our policy has been, and will continue to be, to welcome back the men and women of Delta serving in the armed forces."