Washington, DC—Today, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) sent a letter to Postmaster General John E. Potter requesting that the United States Postal Service (USPS) review the case of Sergeant Jason Lyon, a member of the National Guard who served in Iraq for the U.S. Army. Sergeant Lyon has been denied an appointment to serve as a Mail Carrier in Western New York, because of a sprained ankle received while serving in Iraq and which has subsequently healed. While the U.S. military has deemed him fit for service, the USPS has not.
The letter from Higgins today follows a letter dated January 27, 2006, which Higgins sent to USPS Western New York District Manager David Patterson urging him to reconsider the denial of Sergeant Lyon. In response to the January 27th letter, District Manager Patterson wrote back outlining Sergeant Lyon’s medical assessment and turning down Higgins’ request for reconsideration.
“It is shameful that this brave soldier, who is more than qualified to serve in and be sent back to Iraq, has been denied placement with the Postal Service,” said Higgins. “I urge Postmaster General Potter to review Jason’s case again, and allow him to get a second doctor’s opinion, which will clarify his ability to serve in full capacity as a Mail Carrier and will allow him to continue his service to our country.”
Higgins’ letter to Postmaster General Potter attached below.
March 22, 2006
Dear Postmaster General Potter:
Jason R. Lyon appeared at my office seeking assistance in receiving an appointment to the Postal Service as a Mail Carrier. In an appeal to the Western New York District, Mr. Lyon’s has been denied the position. He was found to be a moderate risk and is considered unsuitable for the position.
Mr. Lyon, a Member of the National Guard, served in Iraq, and while over there sprained his ankle. It bothered him for a while but after a few months he has absolutely no discomfort or loss of mobility and was fully cleared for continued service in the military.
When Mr. Lyon had his initial physical he was under the assumption that his hiring was imminent so he served his then employer, UPS, notice that he was leaving. Within hours of leaving UPS he was notified by the Post Office that there was a problem and that he was considered unsuitable for the position.
This young man worked a rigorous schedule at UPS; he remains active in the National Guard and works out (runs several miles) regularly. I observed him walking in the office; his gait is quick and normal. He appears to be very healthy, and I can not see any reason to deny this position. How can a recipient of a Purple Heart be cleared for combat in Iraq, but not fit for the United States Postal Service?
I urge your agency to reconsider the denial, and allow this fine young man to take the position he has earned. He has served his country valiantly in the past and he has passed the civil service exam required for the position; I think it is time for him to be rewarded by becoming a U.S. Mail Carrier, so that he can return to serving this country once again.
While this matter has been looked into by the Western New York District, I request that you review this matter and Mr. Lyon’s case and arrange for a second opinion by another doctor.
I look forward to your prompt reply and I thank you for your time.
Member of Congress