Legislation is in the Works to Protect Soldiers From Discrimination

By: Joe Hamilton
By: Joe Hamilton

Cheri Frisbie’s son Josh has been serving in Iraq for more than a year with the 333rd Military Police Unit in Freeport.

Josh was supposed to return to civilian life next month, but that was cancelled due to continued tensions in Iraq. Now, Josh's mom wonders if some of these soldiers will have their jobs when they get back.

"When they come back they should have what they had before they went,” said Cheri Frisbie.

That concern has prompted lawmakers in Springfield to draft legislation to protect these citizen soldiers from discrimination.

"They have left their jobs to fight terrorism, why should they be discriminated against when they get home, “ said Pat Quinn, Illinois Lt. Governor.

Currently employers have the right not to hire National Guard members and reservists if there is a possibility that the soldier may be called to duty for two years.

"This bill sends a message to employers and landlords that discrimination against anyone- especially National Guardsmen and reservists will not be tolerated in Illinois,” said Barrack Obama, Illinois Senator.

Lawmakers want to change the current state Human Rights Act that now only protects active soldiers from discrimination while citizen soldiers like Josh and other reservists have been forgotten.

"That’s not right. They are dodging bullets and they should not be discriminated against when they come home, “ said Frisbie.


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