Employers Feel Loss When National Guard Troops Deploy

Monday, October 29th 2007, 6:35 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The family and friends of about 2,600 Oklahoma National Guard troops leaving for Iraq are not the only ones who will miss the soldiers. Employers, too, will be forced to fill the shoes of the troops who left last week for training at Fort Bliss, Texas, before they deploy to Iraq in January.

Employers are required to return Oklahoma National Guard soldiers to their jobs when they get back from duty, but someone has to pick up the slack while they are gone.

Tony Richardson, owner of TR Construction in Pauls Valley, has only six employees. One is leaving with the 45th.

He says its particularly difficult because if he finds someone capable of filling in, he feels obligated to keep them when the soldier returns.