The Emails

This blog is a supporting blog to "My Eulogy."

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Hello Jae,

Here are the emails that I sent to Tritch, along with the counseling statement I received from him. I also included some of my journal entries that I wrote throughout the process to show my mind set during and after the incident.

Please note that my handwritten portion of the counseling statement was according to what I could best recall. I was never (to the best of my knowledge) given a copy of the original counseling statement. I requested a copy of the original counseling statement earlier today, which would show exactly what I wrote the day of the counseling, along with the counselor's hand written comments.

Also, as discussed, I do NOT wish any negative repercussions on Eric Tritch or Rob Gardner. Although I strongly disagree with the logic and ethics of their decision, I do not have any hard feelings against them NOR do I wish any negative repercussions against them. I verbalized many times to each of them that I was never intending to display insubordination or disrespect, and I apologized profusely if they interpreted differently. I'm an infantryman and respect is ingrained in us. I was merely attempting to tactfully and professionally maintain my convictions.

On the other hand, I did display resolve as I made it clear that no matter the consequences I would stand firm on what God was asking of me to not work seven days a week; however, in doing so I would be willing to work just as many if not more hours than anyone else for less pay (forfeiting the pay of the day I would be given off). You can verify this statement by looking at my last time card. I did not charge the company any hours for the day in which I did not come to work even though it was technically a sick day.

At the very bottom of this email is the email I sent to my friends at church, as well as an email from another friend verifying my health on that day (Sunday Oct 30th). This is the same email that I mentioned to both Mr. Tritch and Mr. Gardner. Church was every Sunday at 10am, and I was apart of the praise and worship band.

I could have done a much better job at letting Wormly [our shift lead] try to sort this out by communicating better with him my intent about having a day off. I failed in this. Hind sight is 20/20, but I thought my verbalization of this shortcoming would have cleared that up. On the other hand, I believe, - as stated in my verbal conversation with Mr. Gardner - that they were acting overly severe regarding my stance. More accurately this was the transaction,

Mr. Gardner said on Tues 11/1/16, "Since you didn't show up for work on Sunday, you basically resigned your position."

"No sir," I replied, "As stated by my hand written comments in the counseling, me not coming to work had more to do with my health. I have other emails verifying this. Also, if I had done the same thing outside the context of the email that I wrote concerning my convictions, I don't think we would be having this conversation. I asked the prior shift lead to let my shift lead know that I would not be in for work since I did not yet have his contact info, and I also let Tritch know."

Later in the conversation Rob mentioned that he respected my convictions, but had to set an example for the others. I told him that I would respect (although not agree with) his decision. We left each other after that meeting on very good terms and I said, "There are no hard feelings." He and Eric both were very helpful and respectful to me during the post termination process. A part of me feels bad even writing about them like this. I almost feel as if I should write Rob and request that he change his mind, but reaching out to you has more to do with standing up for religious convictions for the sake of others who may follow, and perhaps help others to learn from my mistakes that were made during this process.

Tritch and I had a very good working relationship as he was my prior shift lead and I still in many ways saw him filling that roll even after he recently began filling in for Christian Triance when he left for R&R. Wormly [shift lead during incident] and I just met as he returned from R&R, so I naturally gravitated towards Tritch because of the rapport I had with him. I realized and verbalized this shortcoming as well, especially since Tritch did take the time to lay out the chain of command.

It was never my intent to hinder the team, as was stated otherwise in the counseling against me, but from a logical and financial standpoint getting rid of me did more damage than I could ever do by taking off one day per week, plus I was willing to work more for less (although this is not necessarily fair). I also volunteered to stay through the holidays to give the guys who had families a chance to be home. And I know how much it cost to bring a person on board. Finally, I can say boldly yet humbly that I have yet to meet a person that will out-do me in work ethic and integrity. I am excited to meet such a person (hope she is my wife :)

Sorry for the book I just wrote, but I just want to be as detailed as possible and mainly stand up for religious convictions. I still have no hard feelings against anyone involved in this, and would love to be a MAG guy if its in the cards. I truly believe they have great leadership. I made this conclusion after seeing their first Core Value on the employee orientation.

Thanks Jae!

Sincerely,

Erick Jackson

814-329-8734

mr.ejack84@gmail.com

---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: Erick Jackson <mr.ejack84@gmail.com> Date: Sat, Oct 29, 2016 at 10:21 PM Subject: Dear Eric To: Tritch

Not sure if you got my last email or not (it is pasted below just in case). I have not heard back from you. I also talked to Wormly about this with not too much progress, but it's time for me to come clean about why I am being so persistent about this subject of having a day off.

It has nothing to do with the job being too physically demanding. I have been involved in many vocations (running my own construction company for one) that required far more effort for much less pay, as I'm sure you can relate; however, what I have been convinced of is what I'm about to share.

A couple of weeks ago I had my MAG in-brief. The first of the three Core Values stated in MAG's orientation slides was, "Serve God and Country First". I have attached that slide to this email.

That brought me great satisfaction seeing those words, because since my first deployment to Iraq in 2003 and a life changing encounter with God during that deployment, I have endeavored to live by this Value. In fact, the Bible verse that changed my life was Matthew 6:33, "Seek first the kingdom of God and what is right and all these things will be added unto you."

Following that experience, I have endeavored to live every day to the highest standards of integrity, work ethic, and selflessness in order to reflect my service and gratitude to my God and my country.

Since arriving here in theater and realizing there are no personal days I tried to justify it by focusing on my future R&R. But that did not work. My soul was convicted not only by God's Word but by His voice. Even as I type this line there is a co-worker whistling in the background the tune of, How Great Thou Art.

Having a day of rest is as essential as air, and proven to increase productivity, and minimize frustrations that come with being around the same people without a break. Further more, it is one of the Ten Commands (Exodus 20); something America used to recognize but now barely even know. "Righteousness exalts a nation but sin condemns any people." Proverbs 14:34.

I tried to run away from the reality of what God was asking me to do pertaining to this, and have lost a lot of sleep regarding it. I hate doing this. It's not enjoyable, "stirring the pot". It is never my intention to cause friction, but I must obey my Creator. And I know He is speaking to me.

I am still willing to work 70 hrs per week (just the same as everyone else). And I'm willing to take any day off that you wish, but I am not willing to work 7 days per week.

Eric, you know my work ethic. I'm here to be a team player. I hope you have seen this. Tomorrow, Sunday, I will not be in for work. Please let Wormly know as I do not yet have his email. If I see him I'll let him know. Thanks.

Sincerely, Jackson

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Hebrews 4

6 Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience, 7 God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted: “Today, if you hear his voice do not harden your hearts.” 8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.

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from:Erick Jackson <mr.ejack84@gmail.com>

to: Tritch

date:Fri, Oct 28, 2016 at 11:25 PM

I hate to be a nag and bring this up again, but I was thinking about it and we have been able to operate with three personnel even on busy days. If we take the four per shift (our shift) and give each guy a day off that would be only four days per week that we would have three guys. Worst case scenario we could grab you six days per week (minus your day off). With a personal day I know we would be more productive and better energized to do our duties. This op tempo is not that crazy, so I think it is doable. What do you think?

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11/15/16

As a side note: I love being a Tech. I love the tempo, very laid back, and the 90/30 option that we have. We really only work 40-50% of our shift. This is great and it motivates me to take initiative on other projects around the shop that don't necessarily fall into my job description: i.e. cleaning, emptying trash, organizing shop equipment and tools, soldering KDU connectors for convenience, etc.

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Hey everyone, I woke up sunday morning at 0800 feeling absolutely terrible, plus we had no running water. I think I ate something bad, welcome to Afghan.

If I had email access I would have email you guys. I feel bad. I look fwd to church. It's the highlight of my week. However, on a more positive note, God did something crazy cool this past week, and Sunday morn about 4am was the final straw. Wow! I'm amazed at His power to reveal His will to us if we really want to know it. Blessings and hope to see you tues night.

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from:R Adams

reply-to:RnAdms@gmail.com

to:Erick Jackson <Mr.EJack84@gmail.com>

date:Mon, Oct 31, 2016 at 8:00 AM

subject:You still sick?

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6 Attachments

Nov 16, 2016, 1:46 PM

to me from a friend

As I pray for you, I feel assured that you are not forgotten; Heavenly Father loves and is eager for you to return to Him... I am also assured His plan for you is perfect... it is just that the details of that plan​ are a bit obscure to me... (as they should be)

On a technical note, I am impressed by your writing ability - well done my friend

What is the next step?... Who is Jae?

I know it is a tough go; you are tougher; you will succeed, and the movie will be much more inspiring because of it