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This afternoon I had the opportunity to speak with Jennifer Beasley, the spouse of a Navy officer recently 'downsized.' According to Mrs. Beasley, her husband - a sailor and 12-year veteran of the Navy - was recently released from his contract not for poor performance, but as part of a larger cost-cutting initiative. Mrs. Beasley said that the downsizing negated most of his service history and benefits.
The story was first reported by the Navy Times, and was recently popularized by Lisa Wexler, a Metro New York-based talk radio host. Mrs. Wexler recently wrote for The Huffington Post:
What is happening is that close to 3,000 enlisted men and women are being downsized from the navy. That's right -- downsized. Not fired due to performance, or transferred to another station. They have been given their walking papers in the middle of their stints and told to find something else to do. Go find another house, another job, another health plan. That's the thanks they get for signing on the dotted line, volunteering to sacrifice their lives for our country. That's the thanks they get for loaning their spouses out for months at a time, on duty that takes them away from the first day of kindergarten, birthdays, holidays and the day the dog died.
According to Mrs. Wexler, Mrs. Beasley and her husband are one of over three thousand military families affected by the downsizing. The families have recently established a Facebook page to filed inquiries.
At press time the office of the Navy was unavailable for comment.