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Red Hat Pledges To Help Reservist Employees

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DURHAM, N.C. — President Bush has said up to 35,000 reservists may be called up for duty during Operation Enduring Freedom. The federal government only requires companies to hold the position for any employee called up for reserve active duty. They do not have to pay them, but one company is offering a little more.

After nearly eight years in the Air Force, Matt Jamison gave up a military career for civilian life and a job at

Red Hat

, but after Sept. 11, his sense of patriotism and the call to duty was too strong, so he decided to sign up for the Air Force reserves.

His only concern was money.

"I couldn't justify going off and fighting in a war on enlisted pay while my wife was living here in Raleigh practically starving and trying to pay the mortgage," he says.

Red Hat, which has only been around for seven years, has never really had a need for a policy concerning active duty reservists until now. With seven employees enlisted in reserve units, Red Hat decided to pay 75 percent of the difference in their pay for up to six months.

"We think it's important they they're comfortable with their salary and their benefits, so that they're not worrying all the time," says Karen Clark of Red Hat. "We want them to focus 100 percent of their attention on what they're doing in the military while they're gone."

For Jamison, the offer has given him a sense of security and allowed him to make good on his sense of duty.

"Being called up would be an honorable thing to do," he says.

Jamison says he hopes to be sworn into the Air Force reserves later this week.


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