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    I have a very personal connection to the Oregon mall shooting. My sister-in-law's daughter Elsie was there that day. Elsie and her husband Rick were so close to the shooter that a bullet casing bounced off of Elise's arm.

    They watched Steve Forsyth get shot and die in front of them. The only reason they survived is Rick pushed Elise to the ground and they hid behind the mall directory. When they heard the shooters gun jam and the clip drop to the ground, they ran like hell until they found a store to hide in. If the shooters gun hadn't jammed, they have no doubt that they would have been the fourth and fifth victims that horrible day.
    Understandably the family has been traumatized by these events. Elsie and Rick are both suffering from PTSD and they know that they are going to need time to heal. Luckily they are getting counseling and they are both determined that they are not going to let the one horrible day define the rest of their lives.
    For the first couple of days, they were hounded relentlessly by the media. Somehow the reports found their facebook pages and their cell phone numbers. Rick and Elsie both made the decision not to talk to the media because they don't think this tragedy should be exploited. Plus the shooting is not something they can talk about without getting emotional.
   After Elsie and Rick finally made it home Tuesday night, the only thing they wanted was to cuddle with their dogs and be surrounded by their family. My sister-in-law Tiki and her other daughter Maria both took the next day off so that they could comfort Elsie and provide support to both Rick and Elsie. Maria and Tiki also needed comfort themselves because for hours all we knew was that there was a shooting, we didn't know if the shooter was still at large, we didn't know how many people were injured and due to poor cell phone coverage, we didn't know if Rick and Elsie were dead or alive.
   I think most people would understand the necessity of family bonding during these tragic events. But not Maria's employer. When Maria called in to her employer, Grampy's Corner Deli in Forest Grove, Oregon, and told them she would not be able to make it in the next day due to her sister being traumatized by the mall shooting events. Grampy's asked her if she could come into work that night. Maria told them "No, I need to be with my family". Maria reported back to work on her next scheduled day, but yesterday she received a phone call from her employer. Maria was told because her sister wasn't shot, Maria should not have taken any days off and because Maria did, she was fired.
  I, along with my entire family, are outraged by the coldheartedness of these people. I can't believe they would fire someone for comforting a family member who lived through such a horrible event. If you also agree that these people were unjustified in firing Maria, please feel free to share your opinion with them. Again this is Grampy's Corner Deli in Forest Grove Oregon 503-359-3824. Thank you for reading

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