Update: Stand Down. As Monkeydrvr posted in the comments, the company (Crane Interiors) has apologized and reinstated Teresa Danford. Thanks to all who got involved.
A military mom said she would do anything to answer her son's phone call from overseas, no matter what the cost.
Some seven months ago, Lance Corporal Mark Rhyne left the little town of Woodbury, for the remote deserts of Afghanistan.
"I told my son the day he deployed as he was about to get on that bus, 'I will stand in your steed while you are gone, I will stand,'" his mother Teresa Danford said.
On Monday, while working inside the Crane Interiors factory, Teresa Danford said she kept her word.
Mark called from Afghanistan, using a Satellite phone. It was a rare opportunity he only gets maybe once a month.
"You don't want to miss a word because truthfully that might be the last time you hear from them," Danford said.
Danford knew about Crane's no cell phone policy but answered anyway...
This is beginning to gather some major steam. Many well known combat vets are sending this note around with a request to sign a petition and contact Crane Interiors:
Management of Crane Interiors suspended Teresa Danford from work for 3 days after she took a precious and rare phone call from her son, LCpl. Philip Mark Rhyne. There is a no cell phone policy in effect at Crane Interiors, which she knew she would have to violate in order to speak with her son. She had hoped that her employer would have compassion for her circumstance and over look the ban in this very invaluable case. The opportunity to hear from her loved one is few and far between, therefor rendering her unable to predict when he can issue contact nor schedule the call in that she does not violate any sort of policy that the company holds. Once the opportunity arises to hear from Mark, to ease her mind that he is alive and well, it may take up to a month plus until he is able to contact her again. Because of this, it is imperative that she guard her phone for the incoming call and take it when the occasion presents itself.
The following is her detailed account of what took place the day her son called:
On Monday my Mark called and we know the numbers (of the incoming military lines) around 9:46am because he asked me what time it was here. I turned to see my super standing beside me and immediately told him (they are all aware of the situation) "It is my son." He stated "You can't be on the phone." I then told him "I HAVE to talk to my son". He replied, "You can but not on company time, you have to go somewhere or do something." I'm not really sure at that point what he said, I was so hurt and my Mark was on the line so I went to the restroom and talked with my Mark as long as he could! Oh I love him so! I was crying and my son heard me, for that I am sorry. I went to work the following day and worked all day thinking under the circumstances they possibly were not going to suspend me, but at 3:25pm (I get off at 3:30pm) I was paged to the office and told I was suspended from work for three days for cell phone use. I asked them at that time for my own verification though i knew the answer. "You are aware that my son is serving in Afghanistan and can only call when the S.A.T. phone gets to his unit?" They stated, "Yes". I told them at this point "This is wrong and a new low." He (the manager) stated he was not going to argue about it or open the door. If I did it everyone would. I told him I wanted a copy of the suspension but would not sign it because I did not agree with their reasoning. He was infuriated and told me that was fine but "You will be suspended for three days."
Larry Officer, the HR Manager for Crane's issued this response:
"It is our policy that there is to be no cell phones used during working hours due to safety concerns within a production environment. Employees are allowed to use cell phones during breaks and lunches. We have a communicated policy for all employees to be reached in case of an emergency."