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Letter to the editor
Allow employees to help their brethren
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Forsyth County News


This holiday season the men and women of both the sheriff’s and fire departments will work Christmas and New Year in the freezing cold and risk their life every shift. You won’t hear them complain. They go to work, for a wage that hardly feeds the family and they do it because they know what they do is noble.

Two men that won’t be able to work are Mark Aycock and Woody Woodward. Mark is a firefighter who was terminated by the county because he used all of his personal time while battling stage 4 colon cancer that spread to his liver, and lungs.Woody is a sheriff’s deputy who was let go because he used his [personal time] while waiting for a heart transplant.

Both these men are left paying for their own medical coverage, while having to battle life threatning illness.

Most people don’t understand what they call “the brotherhood;” it is something that cannot be explained, but I’ll try. It’s when you trust everything you hold near and dear, including your life and the future of your family to the person next to you, and they do the same with you. It’s knowing that the next step could be your last, but you take it anyway because he or she is with you.
It’s about honor, trust and a loyalty that goes beyond words.

Mark and Woody’s “brothers and sister’s” wanted to donate their own personal time to make sure that they could stay employed by the county, just as they do in every other department around the country that is worth anything. But because of a county policy that would not allow it, Mark and Woody are out in the cold.

Please make sure that in the coming year your new comissioners address this issue. It may be to late for Mark and Woody, but the men and women of Forsyth public safety deserve better.

Patrick Apoian


Editor’s note: County personnel policies do allow employees to donate sick time to other employees. Employees who are receiving disability payments, however, cannot have time donated to them.