FAYETTEVILLE, Tenn.(WHNT)-An Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran who was awarded two Purple Hearts and once appeared on the cover of Time Magazine is now at the center of controversy in Lincoln County, Tennessee after she was fired from her job at the Fayetteville Post Office last week.
Karah Adams told WHNT News 19 that her three-month postal career came to a sudden end after being accused of lying to her boss on her job application. But Adams said the claim by her supervisor was false, and was used as a cover to get rid of her after she wouldn't go along with post office corruption she called "blatant."
"A lot of stuff that goes on in the Fayetteville Post Office, it is intimidation and harassment at its best," said Adams. "I did my job and I did it well."
Adams said her background check turned up a non-criminal offense stemming from an incident at a U.S. Army base in 2005, shortly before she deployed for her first tour of duty in Iraq. She told us a fellow soldier stashed unpaid merchandise in her shopping cart after she had already paid for her own groceries, an account the army later verified when it decided not to punish her under the uniform code.
Adams claims the real reason for her firing is due to the fact that her boss turned on her after she refused to identify a co-worker who told her about another mail route opening. Adams said Postmaster Debbie McGee was controlling, and was threatened by the fact that Adams was aware of alleged illegal activity happening inside.
"She was working people off the clock, which is illegal, and she has done that numerous times," said Adams. "There was one employee, who at the time she was still working there, the postmaster was having her come to her home and clean her home for her, which is ethically not right in any way, shape or form."
Fayetteville Postmaster Debbie McGee declined to comment on Adams' firing, and referred us to regional U.S. Post Office officials in Kentucky and Tennessee. USPS spokesman David Walton issued a brief statement to WHNT News 19 Friday morning.
"The Postal Service is proud of its record of hiring veterans," Walton said. "We are looking into this matter, including Ms. Adams' claims. It is not our policy to discuss individual employment actions, but we can confirm that she is no longer an employee."
Other former Fayetteville Post Office employees we talked to confirmed Adams' account of a hostile work environment, but declined to talk on camera.
Adams once appeared on a Time Magazine cover featuring profiles in courage, and was awarded two Purple Hearts during three separate tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. She said she just wants justice and a fair shake.
"I don't feel like the world owes me anything for what I did [overseas], I did that by choice," said Adams. "But I feel like it is extremely unjust and unfair that I was treated like this."