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Local military mom fired from civilian job, fighting back

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Updated: 1/15 12:19 pm
ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- Local mother Tracy Valenti works hard to provide for her 9-month-old son Eli.

She was even praised for her two years of work in the Admissions Office at Fortis College in Orange Park, while balancing her duty as a service member in the United States Air National Guard.

"They had a lot of future opportunities that they wanted to offer me. Moving here was one of those opportunities, possibly moving up in management and things like that," said Valenti.

Valenti showed us her most recent performance review from Fortis, it calls Valenti "the poster child for work ethic." She also scored a 99 out of 100 possible points. She said that was all forgotten once she was called on military assignment.

"That assignment was 30 days and it got cut short by the government shutdown, so I returned back to Fortis College. When I returned to Fortis College I let them know, that because of the shutdown, I may be returning back to that assignment after the government came back online," said Valenti.

The next day she said she was fired. An attorney for Fortis said the firing was part of a reduction in staff.
Valenti and her attorney Randy Reep aren't buying it.

"The part that's just egregious. Her job is posted the next week online," said Reep.

Reep said Fortis is breaking a law and he's going to fight to prove it in court.

"It becomes a protected status just like gender or race. I can't fire you because you're in the military," said Reep.

Valenti said she's not in this for the money, she just wants to make sure this never happens again.
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