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DULUTH - After wrongfully receiving a return letter she sent to her deployed son -- stamped "deceased" -- the Mother of the Iraq veteran has finally received the apology she’s been looking for.
“I had sent him a letter in September, and that letter showed up back in my mailbox, with a big stamp next to his name, and it said deceased,” Joan Najbar said.
"Just shock. I was thinking why is it here. And just in shock!” Najbar said.
The shock came rightfully so because her son was in fact alive!
“It’s not part of any procedure notifying next of kin that way. It’s not done like that. It’s not part of any procedure,” Najbar said.
“It just seemed really cruel, and if it was a mistake, it was a horrific mistake,” Najbar said.
Najbar said all she wanted was an apology.
“If you have a business and you make a mistake, you say gosh, I’m sorry. Like my phone company makes a mistake, I call, and they say sorry. Why should government be different?” Najbar said.
She wanted a policy put in place for mail carriers to question inconsistences on letters.
“I feel at least, there’s an awareness out there, that if you, in fact, see a letter and see a deceased stamp on it, somebody is messing with somebody, because that’s not part of any normal procedure,” Najbar said.
Just last month. Najbar contacted Sen. Al Franken’s office, and they prompted an apology from the postal service office in Minneapolis.
“This is awesome, I’m just really thrilled, and I’ll never know why that happened, they’ll never know. They never came up with any conclusion of why it happened, and I can let go of that,” Najbar said.
And through it all, she considers herself lucky.
“I’m one of the lucky moms that her loved one came home. I have friends whose loved ones did not. But I certainly did not want this to happen to anyone else,” Najbar said.
And she has a final word.
“You don’t mess with the mail of soliders and just blow it off. That’s not okay. A simple apology,” Najbar said.