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"In the absence of any hard evidence about Paul’s whereabouts, the Park Service formally fired him for abandoning his post, a move that was grounds for denying Dody survivor’s benefits and Paul’s retirement funds for nearly a decade."

That's pretty odd, it doesn't sound like there was any evidence that he abandoned his post.

Where I worked (I'm retired now), failing to show up to work for 3 days in a row without notifying them meant you were fired. I think that this is pretty normal; employers can't keep paying people who simply stop coming to work.

The issue wasn't salary, it was disqualifying survivor's benefits and retirement funds for someone who disappeared while on work premises, perhaps due to something beyond their control.

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