Twice, Raymond Jefferson’s service to his country left him in pain, agony and facing years of recovery.
The first time was in 1995. As an officer in Okinawa for Special Forces training. When he realized a defective hand grenade was about to blow, he cupped it in his hand and held it against his leg so the shrapnel would not hit his comrades.
Jefferson lost all five fingers on his left hand.
Another explosion 16 years later was even more unexpected. Two subordinates at the Labor Department, where he was the assistant secretary for the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS), accused him of procurement improprieties. An inspector general’s report substantiated the allegations, including that he directed government business to associates.
Jefferson, then a rising star with master’s degrees from Harvard’s Business School and Kennedy School of Government, was forced to resign. Not only did that end his prestigious career as a Senate-confirmed Obama administration political appointee, but the damage to his reputation has followed him since. Read more.