I received a call early Tuesday morning from a Platoon Sergeant that I know well. One of his Soldiers was in a very difficult situation. I won't go into all of the details but his 16 year old son from a prior marriage had been the victim of a drunk driver. The son was in a coma for 3 weeks and had recently awakened from the coma. He has paralysis in all but his left arm. The father had been granted emergency leave to be with his son but didn't have the financial means to travel from his duty station with his wife and step daughter to be with his son.
As the Soldier and I talked throughout the day while I was contacting people and organizations to help him he kept telling me two things over and over. 1) "Ma'am I can't ask you to do this for me." To that I assured and reminded him that HE didn't ask - his Platoon Sergeant did and I was grateful to his PL for doing so. 2) "I don't know how to thank you." His sincere gratitude was overwhelming to me. I knew from talking to this Soldier that he was a good man, a good father and a good Soldier. Zero doubts.
I am very happy to report that the Soldier arrived at his son's hospital bedside last night thanks to the generosity, love and compassion of Donna Cranston of Defenders of Freedom and Patti Patton Bader of Soldiers' Angels. I also want to thank two special friends of mine, Matt Burden of Blackfive and Jo Lombardi, for their assistance in helping get this information expidited so quickly.
The Soldier and his family may not be having the merriest of Christmases this year but thanks to the people and organizations mentioned above the father and son are together. My heart is happy for that and more than grateful to Donna and Patti. The emotion and relief in the Soldier's voice reminded me of the true spirit of giving, family and Christmas.