In the military when a family emergency arises, we are told to call the Red Cross and have an emergency message sent. They are trained at doing this and can do it quickly and efficiently. Armydad had asked me to send a Red Cross message if Thing1 got listed. So, as soon as I turned in the consents, I called the Red Cross. They were amazing! The man I spoke to was kind and caring. He asked many questions to ascertain the severity of the situation. Then he asked “Do you want Armydad to be sent home?” I was not prepared for that question. We had assumed he would stay and only come home if Thing1 got a heart. As soon as I heard the question, I blurted out “YES!” He said he needed justification for why. I began to cry and told him that it is a very risky surgery and Thing1 could die. He needs his Daddy there.
After I got off the phone, I wasn’t sure what would happen. I knew that Armydad’s command could decide to keep him deployed until surgery time. Armydad called me less than 4 hours after my call to the Red Cross. He had just been woken up and given the message. He said he thought he was coming home but wasn’t sure.
Shortly after, he was told to pack and was put on a plane that night. It was a VERY long journey for him with many road blocks along the way. But, 6 days later, he arrived home today with new orders stating that he has been released from the deployment. He will be staying home with us as we wait.
Both of us have felt some guilt about this. We know it could be months before a heart becomes available. Armydad expressed to his command that he felt guilty for leaving. Their response: “Your family needs you more right now than we do. Go home, be with your son.” We have been so blessed by this command.