I had contacted everyone I knew. I didn’t know what to do next. Until “another call” came at about 8:30am. This call was from the Marine Headquarters in DC. The Marine on the other end said that the doctor in Thailand had requested that Kevin’s family be at his bedside. And as fast as possible.
Now my mind was reeling. What would I do with my daughter? What about work? How would I get there? The Marine said that up to three family members could go. He said he would give me an hour and in that time he would make the flight arrangements. He needed to know which airport was closest and how many would be going. Then he said my daughter was allowed to go too since she was 13 at the time. So that was a load off my mind not having to worry about finding a place for her to stay. At this time we had no idea how long we would be gone.
You see, whenever the military offers to fly a family 23,000 miles around the globe it’s usually to a death bed so that the soldier doesn’t die alone. So without using words, the doctor has told us that he didn’t expect Kevin to live. And obviously the military doctors agreed with this diagnosis in order for them to call DC and get the ball rolling on our transportation over there. When the Marine at Headquarters called back, he advised us to go and have passport photos made. We would fly to DC first and go to the Passport office and get our passports expedited and having the photos ready would be beneficial in the process.
So now I was on the phone and the computer telling everyone that we would be going to Thailand and that we had no idea how long we would be gone. I was excited about going though. I just knew if I could touch Kevin, just to be in the room with him, that he would be ok. Maybe it’s the mother in me, but I knew I would make it better. So now to get passports and pack.
I had a job where I was paid a salary and business was very slow so it was easy for me to take off work. My husband was working for a dealership that had just closed two before on Friday. He was supposed to begin a new job the next day, Monday. He called the new place and they told him to take all the time he needed that he would have a job when he returned. It just so happened that my daughter was to begin Spring Break in a week and the next week after that were exam practices. So in essence she wouldn’t be missing much school either! And, I had just gotten my pay check with two weeks of bonuses on it. That check was almost $2,000 above my salary. I say all this to show how “God”, “the Divine”, “Spirit”, “the Universal Life Force”, whatever you may call it works in our lives.
I had NEVER been on a plane before, but I was packed and ready to go in a flash. We had made arrangements for someone to come over and take care of our dogs and to water the plants, get the mail, etc. We had called all our family and friends. My brother-in-law brought us his laptop in case we were able to get online and send back details. We left for the airport. The flight to DC was on a tiny plane and lasted less than an hour. But I did ok for my first plane ride ever!
We arrived in DC around 8pm and were transported to the passport office. We arrived around 9:30pm. After spending two hours there, my daughter and I had our passports. My husband owed child support in Ohio and the state would not give him permission to leave the country. The Marines said they would take care of it in the morning. It was 11pm now and we left heading for a place to grab food and to find our hotel for the night.
We got to the hotel to find that our reservations had been for a different address! We got that worked out. We just happened to be staying at the chain I worked for. We ate and laid down. We did sleep for a couple of hours too. When we spoke with the Marines on Monday morning they had NOT been able to persuade Ohio to let my husband go. So here we sit in DC. Our plane is to leave in two hours and we can’t go! If the government couldn’t get the hold lifted, what were we to do now?
I did what anyone would do. I got angry. It wasn’t that hard. After all I had been through in the last 28 hours it was easy. I called Ohio myself and spoke to many different people. Each time I asked to speak with a person who had authority to release my husband. Each time I got someone else that didn’t know what to do. I didn’t give up. I was determined that I was not going to go through this alone. My husband is my rock. I needed him to lean on so I could be strong one. I finally got to speak to a person who could help us. A wonderful man named Mr. Davis. The hotel faxed him the travel orders and he got his supervisor to lift the hold!
Now I must confess that I got very angry. I cried rivers! I yelled. I explained. When I finally got to speak with Mr. Davis I asked him if he had kids. I also told him that this delay may cause our son to die alone half way the world! I told him that I needed my husband with me. I implored him to help me before it was too late. All the time I was on the phone I was praying and asking that the right person be sent to me. And he was.
We called the Marines back after talking to Ohio for over two hours and gave them the news. They came and took us back to the passport office. We got Warren’s passport finally! We went on base to eat and wait while new plane reservations were made. We went to Dulles Airport and waited for our flight to leave. We were flying to London and then on to Thailand from there. 13 hours to London, then an hour to change planes and another 10 hours to Thailand.
We were called to board our plane. As we walked to the gate, the cell phone rang. It was the military doctor in Thailand. He said that Kevin was taken for emergency surgery on the right side of his brain this time. He was having a lot of bleeding. Since we were going to be in the air, we would have to wait 23 hours before we would find out anything about this surgery!