81. He Goes to War to Save His Baby

Roland was a carpenter in Virginia. He and had three kids—two boys and baby Jessica. The had been in and out of the hospital the last year because of infections and other . She was very weak and sick. The doctors not confident that she would live another year.

care of Jessica was expensive. The family was in debt. Roland, an independent subcontractor, had medical , but he had very high deductibles.

Things were . Roland saw no light at the end of tunnel. Then he saw an ad in the : “Security guards/contract workers wanted. $100,000 a year. First ,000 tax free. $20,000 bonus for extending contract an year.” He called the number. The line was , but he kept calling and finally got through. was worried that the jobs were all taken, they told him plenty of jobs were still . They said they would give him two weeks training in Texas. Then they would fly him Iraq for his assignment.

Roland told Sheila he to take this job. He knew it was ; he might get injured or killed, but the was too good. Plus, the family would have medical benefits, which would enable the baby to the care she needed. Roland said if he the first year, he would probably sign up the bonus and a second year.

Sheila was . She asked, “What if you get killed? What we going to do without you?”

“You can’t like that, honey,” he said. “You’ve got to positive. Think about how well off we’ll be two or three years after I bring back that money. This is the best thing I do for this family.”

Sheila hugged him and . “I don’t want you to go.”

Roland flew Houston five days later.