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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.
. 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.
. She asked, “What if you get killed? What
we going to do without you?”
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.”
Houston five days later.