[Vision2020] Leave Extended for Soldier With Sick Newborn

Tom Hansen thansen at moscow.com
Thu Dec 27 17:01:37 PST 2007

>From today's (December 27, 2007) Daily Roundup Edition of the Army Times -


Leave extended for soldier with sick newborn

The Associated Press
Posted : Thursday Dec 27, 2007 6:43:26 EST
CROWN POINT, Ind. - A soldier worried about his sick newborn baby will have
more time to spend with his family after first being told he should report
back to duty.

Army Sgt. Chris Williams, 24, of Crown Point now has until Friday to report
for duty in the U.S., after which he will be shipped back to his unit in
Iraq. Williams has five months to go in his second tour there.

Williams' son, Gabriel Douglas, was born Dec. 18 and seemed healthy until he
developed a lung infection that put him in an intensive-care unit at Munster
Community Hospital.

The soldier originally was due to return Dec. 22, just after his newborn's
illness appeared. Military officials in Fort Lewis, Wash., initially told
Williams he had been granted an extension to his leave until Jan. 3.

But the extension appeared to be rescinded, and it was unclear whether the
Army considered him absent without leave, Williams' family said. The only
official word they had to go on was a message on Williams' home answering
machine from a platoon leader in Iraq, urging him to return quickly.

Williams had booked a flight for Friday to return to Fort Lewis. He said it
was the soonest he could find an open seat.

Some of the confusion about the extension arose because Williams' commanding
officer was out on combat operations, said 4th Stryker Brigade spokesman
Maj. Shawn Garcia. When he returned, he extended the soldier's leave.

"That's definitely good to hear," Williams said Monday. "It has its good
points. I have a baby now, and I was able to spend it with him, even though
he was in the hospital."

Garcia said Williams' return date had been moved to Dec. 28 all along.

"We take the welfare of our soldiers and their families very seriously,"
Garcia said. "The medical condition of Sgt. Williams' newborn son and the
emotional well-being of his family were definite factors in the chain of
command's decision to extend Sgt. Williams' leave."


Seeya round town, Moscow.

Pro patria, fellow veterans.

Tom Hansen
SFC, US Army (Retired)
Moscow, Idaho

"Patriotism is not a short and frenzied outburst of emotion but the tranquil
and steady dedication of a lifetime." 

--Adlai E. Stevenson, Jr.

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