Recently, my Grandfather passed away. My dad sent a Red Cross notice to me of this event. I received a Red Cross message to this effect roughly 5 hours after my father sent it. My unit told me that they could not send me on emergency leave because the message did not specify that my presence was requested at the funeral and only said that I should call home. They said that if a second message was sent specifically requesting my presence, I would be able to go. I called home and relayed that message to my father. He told me that he did tell the Red Cross that I was wanted at the funeral, but that part didn’t make it to me. He then sent a second message to communicate this request. That message never made it to me (it was sent 72 hours ago). The funeral is tomorrow morning, so there is now no chance of me making it on time.
According to my unit, one possibility as to why I didn’t get the second message (and why I got an incomplete first message) is that the Red Cross determined that I was not close enough to my Grandfather in order to be afforded the opportunity to go on emergency leave. It’s beyond me how they could make that determination having never met my Grandfather nor myself. So instead of being with my family during this time of loss, I’m sitting in Kuwait doing absolutely nothing. That’s right, nothing. Our unit is simply awaiting a flight out so we can finish out-processing in the States. The only thing we have left to do in Kuwait is clear customs… and that can’t be done until just before you get on the plane.