Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Falling between the cracks

Our house feels like some kind of command center. There was another brief email from Lane, written just a few hours after the one I posted on Monday.

The doctors moved up the surgery on her leg. It's already done. And since they had her moving around on crutches by Monday night, with plans to ship her back to the states yesterday, Lane emailed us that she'd requested permission to be flown directly to Dallas, where they're holding Jamila's funeral this afternoon. That request wasn't denied. Apparently, it wasn't even addressed. She thinks they're initially taking her to Walter Reed.

Since Monday night, Jodie, Starr Ann and I have taken turns talking to what seems like about a thousand Army people, trying our best to get somebody to listen. We just knew there had to be one person in there who cared that a seriously wounded eighteen-year-old woman was desperate to say her final goodbyes to another eighteen-year-old who'd put her life on the line, and lost it, in Iraq.

Finally, late yesterday, the phone rang. A woman calling from the hospital where Lane was being treated. She wasn't willing to say who she was, but she did give us the number of a lieutenant colonel in Fort Story, Virginia. She said to call this woman about Lane and Jamila. Said to not ask how we'd gotten her name, because the officer would not tell.

Of course we called. Starr Ann did the talking. And this woman was real roundabout, but Starr Ann thinks she's going to try to help us out. Only thing is, we have to quit drawing so much attention to the case and stop calling other people about it. She said we just have to wait for word about what they're going to do with Lane.

So we're waiting. And hoping with all our might that Lane's on a plane headed for Dallas right now. They're burying Jamila at two this afternoon.