Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Thank You Red Cross

Last Friday morning, early, long before the sun rose, my husband got a phone call that we'd both been expecting and dreading. His dad had passed away from the big C. He'd been sick for quite a while and recently had been told he had no more than 6 month - it ended up being closer to 2 weeks. Hubs was actually up and getting dressed because he was scheduled to take a PT test that morning - obviously that didn't happen. 

What did happen was that the wheels started turning of getting a Red Cross message to him and to his command. Everything went amazingly smooth. Especially considering it was just hours before they expected to shut the government down. We were a little stressed at the prospect of buying a last minute and very expensive plane ticket and not knowing when we'd get paid again...if it'd be a week or a month. Not exactly a stress free situation. We're pretty religious about saving and knew we'd be ok but the whole looming shutdown just made it a little harder to plunk down over $1,000 for a last minute flight. 

Which is another side rant. Since when did airlines start charging MORE for bereavement flights?! I usually pride myself on being a savvy travler and know the ins and outs of buying tickets etc. but man, I was shocked that it was going to cost us that much to fly one person to Florida from Texas. I could understand if he was going to say, Fiji but to fly from Texas to Florida? When I called several airlines to see if they had discounted bereavement rates or military rates imagine my shock to find that the prices went up by several hundred dollars compared to what their websites showed. But I digress. 

Some kind soul at the Red Cross decided that they'd be an awesome person and helped us out. Frankly we haven't had much of that in a long time. They contract through someone and they arranged for a flight that cost MUCH less than what we'd found on our own. The Red Cross and AER (Army Emergency Relief) paid for it and all he had to do was pick it up. Being able to have that worry, that stress of finding flights, etc taken away was just amazing. Of course we're paying the AER back and I wouldn't have it any other way- just the fact that they stepped up like that especially when they didn't have to just blows me away. 

I cannot thank them enough for stepping up and making the situation a little bit easier. 

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