Army Rescinds Leave for Ill Newborn's Dad

First-time dad ordered back while son fights for life in ICU
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 24, 2007 9:06 AM CST
A newborn baby under observation in an intensive care unit. The Army has rescinded the leave of a father whose newborn son has developed a lung infection.   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The US Army has canceled the leave extension of an Indiana soldier whose newborn son is in critical condition and ordered him to return to duty on the next possible flight. The Chicago Tribune reports on the case of Chris Williams, a veteran of two tours in Iraq, who asked for an extension of a few days on his 18-month leave, to see his son safely out of intensive care. First he got it, then it was rescinded.

An Army spokeswoman defended the decision, saying, "They are fighting a war. Even one person missing does have an impact." Gabriel Williams was healthy at his birth Tuesday but quickly developed a lung infection, and his doctor said the next few days are crucial for his survival. Now Williams is reconsidering his career: "It's like they just write you off and you are a horrible soldier."