Dear Sir Madam:
Our names are Denise and Calvin Haynes and we are the parents of Shenita Haynes who is currently a Sergeant to the 344th Ft. Tutton unit in Queen N.Y , currently awaiting deployment to "Iraqi Freedom" March 18th words are not enough to express our feelings of dismay, disappointment, and betrayal. Our daughter enlisted with our approval in March of 1999, at the age of 19 when she had achieved a degree in nursing and finished her first year of college. She wanted to join to contribute to the US military her knowledge and skills in the medical profession to help fellow soldiers. Both Calvin and I sat with her at Albany MEPS, unsure and uneasy of her decision to join due risk of war and Shenita being our only child. As concerned parents we asked the MEPS representative if our daughter could be deployed into a hostile situation or overseas. We were told with assurance that our child would have to waive her sole survivor rights to be deployed and she if anything would be kept state side to do her part. Now here we are, 6 years have passed with 2 week from her completing her 6 year active reserve duty component, 6 years of school completed with 8 months left to graduate with a DPT in Physical Therapy, and she suddenly receives orders for deployment to IRAQ for 565 days. You cannot imagine how the news hit our ears, or how much anger we felt when we were told by military JAG lawyers that the MEPS recruiter lied. To watch them shrug their shoulders, print out regulations showing that our child sole survivor rights are invalid, and send us on our way devastates us. My husband, Calvin even had a radical procedure know as a vasectomy with the confidence of what the military told him, this recruiter, and this deceitful man face to face. To a man that was once himself in the service who dedicated his time and loyalty to be hurt in such an away in return seems so unjust. This experience alsone has changed my views and respect for the military. It almost makes me crazy that the military cares more about helping and saving people in a different country and sacrificing lives to establish a government that's honest and true to its people. Yet, we cannot seem to find any justice or honesty for our child, or for us, United States citizens. There are indeed no words to express our anger or the hurt we will feel when our daughter is sent, and no amount of forgiveness in our hearts if our daughter is lost. No amount of insurance money or no purple heart can ever ease that pain. All we ask is that someone do us some justice and help us to keep our only child safe. When she's gone there's no one left and no replacement, please don't take our only child from us.
Denise and Calvin Haynes