Let My Son Come Home for Surgery...

Updated 5 years ago by Tony E. Rutherford, News Editor
Ian DeLancy
Ian DeLancy
Provided by Dee DeLancy

Moses demanded that an Egyptian king  let his people go.

Flash forward 2013, after six and a half weeks of limbo, a dad asks why the United States Army has not sent his ill son home. Instead, Ian DeLancey spends 20 hours daily in a cubicle , barred from serving due to a pre existing condition, but, Fort Benning has not released him to have surgery on a cist which is deafening him and growing into his brain.

A former military recruiter himself, DeLancey said that his 21-year-old son, "wanted to drive a tank and serve his country." He passed tests in advance of reporting to Fort Benning, Georgia. A recruiter indicated he might have a slight ear infection, but that would not prevent him from reporting to active duty.

 Let My Son Come Home for Surgery...

But Ian was not sent "down range" to the final battery of basic training. That was six and a half weeks ago on Feb. 21.

According to his dad, the army paperwork stated, "immediate attention is required."

The former reporter did what reporter's do --- make contact. Rep. Nick Rahall contacted the base after a medical release was signed."Congressman Nick Rahall called me today responding to an issue. Congressman, you are the best," DeLancey wrote on Facebook. 

Ian is still at the base. Dee received a call from him Easter Sunday.

"I’m worried. He could have a permanent disability," DeLancey said. 

However, Ian is not alone.  And Fort Denning is not the only site. There are more venues, where enlistees that failed the final physical or mental tests. "He has not done anything wrong. He signed (a contract) to go fight (for his country). [Now,] he's in prison by his own government," DeLancey stated, adding that his son has access to television, a cell phone, or common communication needs. 

Now Fire Chief Carl Eastham with DeLancy at Emmons Memorial
Now Fire Chief Carl Eastham with DeLancy at Emmons Memorial
photo Tony Rutherford

A misunderstanding last Friday caused the former newsman to sob. "They called his name to go home on Tuesday."  Ian asked, "Is it true?"  The response? "No, they made a mistake. He cried from disappointment.

Anguishing,  the former recruiter laments an apparent obvious conclusion, "There are other young men and women that the Army puts in holdover and [it ]  takes forever to get [them] home."

DeLancey explained that Ian waits with other men at the base. Ironically, they are still paid by the U.S. Army. "If kicked out , you (perform) the duties of newcomers," but the Army's own physician determined a need for "immediate attention. "He cannot proceed forward. It's taken six weeks and he is not free to leave. There's no indication when he is coming home."

Speaking to HNN late Tuesday, April 2, DeLancey said that now Sen. Jay Rockefeller's office is involved. Following verbal contact, he has asked for Congressional hearings.

"I  wrote a letter to the Senator explaining the treatment my son and others with health related issues are facing. This follows contact with Congressman Rahall a couple of weeks ago....

I have a letter from the base that Ian's transfer date was March 26th. He is still not home. Others are being held in a similar fashion. This needs to change ... not just for my son ...  It is my job as a father to protect my children. The government (US ARMY) is making this very difficult.  I am angry and determined to protect my son! To Ian,  I am proud of you and love you for your desire to serve your country. I am sorry your government has failed you."

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