Cicero (WSYR-TV) -- A Cicero Army wife is demanding answers after team members of her husband’s National Guard unit were denied leave. They were first told they wouldn’t get leave. Then, months later they were told they would, and just this weekend the answer changed yet again.
Almost every night, four-year-old Kayden cries herself to sleep, wondering when her dad Pete Vermeulen is coming home.
Five months ago he was deployed to Kuwait with his National Guard unit, leaving Kayden and her mom Lacey alone until 2013.
“It’s basically like being a single parent again. You have somebody there and then they’re gone for a year and then they come back…it’s very frustrating to raise a little girl who wants her daddy really badly,” Lacey told NewsChannel 9.
Vermeulen was first told he wouldn’t get leave while in Kuwait. But two months ago, Lacey and Kayden got a ray of hope when they found out Pete would be coming home for leave.
“We were excited. I planned stuff for him when he got home. We were planning to go to Alex Bay for a weekend, doing normal stuff families do during the summer,” Lacey continued.
That joy soon turned into frustration after Vermuelen sent Lacey a text on Fathers Day, telling her the Pentagon said he wasn't going to get leave, even though some of his unit members did.
After receiving that text, Lacey said she was angry and sad because she knew her daughter wouldn't be able to see her dad for two weeks like they had planned.
Lacey says Army officials made a mistake by telling her husband’s unit they would get rest and relaxation in the first place.
She hopes the Pentagon sees that they were wrong.
“They need to own up to their mistakes,” she said. “[The troops] own up to their responsibility, they should too.”
This particular issue could be connected to a policy change by defense officials that shortened the Army’s tour-of-duty. We have several calls out to the Pentagon to get some answers, however we’re still waiting on their response. We’ll keep you posted.