Captain Jason

The latest news on the recover of Jason after his injury in Iraq by an IED.


Pictures

Snail Mail:

Cpt. Jason Scott
WRAMC Building 20
Mologne House Hotel #316
6900 Georgia Ave. NW
Washington DC 20307

Phone: 202 577 0092

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Friday:Miracles and Goodness Abound

A story that begins in January 2006. Deeply tortured by the seriousness of Jason's wounds and the impact of those wounds on his life I head to National Airport to be with Lisa and her scheduled outpatient surgery. Going through security I am "randomly selected" for a total security check including a wanding of self. If you have not gone through this, you stand in the middle of the public security area and are searched. I comply and stretch out my arms, identify with Jesus on the cross, slip into a pool of despair and begin to weep from the center of my soul.

"Why are you doing this? My son has given his life for this country! He is in Walter Reed very seriously injured while you humiliate me. I marched against Vietnam and I have attended a Prayer Peace Vigil every Tuesday since 9/11?" TSA responds, "I am doing my job." I weep as I wait for my plane, I weep as I fly to Tampa for myself, for all those injured and killed in this war and all wars throughout humanity's his/herstory and for the lost direction of my beloved country.

On Tuesday I realized that I had to again cross the security barriers of National. Not only that Jason was to cross security for the first time in 6 months on his first outing from WRAMC. What if I was wanded again and most horrific what if Jason was subjected to "random" security procedures? I had to stand against such humiliation. WRAMC had given us a TSA number to help with security procedures and I had assumed that it was specifically for those in wheel chairs etc. I thought I would try to stop the madness we could confront.

I called the TSA and told them the story of my January "random wanding" I said, "IF I or my son Captain Jason Scott is wanded I WILL call the Washingtom Post immediately, I will call the offices of my Senators from IL immediately" He asked for my flight info and for Jason's flight info saying, "I will help you however know you are subject to standard security measures" I replied, "I understand and do you understand what I will do if Jason or myself is wanded?" He said, "yes" and we hung up. I thought the line in the sand had been drawn very clear and I was prepared to follow through even if it meant I missed my flight.

On Friday morning Jason and I got a call from the TSA telling us that an agent would meet each of us at the doors of National Airport. While we are riding in the taxi heading to National, another call from: TSA, "Mam, We see that you and Jason are on two different planes. We would like to get you both on the same plane." I think, "Oh my God who is doing what to our flights?!" I cry, "NO, NO don't change the flights, Jason wants to go to Orlando to see his girl friend..." the cell phone connection dies. Jason gives me a very quizzical look, "What's that?" I reply "They think somehow we got mixed up in flights, they are trying "to be helpful." I am thinking who and how many folks are involved with our flight plans this morning?

Jason only had an overnight bag so we say, "Goodbye" and he heads inside National. I am going to check in at curb because it is always easier. It is a busy Friday morning, a porter comes over asks me for my ID and goes to the machine, punches in and immediately comes back to me, "I am sorry you cannot check in curbside, we must go inside." Oh, Oh is this the beginning of my "special treatment?" As we are going in to the counter out comes a very well built, twice my size, very tall TSA woman agent, I think, "She definitely would have no trouble in overpowering me. "Good morning mam, I am here to see that you have no trouble getting boarded this morning. I am to escort you to the plane." She was polite and very firm as she stood by me during my skycap's attempts to get my boarding pass from the counter. She tells me, "You have the very best skycap." TSA says, "It will be a minute, the airlines want to say "thank you" for your sacrifice and your son's. Both of you are being upgraded to first class seats." At this point I see Jason working with a TSA agent a line away.

I am saying, "You don't have to do that for me." But my heart is leaping with joy. Jason had gotten a ticket in economy and in the middle of a row. Although the flight is short to Orlando Jason would have been mighty uncomfortable because of his injuries. Now Jason would be in luxury with a seat that is made for his 6'4"! Yes this is how America must treat all of its soldiers who have given so much. Jason has a ex-Marine, now TSA supervisor for his escort who is carrying his bag and calls Jason "Captain Scott." "We take care of our soldiers." This makes me tearful as to have this older gentleman/ex-soldier treat my wounded son with such respect touches my heart deeply. We go through security, the woman agent puts my 800 film through the "drug/explosive checker machine" by hand telling the operator there is no need to open the camera package. I didn't see Jason actually go through the gate, I will have to ask Jason as I think he was told he has so much shrapnel he is not to go through the x-ray gate.

My woman escort leaves me with Jason and his escort on the other side of security. "Come with us to Jason's gate" the supervisor says." Okay since my gate is next to Jason's only an hour and 1/2 later. We chat for a few minutes and TSA says "Sir you can board the plane now. Mam, stay here and I will take you to the Skylounge." Again I am taken aback. The supervisor comes back and he is impressed by the behavior of the US Airway's pilot. A TSA agent has authority for security only to the door of the plane, then responsibility for the plane lies with the pilot and the airline he explains. He was invited onto the plane with Jason and the Captain of the plane took Jason's bag and led him to his seat. TSA said, "I have not seen that before. I have not been invited onto a plane." Again, my heart is touched and my eyes fill with tears of thankfulness for the Goodness of these men. Then he says to me "Come with me to the skylounge where you can relax before you flight."

A lounge has a TV, free coffee, muffins, yogurt etc. It is almost empty at this time of the morning. A woman comes in and I watch as she sits down opposite the room from me. I think I recognize her. She gets out her computer and spends time on her cell phone and laptop. I get up my courage and go over to her, "My name is Katy and are you Joan...Chittister?" Oh my gosh, Sr. Joan looks up and says to me, "You are good, girl, I am Joan." At this point I am speechless, so I say, "Sr Joan I usually see you at a podium way up there...the last time I saw you, it was Dublin." Now if you follow the Vatican II reform movement in the USA you know that Sr. Joan is a Erie Benedictine sister, widely known for her wisdom, has written many books, and regularly appears on TV to present her views and wisdom to the USA audience interested in religious perspectives. She attended the Women's Ordination Worldwide Conference in 2001 over the strong protests of the Vatican. Her monastery voted to support her decision to attend. The decision of her community to support her attending WOW rocked the RCC as her community was the first to openly stand against the oppression and denial of the equality of women by the RCC, Pope Paul II and Card Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict 16.

Joan tells me that she has been to a conference here in DC and is heading home. She asks me "Why are you here?" I tell her, "I am here with my son Jason at WR" and that I would like to show her his pictures. Joan agrees and for a few minutes I tell her about Jason and her eyes continue to tear. I am deeply touched by her compassion for both of us and am highly honored to be in the presence of such a strong feminist, an advocate for peace who has consistently articulated the Gospel reasons against war. Sr. Joan's words have touched the hearts and minds of millions. Sr. Joan, looks at the time, "I must go, I am so glad to have spent this time with you." We give each other a blessing and a promise of prayers. I give her Jason's blog site and my email. I hope to stay in contact with this "spiritual mother for the People of God." You can find more info about Sr. Joan at Benetvision.org, her latest writings include Scarred by Trouble, Transformed by Hope; In Search of Belief; and Heart of Flesh: A Feminist Spirituality for Women and Men.

I head to the plane and am in First Class. Now the section is basically empty I think maybe 4 out of 20 seats taken. And sitting next to me with plenty of seats available is a LTC Drago from the Special Operations Command, a Strategic Planner who happens to be going home for a visit this weekend. The "coincidence" of his being given a seat next to me in a empty section is too much. I think "I am hemmed in" by this guy. Sigh, what is a peace activist to do? I ask, "Want to see pictures of my son, VSI in Iraq" He is not eager to see them, but I show them anyway and go into detail about each injury. A little later the LT Colonel moves into an empty seat away from me. Did he think I had no reason for my anger? I wonder what he was told about me? I am left in peace without a military escort for the remainder of my flight.

Arriving at the Tampa airport I am met by a man, "with a bald head and a green suit" as he has described himself to me earlier in the day. "I am the head of security at the Tampa Airport." I am impressed with the wasted time of human resources as I have no more security to go through at this point, talk about "overkill escorting." "Sir I don't need an escort, I am here to see my grandchildren. It is okay, my daughter will be coming to get me as she always does." He replies, "We want to take care of our soldiers and their families, if there is any thing I can do?" I assure him I know my way around this airport and shake his hand and my head as I walk away in unbelief. But the First Class was indeed very special and a blessing for which I am very thankful especially for my son.

Truly this was a day of blessings and goodness. I hope your weekend was filled with surprises and many blessings.
Please pray for the successful surgery for Jason on Thursday. Infection is a complication and is a high risk for this colostomy reversal. Please keep Jason's complete healing in your thoughts and prayers. Let us all pray and work for peace. Let us all take care of our wounded soldiers when they come home.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jason and Katy--

I was apparently mistaken about my friend Mark. He has been at Bethesda until today, but has now been transferred to WRAMC. Thanks.

--Spence

Tuesday, April 25, 2006 8:11:00 PM  
Blogger Katy, Jason's mom said...

Spence,
That was so good to hear as I had been checking with everyone and no one knew anything about him or Sunny.

Blessings and Prayers,
Katy

Wednesday, April 26, 2006 8:19:00 AM  

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