One Caris patient came up with a most challenging, yet heartfelt request for one of his “Three Most Important Things.” His son had joined the military and Robert had not seen nor heard from him in five years. The last time that he had heard from him, his son was headed to Iraq, so Robert did not even know if his son was alive. “Find my son so I can talk to him one more time,” he asked. With no information other than the son’s name, the patient’s request seemed daunting, but “service is a Caris tenet.”
The volunteer coordinator for his Caris team contacted every branch of the armed forces to find the son, but without a social security number she was told there was no guarantee he could be located.
Not one to give up, the Caris volunteer coordinator finally spoke to someone with the Army human resources department who did not want to give any information. She replied that neither she nor Caris needed any information, but asked that if they located the son to tell him his father was terminally ill and was trying to get in touch with him.
Two weeks later, the patient answered a knock on the door to find his son standing on the door step. One of the volunteer coordinator’s emails or calls had initiated the trail of events that brought him there.
His son is in a special unit of the Army stationed in California and is in and out of Iraq frequently. He happened to be in the States briefly before returning to Iraq, when word reached him about his father.
The visit was short but the patient, in tears, received the comfort of knowing his son was alive and was able to see that he was doing well. During the reunion, the patient learned that his son now had a son of his own.