Massapequa soldier granted leave to meet newborn
A Massapequa soldier has been given a chance to meet his premature baby boy after Long Island lawmakers and the Red Cross helped him get emergency leave.
Juan Leon has been stationed in Afghanistan since April. Leon's son Nicholas was born five weeks premature, and the soldier was initially denied leave to come be by his family's side.
The Red Cross, Rep. Peter King and Rep. Steve Israel intervened on Leon's behalf and helped his leave get approved. Leon arrived home late Sunday night.
"The Army does have a heart," he says. "The Army got me out of there as quickly as they could and put me on a plane."
The soldier says seeing his son has given him something he can hold in his heart when he returns to the war zone.
"I got to hold him and feed him and I have something to take back with me and that can serve as a pretty powerful motivator to do a good job and come back because I have something to come home to," says Leon.
The soldier was granted about two weeks of emergency leave, after which he will return to duty in Kabul.