Father uses skills to aid recovery efforts, find son

| July 2, 2010 | 0 Comments

Pfc. Marcus Fichtl
8th Military Police Brigade Public Affairs, 8th Theater Sustainment Command

Spc. Robinson Cadeus, 45th Sustainment Brigade, 8th Theater Sust. Command, holds his 9-year-old son in Delmas, Haiti, after the child survived the 7.0 earthquake, Jan. 12. (Petty Officer 2nd Class Todd Frantom | U.S. Navy)SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — The world looked on as Haiti experienced a 7.0 magnitude earthquake leaving more than 200,000 people dead and millions homeless, Jan. 12, but for Port-au-Prince native Spc. Robinson Cadeus, looking on wasn’t good enough – he needed to find his son.

Port-au-Prince lay in ruins, with no communication getting in or out. 

“I needed to know what was going on; I was going crazy,” Cadeus said, a petroleum supply specialist with 71st Chemical Company, 8th Military Police Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command. “There was no way to get a hold of anyone in Haiti, so I had to somehow get into the country. I went straight to my chain of command and they started working on (an emergency leave) waiver to get me to Haiti.”

“No one was being let into the country,” said Sgt. Charlotte Becker, Cadeus’ squad leader. “But we couldn’t sit by and watch Cadeus anguish in despair. We were getting him on a flight to Haiti.”

Two weeks went by, and there was still no word from Cadeus’ family, or on the waiver. Finally, after a few phone calls, the waiver came through for emergency leave, Becker said.

Eighteen days after the earthquake, Cadeus was off to Haiti. 

“I arrived and saw the destruction all over the city and the despair in the people’s eyes,” he said. “The worst part was, I was in country but still couldn’t see my family and my son.”

The U.S. Embassy still had to process Cadeus’ paperwork before letting him go off on a search for his son. 

Finally, on the third day in Haiti, he was able to start the search. 

He arrived at his family’s house, but there was no house standing there.

The earthquake had destroyed the family’s house just like it had destroyed every house in Port-au-Prince.

But where the house once stood, stood something more important to Cadeus: his family, and most importantly, his son.

“They were as happy to see me as I was to see them,” he said. “They had no idea I was coming, and I had no idea if they were alive. The struggle wasn’t over yet.

“I held and hugged my son knowing that even though I just found him and reunited with him, I had responsibilities as a Soldier and to the people living where I was born,” Cadeus said. “We were going to be separated again.”

While in Haiti, Cadeus reactivated and attached to the 82nd Airborne Division, which was deployed in support of Operation Unified Response, where he worked as a translator for the unit. 

After a month spent helping the citizens of Haiti, father and son returned to Schofield Barracks.

“We welcomed Cadeus back with open arms,” Becker said. “We were proud of him for being a great family man and a great Soldier.”

“My son’s adjusted well since coming to Hawaii. He’s making friends in school and enjoying what Hawaii has to offer,” Cadeus said. “Most importantly, I’m making sure I’m never going to be separated from my son again.” 

 

While the Joint Task Force-Haiti recovery mission, Operation Unified Response, officially ended June 1, National Guard Soldiers are continuing to deploy for medical and construction projects through September. 

As of June, more than 4.9 million meals, 17 million pounds of bulk food and 2.6 million bottles of water were distributed in Haiti, and more than 1 million people had received emergency shelter. 

(Editor’s Note: Information is from U.S. Southern Command)

 

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