Q&A: Taking Leave to Join the Search
This entry is on a topic someone submitted via the website, which reads,
"Can you explain to me how you got emergency leave so quickly? You got leave in less than 12 hours and that seems odd for a GF of a walk away DUI."
In the military, when there is an emergency or something has happened that warrants emergency leave, the amount of time it takes to approve the leave is usually dependent on how quickly the Commander is informed of the situation and whether the Commander requires third party confirmation (i.e. Red Cross Message).
As I explained to Erinn Larkin in our interview, my Battalion Commander was reluctant to approve my leave initially, and only after he and I spoke directly on the phone did he agree to grant me leave. This took much less than 12 hours, which is par for the course. I've included the transcript from the Maura Murray Pod for those who have not yet listened to it.
"Anyway so he [my Battery Commander] reluctantly called the Battalion Commander, who is a Colonel and he kind of made his reluctant pitch and then he called me back and said Hey man, the Colonel is not going to approve your leave. And I said, Hey sir, can I get the Colonel’s number because I’m going to call the Colonel. And so he gave me his number and I called the Colonel and I said hey sir, Lt. Rausch. From your track, I know you’re not going to approve my leave. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that I get to New Hampshire, and so I shared some things that he wasn’t really aware of like the seriousness of the relationship. The fact that I was going to be able to work out of a hole in terms of vacation days and leave and the fact that all my work was covered like there is no issue with me being gone. I literally laid it all out, this is why and he still didn’t . . . he was like this is not an emergency leave, man. And I finally just made my point to him, I’m like, listen sir, if your wife went missing and didn’t come home from work, tonight, would you have to explain to the General you need time off to go find her? Or would the General just be like Oh, Colonel, go find your wife! This is . . . that’s what this situation is, you know when he went into the phone call he said he had to check in with some stuff and so he called the battery commander back, they had a conversation and he called me back and was basically Hey, how much time do you need?"
Other times during my military career, I experienced situations that resulted in leave being approved quickly. Once while I was a cadet at West Point, a second time while I was stationed at Fort Sill, and once while I was deployed to a combat zone in Baghdad, Iraq. In Iraq, my Commander made the decision to approve my leave in a matter of seconds.
While I'm unsure exactly who believes Maura's disappearance was a DUI walk away, that theory was far from my mind after speaking with Fred the evening of February 10th. What little I knew was very concerning; Maura drove to a different state in an unreliable car without telling anyone, she was in a car accident hundreds of miles away from her dorm in a sparsely populated area, and her car was found abandoned on the side of a snow covered road with Maura no where to be found. No one had heard from her. I tried to call her, she didn't answer. To me, my friends, family and chain of command this was clearly an emergency and looking back I'm thankful for everyone's support during one of the most difficult moments of my life.
Frank W Tracy
I have a life long friend who was a officer in the U.S Army stationed at fort Polk , 1988. He was on some kind of training in the woods for two months. Several time he would sneak away and drive a hour to sleep with his wife and new born.
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