Marine granted leave after preemie birth

October 26, 2009 2:45:11 PM PDT
With the help of some New York politicians a U.S. Marine is on his way home to visit his wife and prematurely born baby on Long Island. A spokesman for New York Sen. Charles Schumer says Marine Lance Cpl. Keith Wagenhauser is expected to arrive in Long Island late Tuesday.

His wife, Cristal, gave birth ten weeks early to 2-pound, 11-ounce Madison Rose on Oct. 3. The infant is in a neonatal intensive care unit.

The new father was stationed aboard a ship somewhere near Iraq and Afghanistan. The Marines initially refused to grant an emergency leave. They usually only grant leave in cases of death or grave illness to immediate family members.

Schumer, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Tim Bishop persuaded the Marines to reverse their decision.

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