Two Tragedies Don’t Make It Right
It was 1993 and the Mid-West had been hit with what people called the flood of the century. Everywhere one went there was water. Whole towns were under water and people needed help. The Red Cross was the answer to those needs.
People volunteered to help their fellow neighbor and many neighbors did come to the stations to help.
I was one of them.
One such volunteer had come as far as Oklahoma. His name was Josef and was a trained EMT. He came because he had seen on the TV the devastation that was taking place and wanted to help. So, he drove the hundreds of miles and landed himself in PO Dunk, USA.
Josef was a beautiful man. His physic exuded strength as he was tall and muscular. He had beautiful eyes that beckoned you to look in to them. His personality matched all that, for he spoke sweetly to those he met and took tender care to each and every person. He was also intellectual as he could hold a conversation about anything and everything.
Best yet, he noticed me.
We worked side by side helping the people of the flood. We handed out food, clean water and Josef helped to give tetanus shots. We talked about many things but most all about where he was from and about his family.
He told me that he had children by a previous marriage and that he was quite close to them. I found this to be wonderful because I too had children from a previous marriage and they were my world. He understood this.
He told me that he worked full time for a fire department in Oklahoma as their EMT and loved everything about it. He said he took vacation time to come to Po Dunk to help the people here for two weeks. When I met him, one of those weeks was already up.
Our romance flourished quickly. I was head over heels but he had to go back home at the end of the week. We spent some time together and he even spoke of possible marriage in the future. He gave me a ring of promise and his phone number to call him until we could be together again.
Then he went home.
I called him the very next day and I wrote him a very romantic letter. I was lonely and I wanted to be with him. On the phone he was sweet and comforting, truly a smooth talker. We talked for hours and I told him to call me the next day.
And he did.
The very next day I called the number he gave me and was hung up on.
So I called back and a woman answered. A woman! I asked if Josef was there and she replied that I was a bitch and how could I be sleeping with her husband. How could I do that to another woman and her children? How could I write a romantic letter like that?
She had read my letter?
Most of all she asked me how I could do that to my husband and my children.
What? I was totally confused.
I told her I did not know anything about Josef being married. After all he had told me he was divorced. I told her I was divorced several years and I had NOT slept with her husband. I told her I knew he had children but he told me that they lived with his ex-wife.
The whole time I was on the phone with her, I heard Josef yelling in the background, “I married, I am married. Hang up on the bitch!”
I actually ended up talking with her a long time. I asked her if Josef worked for a fire department. She told me that he hadn’t. I asked her if he was an EMT. She informed me that he was not nor never had been. In fact she informed me that he had done this before. He had left weeks at a time posing as an Army officer and a police officer.
I was horrified!
I was angry!
I was scared!
Mrs. Josef was now quite calm after I had told her what exactly really happened while he was in Po Dunk. Before I hung up with her I gave her one piece of advice and that was to divorce the bastard and take him for everything she could. She assured me they would be talking.
I got off the phone simply stunned. I decided that I needed to know if Mrs. Josef had told me the real truth. Surely, he had not posed as an EMT. Surely she had lied about that. So, I got on the phone again and called the fire department that Josef said he worked for. I spoke with the fire chief and told him my story. His reply was they had never heard of Josef and that there was no such person that worked there.
Again, I hung up the phone confused and in disbelief. What was I going to do with this information? How could he have just come here and put all those people in jeopardy. Worse yet, how could I have been such a
The only answer I had was to go down to the Red Cross station and speak to the head person. So I did, Red faced I told the head of Red Cross the whole sorted details. I told them I did not know what they could do but they needed to do something.
The head Red Cross person listened to me pour my heart out, listened to my total embarrassment and then replied that they already knew.
As it turned out, the day or two before, they had tried to reach Josef’s chief firefighter as well to give him an accommodation for his service to the people of Po Dunk. They found out he was not employed there and never had been but they did not know he was a complete fraud until the moment I spoke with them. They were going to file charges because after all I gave the Red Cross his personal number and address.
They told me to keep quiet and let them take care of it. They needed for this to not come out because if it had, there could be unnecessary potential law suits. The whole area would be in a panic and that was the last thing the Mid-West needed at that time.
Quiet?! I wanted to get on Oprah and tell her my story. I wanted anyone and everyone to know. However, I kept quiet. These were my neighbors. These were my people that needed help and that is why I originally volunteered to begin with. So, I received an accommodation from the Red Cross and I kept silent.
~Naila Moon of the Grey Wolf copyright 2010
Post script: This is a true story that happened to me. The only persons that have ever known this story up to this date were my Mother and my husband. I changed the place and names to protect the town, my neighborhood and the people associated with this story. The only person who has a real name is the one that did this to me. I have long since forgotten his last name, nor do I want to remember it.
You might ask why tell the story now, as my husband asked me when I was getting ready to post this. Why did I not tell then?
The answer is simple: I was a young single Mother. I was embarrassed and I truly thought the Red Cross would take care of it. To this day I do not know if he was ever prosecuted, the Red Cross never followed up with me about it. I hope that he was!
I also write this story so that others know, there are people out there that are not kosher and to be aware. However, I also write this to let others know, that I still believe there are mostly truly good people. After all, I married one of them and I had met him on line. ;-)