Well here’s something for people fond of governmental conspiracy theories to chew on…perhaps dark powerful forces intentionally ran the American economy into the ditch, while simultaneously escalating the costs of health care in order to get more people to enroll in the military, where they’d receive a steady salary and health benefits. Sure, this is patently absurd, but I don’t doubt for a second that some people will latch on to this theory after learning about Bill Caudle’s tragic tale.
Caudle, a 39 year-old Wisconsin man, recently signed up for a four year stint in the U.S. Army after he was laid off from his job working for a plastics maker, thus losing the health care coverage he needed to save the life of his cancer-stricken wife.
Michelle Caudle, 40, discovered she had cancer in 2006 and underwent surgery, followed by two rounds of chemotherapy. In May, her doctor told her there were signs the cancer was back and she would need to endure more chemo.
The $136 monthly cost of insurance for the family rose to $497 when Bill’s severance package ran out last month and was due to jump to $1,370 in January. Michelle worked part-time at a restaurant to help pay the bills, but the job did not provide insurance.
With no employment prospects in sight, Bill decided his best option was to sign up for a four-year hitch in the military — even though it meant leaving his high school sweetheart to fight cancer on her own. The Caudles have three children and Bill’s decision also meant he would be away for all of his youngest daughter’s high school years.
Godspeed Bill Caudle. What a heartbreaking story.