Vinton sailor on his way to Haiti - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Vinton sailor on his way to Haiti

by John Wilmer

VINTON (KWWL) -- An eastern Iowa couple is saying some extra prayers for their sailor. Geannette and Zach Vermedahl of Vinton received a phone call from their son Ron O'Brien this afternoon. He was on the USS Carter Hall heading to Haiti.

O'Brien, a construction mechanic with the US Navy will arrive at Haiti sometime Saturday.

When his parents heard of the disaster, they new their son could be heading that way.

"I told Geannette that... I said there was an earthquake in Haiti and don't be surprised if Ron goes there and 5:30 that night we got a call," said Zach Vermedahl, Ron's step dad.

"He sounded a little nervous because they were making him get protective gear and items like that and then the last thing we heard was kind of hollering in the background for him to hurry up and come help with the ship," said Ron's mother, Geannette.

For Geannette, the news was unsettling, because she knew her son would have to face one of the worst disasters head on.

"My first reaction, I cried, I did. I hated the thought of what he was going to deal with over there, everything we had seen was horrible," said Geannette.

Ron attended Vinton-Shellsburg High School and when he is finished serving in the Navy his parents say he plans on becoming a diesel mechanic.

His deployment to Haiti could last between four and six weeks.

Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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