Graduate Student Asks for Help Winning Family Reunion for Veteran of the War in Afghanistan

Diane Wengelski, a graduate student at St. Thomas, is looking for help to make a family reunion possible for a nephew, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran of the war in Afghanistan.

The Wengelski family is one of the five finalist families in the KTIS Family Reunion Contest. This week, the public is being asked to vote for the winning family. The winning family will get to fly 20 people home from anywhere in the country for a reunion.

Wengelski is asking for the help (and votes) from the St. Thomas community.

She explains: “I nominated my nephew, Mark and his wife, Shay, for this award due to the very difficult year that they just went through. While deployed to Afghanistan, Mark learned that they were expecting quadruplets! Difficulties arose, however, and two of the quads did not survive. Then their 2-year-old needed open heart surgery at about the time that Shay was expected to deliver. Mark was not allowed to come home. Complications from that surgery left the little girl literally fighting for her life! Finally the Red Cross intervened and brought Mark home to be with his family. The remaining two quads were born healthy in March, and the little girl, Jordyn, finally stabilized and is recovering now. It has been a long, stressful, miraculous year!”

Read the full stories of the final five families,  and vote, on the KTIS family reunion website.

“If you can take a few moments to check it out and cast your vote, I’d really appreciate it,” Wengelski remarked. “And, you can vote as many times as you’d like!”