Committee of Digital Correspondence
October 1, 2011
Committee of Digital Correspondence
Amelia Foxwell, Correspondent
Part 5 - We will never be the same, again!
As the reality of Carla's experience begins to seep in deeper, it changes her and her family in ways they have only begun to understand. This is the last part of Carla's story but it is also the beginning of a new life, one that is filled with uncertainty and a thousand other emotions she never knew she would feel. There are those of us that came by our realizations because of our parents, our political beliefs, and our life experiences, very few us of came by them courtesy of a SWAT raid.
Carla continues her story:
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The more I read, the angrier I become. Not at Charles, but at the FBI. I just couldn't find anything about this guy that seemed to warrant the magnitude of the search effort that was going on. It wasn't only what they did to us, but I also saw it as a huge waste of money. I can't even imagine what it cost to put on that kind of manhunt.
The day that this happened, I was mad at everyone including Charles, but that was before I armed myself with information. When I began to look more in to things, I saw that Charles had a family. A mom, a dad, a sister, and brother, other people were also hurting. Charles was someone's son. I began to picture and feel what they might be going through. I began to really see Charles being innocent of these accusations. I imagined myself in his shoes. It's not hard to feel desperation after what I witnessed. I still can't get my mind around what that would be like, to be hunted down like an animal. I know there have more than enough people out there that deserve this, but Charles feels far from one of them.
A couple of more days went by and we heard nothing that answered our questions. The news kept the manhunt in the headlines, constantly. He had been spotted heading our way.
I watched the buzz start in the neighborhood. People were acting afraid, talking about locking their doors and keeping their garages closed. I overheard someone at the school talking about "what a horrible, scary guy" Charles was and that he needs to be shot!
I couldn't stand it one morning after walking my kids to school and spoke up to a few women asking if any of them had noticed that he was accused and not convicted? They all stood there looking at me as if I was from Mars. I marched off curtly and walked back home, hoping I had rained on their parade. What fun could it be to talk about an accused person of whom you know NOTHING? Already, I was beginning to see how this was changing me forever.
Here I was thinking I had it going on in the judgment department (you know, that I hardly ever do it intentionally and that I am a very fair person). I was dead wrong. I realized after witnessing so many people totally miss the accused part, that I too, had done this very thing. Never again. I promise from this second forward that I will never presume to know anything about an accused person if I am not directly involved.
Charles and I passed within yards of one another that morning [August 25, 2011] walking down a road in my neighborhood. Of course, I had no idea. I wasn't looking at the corner of my street when he walked right by. Minutes later, he turned himself in to a sheriff's deputy, a few blocks away from my house. Someone called me immediately and let me know. I was astounded how close he was to me.
So many thoughts raced through my mind. I was relieved it was over. That was short lived though. Over for who? Stress had begun to take a toll on me. I wasn't eating or sleeping very well at all. This situation was constantly on my mind. I prayed without ceasing. I looked at the picture they released of Charles and could only feel how his sister or mom might feel. Relieved, grateful and concerned. I thanked God for his quiet apprehension. It was completely opposite of what my family experienced. I could not wish that on Charles or anyone else, ever, at this point. I could see that he had not done anything worthy of my anger or the massive manhunt that was going on. I watched some of his videos. I actually had to agree with several of Charles points. I might not go on the internet and let everyone know how mad I am but he certainly has the right in the USA, doesn't he?
After viewing a few more of his videos, I still didn't get it. How is this guy so dangerous? I was going crazy trying to put everything together. You may think things happen by chance and circumstance but I don't. God is in the details. It was as if He, Himself, did not want me to let it go yet.
I needed to talk to someone. Someone who could help me work this out. I knew good and well that no one from the FBI or SWAT was going to come calling with apologies or explanations. I am sure that I could be dead from a heart attack and they wouldn't so much as make a call to my husband.
By talking to everyone that I could, that was involved, I began to get a very clear picture of how things went down that Saturday night. I was furious to find out they had watched us for four hours before they burst in on us. They had four hours to set up shelter for the evacuees to gather in and chose to do nothing.
I just couldn't believe how we had no rights of any kind, as if we were criminals. I had talked to everyone on this end that I could. None of that was really getting me anywhere. Every time someone in law enforcement would put the "what if" spin on it, "what if it really was the worst of the worst; what if a true madman had your family hostage?" They would get the same answer from me. There is no way you can convince me that banging on the door with great force and screaming orders out at the top of your lungs (not to mention the bullet proof gear, night vision goggles and assault rifles) is going to set up ANYONE for negotiations. HAD a maniac been in there with us they most likely would have caused him to panic and kill us. I was there. This was not TV.
After reading several on-line articles I noticed the same author popping up. It also appeared that she was a member on a website about Charles that had contributions from him directly. I figured this was who I needed to talk to -- Someone who could put a few missing pieces in the puzzle for me. After spending some time on the internet, I finally found an email address to which I promptly sent a message to. Just a short note explaining who I was and a request for a phone number. In no time at all the email was answered with a phone number.
I called, and finally had a voice on the other end [this Correspondent] that was no stranger to my circumstance. What a relief. I was worn out with all the dead ends and brick walls of nothingness that the FBI had left me with. I still needed, desperately, to find a reason why this happened to my family. Or, at the very least, to get a little closure of some kind.
I was still very emotional. This began Saturday night and it was now Thursday afternoon. Charles was picked up at 8:15 that Thursday morning. This stranger on the other end of the line sat and patiently listened as I tried to say anything that made any sense. I am sure I cried more than once. Repeating the story and conjuring up the image of my shaking 8 year old in his underwear still has that effect on me.
Then, there was the inexplicable emotion tied to the very man this all was about. I asked if she could get a message to his parents for me. This one thing, I knew I had to do. I felt so strongly about wanting to tell them that their son was okay. That he was not taken down like a crazed animal. Most of all, I wanted to tell them to have and keep the faith up. I was a witness to how God was watching over Charles. To me, it was amazing. The FBI didn't get their man. God did. God let Charles know when the time was right. He surely must have a serious plan for this young man. There is hope. Hope in the not too distant future of Charles getting back his life.
Saturday afternoon Charles' parents and sister called me. I was so very grateful to hear from them. It was speaking to them that made me no longer feel like useless refuse. That's right, REFUSE -- worthless, trash, garbage -- That is how the SWAT made us feel. Like the most we could have been to them was in the way.
Charles family was just like any of us. Good people who love their son and brother. I finally had some voices and names to put with the prayer I had been keeping up. I thought, what if these people aren't close to God. They might not understand me or how I saw the situation at all. They might not understand what I was a witness to. You can imagine my joyous relief to find out towards the end of the conversation, that Charles' father is a minister! AMEN!! I thought, there is purpose, there is reason!
With my view on what happened down here and the story of how it took place, I was able to confirm answers to prayer made by Charles' father. He was worried his prayer to "do what it takes" to bring Charles back to God, safely, had possibly brought all the chaos on. I, on the other hand, had watched for five days in awe over the way God was working with Charles. Hold tightly to your faith Mr. and Mrs. Dyer! God is not nearly through with Charles yet.
It's been a month since all that has happened now. Not very long really. I am getting to where my whole day isn't consumed by this anymore, but it is a part of my life. It still comes up in daily conversation.
My neighbor just retired after 30 years with the Harris County Sheriff's office. I think he was the most honest about the situation. After listening to the story, he had two things to say.
First, he said that the SWAT came in for a confrontation and nothing else. He also said that had it of been him in the camper (He and his wife are RV'ers) he would be dead. His words were "I carry a gun at all times and would have responded shooting". His wife backed that one up. She too is an officer of the law.
Second, he then explained how they have bullhorns and stand at a distance to get someone out peacefully, talking through the bullhorn, not screaming when they don't want an incident.
I also over heard a sheriff from Austin County, where State park was, saying that "Charles had slapped the FBI in the face and that's what all the fuss was about". That was in a restaurant in Sealy, where the hunt went after the state park. So it was beginning to look different down here for Charles. A lot of people, those that bother to think about it a little more, are beginning to see a different side. I can only hope for the same in Charles's hometown.
Little things and big things happen every day because of this. I now sleep with my pajama bottoms on. I love my family even more. We took our kids out of public school to home school them, for too many reasons to list. We are moving ahead with every plan we have to enjoy life, now. My oldest son asked me to never speak about it in front of him again. I hope to honor that. My youngest asked me if we were going to be kidnapped when we went to Galveston State Park last week. "No son, that won't happen. What happened at Stephen F. Austin will never happen again". I knew that was a lie and that I had no right to say it. Now my family knows that at any time, anyone could be stripped of everything that we think we have a right to, should the FBI deem it so. But, no matter who does what to me, in the end, no one and nothing is bigger than my God. That is where the answers lie.
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My name is Amelia and I have read Carla's story piece by piece waiting anxiously for the next piece, just as you have. I have had the assistance of two other people in the preparation of this story, so that it is presented in a light most able to convey to you the emotions that lay behind it.
Through this account, we all have had the honor to get to know this amazing woman. Many were previously familiar with Charles Dyer's story; a few of us have met him and his family; but talking with Carla, and reading her story, brought a new dimension to all of this. This story provides an "awakening" for all of us. The faith that Carla has is what has gotten her through her "awakening", and the days that followed. Many others seem to have gotten through it, not from faith, but from a strange mixture of anger and ego. "We know the truth; our eyes are more open, so it makes us better than the rest". I sincerely hope that because of this story, many will come to see that that mentality as our biggest obstacle in regaining our freedom and liberty.
Carla and the Dyer family have shown their faith and their heart. Carla's story will continue, as will Charles Dyer's story, and all of ours. Carla has given us a great gift in the past few months. We have been shown the faith to believe in being touched by God, to heal the harm that men have done. Everyone will get something different from this story but it is one of the most important stories of our time. It is a story of loss and fear and one of hope and strength. Please take this story with you and share it with everyone you can.
This was Carla's story and now it has been given to us -- as our story, as well.
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Go to Part 4
Go to Part 6