GRANBURY, Texas — The world waits with anxiety to see what Russia’s next move will be.
But few families feel the fear as deeply as Joey and Paula Reed.
The Granbury couple’s son, Trevor, a 30-year-old former U.S. Marine, has been in a Russian prison for more than 920 days.
“I just want everyone to imagine if this was their son,” Paula said. “If anybody prays out there, we’d appreciate all the prayers for Trevor.”
Reed was visiting his girlfriend in Russia on Aug. 16, 2019, when he was accused of assaulting a police officer after a night at a bar.
He’s serving a 9-year sentence for a conviction called “ridiculous” by U.S. Ambassador to Russia John J. Sullivan.
Sullivan said it is clear Reed did not commit the crime.
Talks to secure Reed’s release and that of Paul Whelan, another American imprisoned in Russia, had been progressing for months.
At a June summit in Geneva, Switzerland, President Biden said he spoke directly to Vladimir Putin about the two men.
“I am not going to walk away on that issue,” Biden said at the time.
But much has changed since June.
“I’m not going to sugar coat it, there’s a lot of sleepless nights,” Paula Reed said about Russia’s aggression toward Ukraine. “The last week has been really bad for everybody.”
“I feel as soon as the war breaks out, our relationship with Russia will be fractured and there will be no more talks about letting Trevor and Paul out,” she said. “He might just end up spending his entire sentence there.”
After leaving the military, Trevor enrolled in college at the University of North Texas.
His trip to Russia was meant to spend time with his girlfriend, her family, and learn the Russian language.
Paula and Joey Reed have not been allowed to talk to their son since July, when he was moved to a prison in Mordovia, about 350 miles from Moscow.
Paula says she learned through Trevor’s attorneys that he is battling a fever and a cough after a potential exposure to tuberculosis.
Paula remembers one thing Trevor told her before his trial.
“You need to stay strong for me,” she said he told her.
Despite a political crisis and health crisis, she’s trying.
“It’s hard though. It’s very hard.”