Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sacrifice, Duty and Honor

I am numb. I just found out that a friend I used to talk to on the phone almost daily lost her husband to an IED on 7th of December 2009 in Afghanistan. No wonder I have not heard from her or seen her on yahoo. The amazing thing about this lady is she was the ultimate example of an Army wife and did so much to take care of her Soldier and the Soldiers within his unit. She loved putting together care packages, was a hopeless romantic and has been through hell these past four years. First, she lost her best friend to an IED in 2006 and now her husband has also fallen. I wonder how she is shouldering it all and caring for her young child.

This is the second wife I have known who has lost her husband to the War on Terror. I am grasping for understanding and with my own husband deployed, it makes me realize just how valuable every single moment spent with him is in the context of life. Let me tell you what it is like to be an Army wife and send your spouse off into a warzone. It can be devastating emotionally and hits every single army wife hard in one form or another. Most of us have learned how to handle it by sucking it up out in public and learning to smother our tears in the remnants of our husband's clothing. Our Soldier's essence is what we cling to in place of their absence.

One of the things which has frustrated me the most is how people react to the news that we have sent our loved ones off into battle. They treat us as if we are mourning a death and more often than not leave us alone to fend for ourselves. For most of us, that is the last thing we need. I feel like a failure for not having paid more attention to those around me and even more of a failure for not being more intentional with my friendships. My heart grieves for Jenny. I could have done so much more to invest in her life. Her husband's death is why I am going after my Master's Degree in Counseling. I want to make a difference, for everytime I close my eyes I see the faces of families all across the world impacted by the sacrifice they make for family and country and their pain drives me forward.

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