Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Rough Week

My husband lost a soldier a week ago today. So needless to say, we've had a tough week here.

The loss of a soldier is never easy. Those of you who know my husband know how close he tends to get to his soldiers. He had a Battalion Commander actually tell him that maybe he gets too close. But his soldiers trust him, and he trusts them. They're like family to both of us. After all the years we've spent living so far away from our own families, it's no wonder our soldiers and their families become like extended family to us. There are some things about this loss, though, that have made it really difficult for him in a different way.

When he was in combat, he had a better idea of how to handle these things. I won't say he accepted it, but he knew how to deal with it. When they were in Iraq, they had to keep pressing on. They had no choice. Their very lives depended on it. Here, though, it's different. You don't expect soldiers to die here. They're supposed to be safe at home. We were quickly reminded last Wednesday, though, how mistaken we were.

It's so easy to get complacent at home. I had just met this young soldier, 23 years old, last Monday night. We had a Company Halloween party. It was our first company function since P. took over, and the first company function (other than Christmas parties) in a long time for this unit. We went skating. She was so cute in her costume. Then Wednesday morning, she was killed in a car accident on her way to work. It just goes to show that you never know, and was a shocking reminder not to take anything for granted. And his question was, "How do I tell them to keep working toward the mission in this environment?" He knows they need to be able to mourn.

Monday was the Memorial Service on post, and today was her funeral. Both services were beautiful, but the Memorial Service brought back so many memories of that very difficult year when I was in Germany and he was in Iraq. I attended way too many of those that year, and I honestly didn't expect to have to attend any while we were here. This has really kind of thrown me into a tailspin. I hurt so badly for her mother and the rest of her family, as well as her fellow recruiters. The recruiters who worked in her station were quite close to her. Apparently she was the type of person who was easy to love. I'm just glad I had the opportunity to meet her.

For those of you who read my blog, just be reminded that you just never know when your time will come. Hug your spouse and/or kids, and remember to let those you love know how you feel about them. Be safe.