We had our first casualty this week. The Soldier, a young man named SPC Jeffrey Lee White Jr. died on April 3.
I did not know this Soldier. He was part of another Battalion within our Brigade. The Brigade has several thousand Soldiers and each Battalion has several hundred, I don’t personally know them all.
Even though I don’t know him or his family, his death makes me sad. And scared. When I heard we had a casualty I cried. I went to my room, closed the door, and sobbed for a long time. I cried for him and for his family, for his fellow Soldiers, and for the others injured in the incident.
But mostly, I cried for me. Because my husband is over there too and all of the sudden the possibility that it could have been him became all too real. I always knew it was a possibility. I have always known that some of our soldiers wouldn’t come home. But until that moment, I don’t think I’d allowed myself to think about how it would feel.
That’s the thing about a deployment. Some days it’s not that bad. I just live my life. I laugh with the kids, chat with friends, and go about my day. On the good days I might talk to him or chat online. It’s not completely unbearable.
There are days when I’m angry at him for being gone. When I’m exhausted and stressed out. When the kids are at each other or at me. Days when everything goes wrong and I’m almost certain it’s the Army’s fault for taking my husband away for so long.
Other days I’m sad because I miss him. I miss him a lot. Everything about him, even the annoying stuff. Or the kids miss him. Reese woke up the other morning and the first thing he said was, “did Daddy send a new picture?” It broke my heart to think he was probably dreaming about Daddy, missing him even while he slept.
That’s just how it is. Good days. Bad days. Terrible days. Waiting for him to come back.
Army wives aren’t any more brave than anyone else. We just understand it. We know our husband’s joined the Army knowing they would never get rich or famous. They knew they would have to leave us for long stretches of time. They knew they might die.
And sometimes they do.
This post is linked to Yeah Write.