The Deployment Diary

Thursday, April 21, 2005

A Very Sad Week

When they are home - especially after returning from a year in combat where you are always emotionally guarded, it's so easy to allow yourself to be lulled into a sense of safety and well-being. The stark reality is, whether deployed or at home, being a soldier is a dangerous occupation.

As the time for them to head back over to Iraq approaches, training is increasing of course. This week the BN had companies in the field. Fortunately for me, husband's company was running chow, but not part of the field problem. I say fortunately because even though he'd be working late, at least he would be coming home every night where we could spend a little time together.

Earlier this week he called me in the afternoon, which is odd. He usually calls in the mornings and then towards the end of the day so I know if he'll be home by seven or will be working late. When his name popped up on my cell, I knew something was going on. I figured it was a typical problem - a meeting being rescheduled to late in the day and for me to not wait on him for supper.

When I answered the phone and heard his voice, I immediately knew it wasn't about a meeting. I've only heard his voice sound like that once before when he called home after his friends were killed and instantly I knew something awful happened.

He slowly explained what was going on and wanted to let me know that he wasn't sure what time he would be home, but it would be very late. There had been an accident and a soldier was killed. The sound of his voice - gosh, it just broke my heart. Before hanging up, he said, "Damn! The kid makes it through a year of dodging bullets and IEDs in Iraq only to be killed here at's just a fucking shame."

Then, he said he had to go, but he'd call me later. And there I stood, over a year later, staring at the phone like the damn thing had just jumped up and attacked me. Feeling just as useless and worthless as I did that day in January when he called so upset about his friends - not knowing what to say or how to console him. The only thing I can do is listen and while I know that is important, my mind still says I should do more - somehow find some magical words to make it easier or something. Losing a young kid, even if it wasn't one of "his" kids, tore him up. I could hear it in his voice and when he finally did make it home that night, I could see it in his face.

Tragically, two young soldiers were lost in the accident and five others injured. According to press reports, the five injured will be ok and only suffered minor injuries thank goodness.

Please keep the families of these two young men in your prayers along with the injured soldiers. Also, if you could keep the soldiers who tried to save them in your prayers too, it would be greatly appreciated. They are having a really hard time too.

Cherish every moment you have with the people you love. Whether they are deployed or home, life is so fragile and so short...

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