The Deployment Diary

Friday, December 16, 2005

A Heartbreaking Job

Just the thought of seeing two soldiers in Class A's or dress blues standing on my front porch frightens me enough to make my heart race. While my husband was deployed, the doorbell ringing unexpectedly would scare me so badly. After talking with whoever was there, I'd often cry just from the sheer relief that it wasn't a casualty notification team.

Due to the fear as the wife of a soldier, I've never really considered those who are tasked with informing the families of our fallen heroes. After stopping by Sgt Lori's blog and following the link from this entry though, that's all changed. I now feel that some of the unsung heroes of the War on Terrorism are those who inform families when their loved ones have been killed.

Time Magazine's photo essay, "Honor After the Fall" gives us a glance into the emotions of the families and the officer who must inform them.

Rocky Mountain News special report, Final Salute, takes readers behind the scenes and shares an in-depth view of what families go through and what one casualty notification officer, MAJ Beck, endures. In one telling example, MAJ Beck sits outside of a family's home just a little longer. He knows that once he knocks on their door, that family's lives will never be the same.

Final Salute is a long series with twelve pages in all, but it is well worth the time it takes to read it. An emotional account of both sides of a heartbreaking experience - the person who must notify the family and the families who must face a future without someone they love.

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