reply to post by k21968
SHe is suddenly quiet and calm. Ok thank you. One of the men tells her he is her casualty assistance officer and he will be back tomorrow to help her
make arrangements, etc. The men leave.
She decides to let the kids sleep. THe next morning she sits them down and tells them that daddy is not coming home EVER. That he is in heaven but
that he was a hero. That he died doing something he believed in and that he died protecting them and their freedom.
The next few days are filled with paperwork. LOTS of paperwork. Signing for her spouse benefits (roughly 40% of his BASE pay not including housing
allowance and food allowance) so basically she will get about a 1/3 of what he earned.
Funeral arrangements are made and plane tickets are bought. They fly to their hometown where they attend the funeral of their hero. As the funeral
ends, her son, age 4 stands at the foot of his fathers coffin and salutes it. There was not a dry eye there. They fly back to Germany where they are
told they have 90 days to move back to the US. She has to quit her job, find a new place to live that they can afford, and go on with life when the
only life she knew is gone.
She gets a new ID card that says "Unremarried WIDOW". I think that was the defining moment for her. The moment that made it all real. Through
everything she was so strong for her kids. She did everything she could to give these kids a great lasting LAST memory of their father. She NEVER
cried ONCE in front of them. She was reassuring, kind, and strong.
90 days went fast and she flew back to Texas to stay with her parents until she got back on her feet. She found a job at the Dallas International
Airport USO so she could still be part of the military life she loved so much.
She bought a small trailer and put it on her parents property. She bought a very old car. She took every cent of the insurance money that was left
after the funeral and put in a fund for her kids so they could go to college.
Today she is one of the strongest, kindest, most compassionate women I have ever known. DO NOT TELL ME SHE IS NOT A HERO. DO NOT TELL ME HER HUSBAND
IS NOT A HERO. DO NOT TELL ME HER KIDS ARE NOT ARMY STRONG.
I know all of this firsthand, for I was the neighbor. All these years later I am still very good friends with her. Her kids are thriving. That little
boy who saluted his dads coffin cannot wait to join the Army himself.
No one understands the sacrifices our military families make. Not all sacrifices are the ultimate. Hers was. Some sacrifices are smaller, injuries,
PTSD, etc. EVERY military family sacrifices something.
I urge you to get to know some of these military families you dont understand. You will see that they truly are strong human beings that are put in
unreal situations and remain proud even after the worst happens. To me, this makes everyone of them heroes. Anytime they have on that uniform, there
is a chance they will not come back home.
Peace and love,