I chatted a bit with Chad tonight, one of the last things he said was that in the next day or two, he plans to write and update and even wanted me to apologize for him not doing it sooner. I know all of you are understanding and realize I hope that lately especially time online has not been what it was in the beginning, we're now going sometimes just one day of not chatting, to at times many days. :(
It truly feels like a deployment for me and I feel like it definately does for him too. I need you to really be praying for Chad, not just his safety, but for his heart and his emotions. There's been a lot going on where he's at, and it's really bringing up memories of his friends who were killed there last yr when they were there. He's in the same area he was last year and that in itself is difficult for him, then add on that he lost 9 out of his company. The second group that died (it was 2 different groups..first time 4 were killed and the 2nd time 5 werek killed), anyways the 2nd group that died...Chad had called me because in the states it was still our daughter (who had died from leuekmia in 2000) it was her 7th birthday, he wanted to make sure I was ok, we'd never been apart for her birthday, and he was so worried about me (the man was in the middle of a war-torn country and he's worried about my emotional well-being). We talked for a while, remembering our precious and amazing daughter, then hung up. He was walking back to his barrack's room and he heard the explosion. He ran to find his Platoon leader, knowing that a group of our guys had just left to go out on a mission. The hopped in a vehicle and took off out the gate and were devestated to find that the small "convoy" you could call it that consisted of 4 or 5 tracks (sorry my memory is a little fuzzy on the amt) was going over a bridge, and a bomb was detinated and the 2nd track was blown up. When I saw blown up, I mean into pieces that was unrecognizable. These men were face to face with their brothers who they knew and loved, who were now dead. I can not imagine the pain, heartache, fear, and possible anger they felt as they looked at what had happened to their friends. The unit (and I'm just going to leave out the branch of military who was supposed to put these brave men into the body bags and carry them off the "battlefield" so to speak, they couldn't do it, they were getting sick, and asked these men who knew these soldiers who'd just been killed to carry them off, and so they did. How they did it, I will never understand. The strength that must have taken, at the sametime to know that it was soldiers who truly CARED about them speaks volumes I think. I'm not saying this just because one of those soldiers was Chad, but because I think as human beings to have to be put into that position to carry someone you carry who's barely if at all recognizable off the ground where they were just killed when 5 minutes earlier they were alive, very possibly laughing, talking about their wives, upcoming birth of their baby, the upcoming mission, etc....and now they were gone to Heaven, their battle truly over..anyways I'm just in awe.
Tonight though while chatting with Chad, I could tell something was bothering him. He said he just can't stop thinking about all of them...all 9 of them, but that certain ones just will never leave his mind. Sadly the last view he had of some of his friends are views none of us can ever imagine. He's told me the graphic details and honestly I could have lived without knowing how these guys who I had grown to care about and love ended up looking. He has a guilt that I'll never be able to comprehend, that surivors guilt. We've talked about a friend of ours who I know reads this, and the heartache he has for her and her children because she'll never have her husband back and those 3 beautiful children will never have their daddy back. He struggles understanding how and why, yet he continues, he believes, and he does his duty. Tonight, my husband is not so much in that "dark place", but he's fighting for sure to stay out of it. It's a place that I ache to see him in, and it's a place that I know I can't understand and I can't truly reach him in.
I feel very strongly we all have to grieve in our own way. Chad and I have lost our daughter, we know the ultimate pain and sacrifice. It doesn't make it any easier though when you lose a friend. I think in ways it's harder because we can truly relate to the pain they are or are about to face.
This is part of the Army life. There's past deployments, that will haunt you forever. There are those memories that you wish were just nightmares for yourself and for others. I wish with all my heart that my friend could have her husband back. I think of how I get lonely with Chad deployed, but I still get to talk to him fairly often, she doesn't ever get to see her husband type words back or hear his wonderful voice. It saddens me beyond belief. I admit between something happening to one of my boys or something happening to Chad, those are my worst fears. I know they're Chad's too.
Chad also shared that he's really, really missing our little girl. He aches for her. She had turned into such a Daddy's girl, and as much as it pained me at times when she chose him over me....he deserved that special time with her. He aches for her and he aches to have another little girl, who will NOT replace our daughter...but would give us the beauty of raising another little girl.
Tonight as I get ready to go to sleep, I'll be praying for my husband and I ask that you pray for him too. Pray for soft memories, of memories of him laughing and talking with these men, of beautiful memories of our little girl.
"Lord I ask that you wrap Chad in your loving arms. Let him feel peace in your safety, love, and promise of eternal life. I thank you for this man who's gentle, kind, tender, loving, who has a heart and is not afraid to show and share it. Thank you for allowing him to be able to express his sadness and confusion, when so often others try to shove those feelings and thoughts down hard and deep. Lord thank you for loving Chad, for giving us the promise that we will live in your Glory, forever and ever. In Jesus Name...Amen"
God Bless and thank you for coming, reading, and praying...