The memorial service for Spc. Harley Andrews was at 11:00 this morning. His beautiful wife was there, along with her mom and brother. We all filed in after they did and sat down the service started. It's rather frightening that the words coming out of our Rear D Captain's mouth is becoming familiar, as he starts the service the same way the last 2 were started. I couldn't help from looking at this fallen hero's wife. She's so young. You just really don't understand. She couldn't be more than 22 yrs old if that. They have a 14 month old son, Ayden. She sat there weaping, and how do you not cry when you see someone's heart literally breaking right in front of you? Well I couldn't hold the tears back.
In April, Spc Andrews had written in the Battalion Newsletter. He described how his job of finding IED's were keeping other soldiers safe, and how he was proud of what he was doing, because he was preventing soldiers from getting injured or dying and that he was saving families from heartache. He was killed by an IED.
After the service we gave our condolences to his wife, and then someone went and got precious Ayden from the nursery. You don't know how beautiful this little boy is, or how heart breaking it is to me that this precious little boy will NEVER get to know his Daddy. It just isn't right. He toddled around without a care in the world, as literally everyone doted on him. He was probably hugged and kissed more times than he had been his entire life. He also got to eat German pastries, which he REALLY, REALLY liked and was not happy if when he was done with one, he wasn't handed another immediately. At one point, he was walking around with the little handout they give you, it had his Daddy's handsome face on the front and he was walking around pointing at his Daddy saying "Dada" then kissing it and then hitting himself in the face with it. He was completely oblivious to the heartache and life changes surrounding him.
It's very humbling to experience what we have experienced 3 times since July. Today was by far the hardest memorial service to attend, because this Brave soldier's wife was there. She's the first one who was at a memorial service. The last one we had only one soldier's wife was in the area, but she's a German national and she was/is ANGRY at the US Army. I can't say I blame her, but it does make me sad that she wasn't able to see that we do care and ache for her.
I did not know Spc. Andrews or his wife. Haley Andrew's is living I think every deployed spouses worst nightmare and greatest fear. We have 6 weeks left aprox. and this happened. I ask that you all pray for this young wife and mother. That she feels GOD's hand covering her every single day and that although there will no doubt be horrible days, that eventually she'll start finding reasons to smile again, that the thought of her husband will bring tears of joy over sadness, eventually.
I think the quiet echo of words that came from all of us other spouses was "just let us get through the next 6 weeks with nothing else happening and get them home". Our soldiers are the absolute best. They have found MORE IEDS than ANY OTHER UNIT through out this war! That is truly amazing and something to be proud of. Now though it's time to just come home, get out of Iraq safely and back into our arms.
I also found out that one of the soldiers who died in July, his family is planning on coming over here when our soldiers return. I can not imagine the heart ache. I have no doubt they NEED to do this FOR THEM. I ask that you pray for the Lidell family. I don't believe that we ever have "closure". I honestly can't stand that word when it comes to grief. We have a right to be sad, angry, etc. There is absolutely NO TIME LINE for grief, yet so many seem to think there is or should be. Of course most of them have never lost a loved one unexpectantly or just simply too soon.
I'm proud of my soldier. I love him more than I can possibly explain and I honestly don't ever want to know the pain the wives who've lost their husband's in this war have. I am ready for Chad to be back home, safe, sound, and where he belongs.