Tuesday, March 20, 2007

FO's and an important anniversary

Here are the MDK baby bib, Heartbreakingly Cute Baby Kimono & the March mid-month KAL for my Yahoo monthly dishcloth group. They're going to be given to my friend Josie tomorrow @ her shower (along w/ some baby wash & lotion & some onesies). Im thinking that I could get another bib done tonight & get it into the gift bag before the shower tomorrow am!
Today is also the 4th anniversary of the start of OIF. I remember the countdown clock on MSN & worrying about Hunter who was in Kuwait waiting to go into Iraq. I hadn't talked to him in 3 weeks & wouldn't until almost Memorial Day weekend. I remember Ari Fleicher coming out to the podium & saying "Operation Iraqi Freedom has begun" & my heart sinking. After it was announced my phone started to ring shortly past 10 pm on the 19th & didn't stop until well into the wee hours of the morning. Other military wives whose husbands were over there as well calling to check in w/ me & share their fears. Friends who wanted to make sure I was "hanging in there" which became the popular saying'-----"you hanging in there?" I hung in there by a thread, as did many of my friends.

I remember going to bed somewhere around 430am & waking a few hours later. I was good, I actually turned the tv off to sleep. It would be the last time I did that for a long while. The tv was ALWAYS on. When they'd announce a 3ID soldier was hurt or killed my heart would jump into my throat. When the phone would ring & it was a Ft Benning number (my friend Teri was working on post them) my blood would run cold. I remember my mailman bringing me a package in the early days of the war & knocking on the door. In my mind's eye I could see our Rear D CO, NCO & chaplain standing there but it was only the mailman. When I opened the door I told him Hunter was in Iraq & that he'd given me a heartattack he promised that the next time he brought a package he'd knock & say "MAILMAN" really loud so I'd know.

I spent part of the 20th on post at a briefing so we would know where the guys were & that thankfully we hadn't had any casualties yet. They began offering the briefings every Friday at 9am & 6pm so that's where I'd go once a week. Sit in the conference room that has now been named for one of our KIA's (who died in Hunter's arms en route to the medevac exactly a year before to the day that the wee one was born) & hear the names of Iraqi cities & get an idea of where Hunter was & what battles he was in.

Mail took a month to get to us so by the time he would have time to write & tell me what he had seen/done it was old news to me. I cherish those letter & someday when the wee one is old enough she can read them. Of course some parts will have to be blacked out since we were newlyweds (we'd been married for a month before he left) & missed each other a lot! LOL

I have one of his letters framed & hanging by my bed---it was written on Iraqi Ministry of Intelligence letterhead. They were sleeping in there for a while & used some of the stationery. He also sent Iraqi dinars in that letter & they are put away for safekeeping.

So 4 years later we have 2 Iraqi deployments under our belts & are in the early days of our 3rd. As my friend Melissa (whose husband just finished his 2nd deployment & is slated to go back in Jan) said to me---the 2nd time is easier. In some respects it really is. You know the fears, the dangers & hardships. You know the loneliness, the heartache & frustrations. You know society is either for or against this war. You know you're going to hear "I dont know how you can deal with being alone" ALL THE TIME & you're going to cringe.
People ask you "aren't you afraid he's going to be killed/hurt?" Um CHA! You want to ask them if they go up to cancer patients & say "aren't you afraid to die???" People lose all common sense around you.
Others are incredibly kind & move me to tears w/ their generosity. Last time I signed him up for the "adopt a soldier" program & I'm not kidding when I tell you that we didn't need to buy toothpaste or shaving cream for a year! People who didn't know him from Adam were so incredibly generous.
I wear Hunter's unit pin w/ a yellow ribbon under it on my shirt everyday that he's deployed. It's something I did on his first Iraq deployment & did thru his 2nd. Many times people will comment on it & tell me they're keeping all of our troops in their prayers & they'll thank me for what my husband does & the sacrifices we make. I have to say that it's those moments that restore my faith in society!


jopal said...

You are all in my prayers daily and even though I am far away if there is anything I can do please let me know. Are there things that can be sent in care packages that help make things easier? Besides toothpaste and shaving cream!

Kristin said...

My prayers are with you... My boyfriend is thinking about joining the army and the decision has been so hard on our relationship, I can't even imagine how hard this must be on your family... My prayers are with you!

Sarah said...

I just want to thank you for your bravery in letting him go and to thank him for all his hardships away from home. You both seem to be great. Good luck to you all.

Lacey said...

You are such a strong and brave woman. I cannot imagine your days and nights. Just wanted to give you a cheer from the crowd to let you know I'm thinking of you.

Aimee said...

Bless you for all you are going through and may God speed your husband home safe and sound. Thank him for his service and thank you for your sacrifice.

(a fellow knitter and ardent military supporter)

Anonymous said...

You know you are married to a super hero, don't you? I tell my children that there really ARE super heroes, the ones who volunteer to help others - soldiers, police officers, fire fighters. Thank God for super heroes.

Jane said...

I'll be keeping you and your husband in my thoughts and pray that he and all of the others will come home safely and soon.