It Could Have Been MY Husband.....

>> Thursday, August 20, 2009

Yesterday, I received some terrible news that no military wife wants to hear -- "Blackhawk down!" It seems that a Blackhawk helicopter crew from Kentucky was doing some training in the mountains west of where I live. They ran into some trouble and sadly, crashed....rolling down the mountainside. From the crew of four, three are confirmed dead and the fourth is not expected to survive. While we don't know the identities yet, we are still waiting, holding our breaths to see if any of the crew members was someone that we knew. (UPDATE: The fourth crew member was pronounced DOA at the hospital - so now all four crew members have died in the crash.)

It could have been my husband.

Last night, after My Marine got home, I allowed myself to sit in the quiet dark of our living room and let loose the tears that I had been holding in all day. While I was able to get a hold of My Marine as soon as I heard of the crash - which allowed the knot in my stomach to unwind a bit - I knew that somewhere in Kentucky, someone was walking up and ringing the doorbell of an unsuspecting wife. That everything she knew to be safe and calm and normal would be turned upside down in one single instant with just a single phrase - "We're sorry to inform you....."

I haven't felt that terrified since My Marine was in Iraq. One morning, I got up early and saw on the news that a Blackhawk had crashed in Iraq, but there was no information about the unit, where the crash was, or injuries. I immediately checked my computer for an email or to see if My Marine was online (something we normally did during those early morning hours, my time.) He wasn't on and there was no email from him. I tried not to panic. I immediately called our FRG (Family Readiness Group) leader and left her a voice mail asking her if she had heard anything, then next called my good friend to see if she had heard from her husband. Over the next half hour, my phone rang off the hook....but no one knew anything. I still hadn't gotten any word from My Marine and I was starting to panic. Fortunately, my parents were staying with me at the time. My dad was up when I got the news of the crash and I told him what I knew - which wasn't much. For the next 6 hours, I cried, panicked, and prayed. Every time a car drove by on my street I wondered if it was the notification team coming to tell me something about my husband. When the doorbell rang, I looked at my dad and couldn't move. I couldn't answer the door. I wanted to maintain those last few minutes of a normal life -- in case it was the chaplain. It only turned out to be the mailman. My sweet mailman who would hand-deliver my mail to the door during the whole deployment just so he could check on me and Nani. He had heard about the crash too and wanted to see if I knew anything or if I was ok. I looked at him through teary eyes and told him - just don't ring the doorbell again. He looked like I slapped him and immediately apologized for being so callous. I did manage a smile and told him that it was ok and from now on, just tap the front window. To this day, it's still our little signal that he's checking on me.

Anyway - an hour later, I heard the familiar "ding-dong" of my husband coming online and entering the chatroom that we had set up before he left. I practically flew up to the computer and cried tears of relief to see his name on the computer screen. His first words in our chat -- "It wasn't us....we're all ok." At that moment, I took the biggest breath of my life and said many prayers of thanks for his safety.

Last night - all those feelings came flooding back again when I heard about this crash. And I know I'm going to have to face these fears again when he deploys again. I know that there is an element of danger to what he does. I don't think about it every single day. I can't or else I'd go insane. But it's cases like this where I have to stop and think and say that extra prayer to God and My Marine's Guardian Angel for keeping him safe and for guiding the pilots to do their jobs well.

It's the only thing that I can do.


Meghan August 20, 2009 at 2:34 PM  

Praying for your peace of mind today! Why is it that when something like that happens, our thought immediately fly to someone we know? I automatically started thinking about people I know that are stationed there! And if i can't locate or get my non-military/life threatening job husband on the phone for a relatively short period of time, I start looking up accident reports!
Praying for our husband's safety, and for your peace of mind! Thank you (and your husband) for your service to our country!

Too Many Hats August 20, 2009 at 4:13 PM  

What an emotional post. I am teary just reading your experiences. Thank you for being such a brave and generous wife to share your husband with all of us. Thank you to him for being willing to put himself in harms way to safeguard our freedoms and those of other nations.

Annette August 20, 2009 at 6:23 PM  

I don't have any words to say...just wow.

Thank you to you and your husband for serving the country...both of you sacrifice...more than I know.

The Queen of Chaos August 20, 2009 at 6:56 PM  

I must say Thank You to you and your family for putting yourselves out there for myself, my family, neighbors and the rest of the Country.

I have no other words, just Thank You and prayers.

Amanda: August 20, 2009 at 7:25 PM  

Oh! I'm all teary eyed!! Way to go, lol!! Seriously though, I could not handle being a military wife - but many kudos to you for being strong enough...

I'm so glad it wasn't your Marine - and I truly hope you never get that kind of a visit.

Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog August 20, 2009 at 10:27 PM  

Events like this must be so incredibly difficult and stressful for you. I'm so happy to hear your Marine is safe -- thank goodness!! And how sweet of your mailman to check up on you and tap on the front window like that.

Helene August 20, 2009 at 10:48 PM  

I cannot even imagine. Every time you hear a news report like that, your heart must skip a beat. My heart goes out to the families of those Marines who were lost....even though I would imagine you're relieved for your family, it must hurt to know that someone else's family is experiencing tremendous grief.

How sweet that your mailman checks in on you!

Erica August 21, 2009 at 7:00 AM  

Oh geez..what a good cry so early in the morning. I can't imagine having to face that kind of fear as often as you do. Thank you so very much to your husband, you and the rest of your family for keeping my family safe and protecting our freedom.

The Main Ladybug August 21, 2009 at 7:27 AM  

Thanks for stopping by my place, and for the sweet comment.

I have tears running down both cheeks, and just want to say thank you to both you and your husband for his service. May God Bless and Keep both of you until he is back home.

Have a wonderful day!

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments August 22, 2009 at 1:40 AM  

I am up catching up on blog reading (it is 336am!)
My hubby is asleep, but when He gets up, I'll have t ask him about that Blackhawk!

We just came back from KY and Ft Campbell. And since my hubby flew blackhawks and apaches, whenever I hear about something like this, I have to wonder if anyone we have known throughout the years was involved.

We have lost a number of personal friends through training and real world flying missions.

But even if we didnt know those personally, it is always such a heartbreaking thought to think of the families that are connected.

Peace, comfort and blessings to you!

Jillian August 23, 2009 at 9:21 AM  

Your poor thing, I will pray for your peace of mind!

arminda August 23, 2009 at 11:07 AM  

I'm crying for you right now. I can not imagine living with that fear. You are an amazing woman!

Christy August 23, 2009 at 1:02 PM  

I cannot even imagine how difficult it must be to experience this. I'm glad he is safe.

Teaching My Little BookWorm October 14, 2009 at 7:48 AM  

I grew up in the miltary and went through something similar with my best friend whenhe lost his dad the whole base stopped it was scary i was only 7 but remember everything about that whole day and weeks! those are scary words for military families!

get post!

Linda December 8, 2010 at 7:53 AM  

All of that not knowing must be so hard! I am so glad that "your Marine" was ok..and I pray for those who did get the sad news.

I am thankful for our service men and yet I hate that they have to be in harms way.

May God be with you every day and calm your fears with His love.

Linda @ Truthful Tidbits

Jenilee December 8, 2010 at 11:37 AM  

what a horrible thing to walk through! God's peace is the only thing that can walk us through that! so glad that your marine is ok! thanks for linking up this memory today!

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