Monday, June 7, 2010

Memorial Day Thoughts, My Story - Part II

Part I

I barely remember the actual day he left.  I knew he had a layover in Rome (or Ireland) but from there I did not know where he would go.  I went to work and at that time they let us have live feed from news stations on our computers because the war was going on.  It probably wasn’t the best for me because I watched it constantly wondering what was going on and where he was.

It wasn’t long until I found out.  He was stationed at a “base” in Kuwait not far from the border of Iraq.  According to him the base consisted of tents and Port-o-potties.  The heat was awful and the sand was everywhere.  He also was able to buy a cell phone from the trunk of a man’s car that he shared with a couple of other guys.  It actually worked in Kuwait and he was able to call me.  The biggest problem was the time difference.There were so many times that he could call me but it would be very early where I was.   

I would send him care packages.  He would call and ask me to send medicines and things.  I always had to carefully list everything I was sending and give a value. 

I tried to stay busy so I wouldn’t think about him, but it didn’t always work.  I kept hearing that they were going to keep the Guard troops longer and that would make me more depressed.  I really should not have watched the news that much. 

These are a few excerpts from my diary at the time:

“Tomorrow is September 11th and that day has impacted my life in huge ways, but at least my husband is still alive.  I found out today that it may be until April when he gets back.  I can’t fathom that right now.  I can’t let that enter my thoughts.”

“Tomorrow is Ryan’s birthday.  Yet another event that we have to celebrate apart.  I miss him daily, sometimes hourly.”

“I feel bad.  You called at 6:30am and I was sleepy and I asked if you could call me back.  You said you would, but you didn’t.  I miss you so much.  I am just having to go on without you everyday.  It is not right, but there is nothing we can do about it.  I didn’t go to church today.  I can’t find one that I like.  I need to look harder.”

“Another Monday has passed.  Yet another week without my husband.  You went to Afghanistan last week – that is so amazing.  I still wonder if I will ever get to see you.  I hope I will.”

 “You didn’t call today, but I know you are tired.  I never thought it would be this long until I get to see you.  I miss you so much.  I really try to keep myself overly busy so I don’t dwell on it.”

“I pray he’s here for Christmas.  But I am just thankful he’s alive.  15 men died in Iraq today so I am grateful.”

I had forgotten how lonely I was at that time.  When we first got married, Ryan was trying to finish college and I was working full time.  He didn’t have time to decide what career he was going to pursue.  He did not want to start a family because the future was so uncertain and we barely saw each other anyway.  Our lives were in limbo and I hated it.  I was not very good at waiting.  God definitely used these situations to teach me that my plans aren’t always the best plans.  I had to depend on the Lord so many times.

I would cry out to Him so often and ask what was happening.  I had just wanted to get married and start a family but that was not to be.  Not for many years. 

I got so desperate for my husband to come home that I started writing letters to Congressmen.  I wrote a letter to my Congressman from Missouri but I heard nothing back (thanks a lot Roy Blunt).  So I wrote a letter to my new Congresswoman in Indiana, Julia Carson (she was at the time anyway).  I told them my situation and asked questions.  I did research and found out that technically my husband’s unit shouldn’t have been deployable because they weren’t allowed to be called up twice in an 18  month period (ha, that has since been disbanded). 

Guess what?  A woman from Julia Carson’s office called me back.  She said they would do an inquiry for me, but she warned me that it might make it very hard on my husband overseas because they really would investigate it and people may give him a hard time.

Great, so there was my obvious choice.  Even though I disagreed with Miss Carson’s politics, I ALWAYS respected her and her office for genuinely caring about my situation and following up on it.  It was amazing even though I chose not to go ahead.

I would just have to wait and see what would happen.  But good things were happening to Ryan at this time.  Their unit was moved from Kuwait to Qatar and life was so much different in QatarQatar is a rich country.  They have shopping malls and Applebee’s (ha), but Ryan said the chicken there did not taste like the chicken here.

He was able to live a little more comfortably there than he did in Kuwait.  He was still a world away from me but at least I knew he was a little farther away from the war.  Also at this time, he took on an additional role.  He was basically like the Secret Service for the military.  Whenever a General would come into town, Ryan would escort him around and be his personal guard in a way.  He even flew with one of them to Afghanistan for a day. 

So this also made me a little nervous, but there again, I had to put my faith and trust in God . 

I was feeling better, but I was still waiting and wondering, when would he come home and how long would he get to stay this time? 

To be continued . . .


  1. I can't even imagine. My heart felt your words as if they were my own.
    It's heart wrenching.

    I can't wait to read more because it's reality from someone who lives it on a daily basis.

  2. This is great, Gret. I'm enjoying it so much! Can't wait to read the next installment.


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