Monday, March 31, 2014

The Call

GallantFew is humbled and honored to welcome a new blogger to The New American Veteran. We are not releasing her identify so as to protect her and her Ranger's privacy.  They made the decision to share their experiences in the hope that it will educate and inform others.  As her story develops, you will find yourself dumbfounded and flat pissed off in the way our "system" cares for one of the finest soldiers on the planet - and you'll be inspired by their bravery and leadership.  We hope you'll be motivated to get involved so that we can change the system where it can be changed and provide needed care and support where the system is inadequate.  RLTW  Karl


As a Ranger wife I knew that at any given moment one phone call or one knock at the door could completely change the course of my existence. This is the story of that call. 

September 2011.

My husband was halfway through his fourth deployment to Afghanistan and although I stood strong through the previous three, something about this deployment seemed harder. I had been overly anxious and in tears for several weeks. I needed to relax and decided to go to dinner with two friends. I made a conscious decision to put my phone on silent and left it at the bottom of my bag. We had just settled in to our table and ordered appetizers when a horrible feeling came over me. I needed to check my phone. I dug it out of my bag and noticed several missed calls from my mother in law and she was calling again. 

Before I answered the phone, I looked directly in to the eyes of my friend and said, " I know this is not going to be good." 

I moved away from the table towards a quieter area of the restaurant and answered the call. Looking back, I realize this was the last time I would ever feel peace.

His mother asked me if I had heard from my husband. I responded no, in fact it had been a few days. The next words out of her mouth were, " I am really sorry to have to tell you this but he has been hit by a grenade." 


I had to ask her to repeat what she had said three times. The magnitude of what had occurred only really registered when she continued on to say that she was contacted by his First Sergeant. As any military spouse knows, when the soldier himself does not make the call it is because he is considered unlikely to survive. 

I wish I could say I remained calm and strong or that I followed the Ranger example of being discreet and unwavering even in times of great pain. This was not the case. 

The last words I consciously remember hearing were about him possibly losing his right leg and right arm. By this point I had some how made it back to our table in the restaurant. I collapsed. I was hysterical. I threw the phone to my friend who knew right away what must have happened. As she continued to gather information all I could do was cry on the floor of that restaurant and ask God if he was going to survive.    

When the call was finally over all I had were instructions to stand by, the deepest sense of loneliness I have ever experienced, and a table now full of appetizers. 

AUTHORS NOTE: My husband did survive and both his right leg and right arm were salvageable after some 30+ surgeries that continue on today.  

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