Last week I received a call from a good friend back at Fort Hood. She had read an article that morning that talked about two Soldiers being killed at the camp her husband is currently stationed at. There was no real information except a short story with no names and very little details. As you can imagine, a lot of panic and anticipatory grief was running rampant. If you've never been through a situation like this, it's hard to explain the many emotions that run through you in mere seconds.
Because the Army tries hard to respect the families of the fall and protect them, they immediately issue a commo blackout so no one can call out of the base to share information before the family has been notified. Because the story had been told with no information except what brigade it was, many people were worried, which is natural and to be expected.
Deployments are rough enough, waiting to see if it's going to be your doorbell that rings is even tougher. I felt helpless. I had been through two deployments with my friend and I am too far away to hug her, to look her in the eye and tell her things would be okay.
In my mind I tried to figure out hours and do the math and convincing myself that if it was her Soldier, she would know by now. I did something I tell others to never do and have never done, I told her I was sure that it wasn't her husband, that he was okay. After a few more minutes of talking, I hung up with her.
I went to my room and laid on my bed and begged the Lord not to let me be a liar. I was overwhelmed at that thought.
As the day progressed I found out that her husband was okay and that it was two Soldiers in the same Squadron but not the same unit. My heart still ached. Even though we have not been a part of that Squadron for over 5 years, they are still my family. Many people we care about are in that unit. Many of our memories are in that unit. We are still family. When they hurt, we hurt. We also found out there was one wounded Soldier from the same incident. He had been in the unit when we were there. We continue to pray for his recovery.
Many of us have left that unit, that brigade and even the installation, but when our family needs us, we unite. I felt such comfort knowing that my Military Family all over the world was praying and supporting my Army Family there at Hood.
The strength of a family, like the strength of an army, is in its loyalty to each other.