As a military wife, living on a military base with her military family, what happened yesterday hit entirely too close to home for those in the military community. Wives and mothers were locked inside buildings, shying away from windows, while separated from their husbands and school-aged children, the post locked down, hearts racing, blood shed, families shattered.
On our own soil.
In our backyard.
How does that happen? How do you wake up one morning, struggling to prepare to send your soldier off to war, grappling with those stresses, the clock ticking down the days until he leaves, always fighting back tears every time you have to watch him walk out the door, even if it’s only to take out the trash? How do you lean in to kiss him goodbye, just as you do every morning, lingering a little longer knowing these mornings are about to change, straightening out his ACU’s as parts ways to take care of some last-minute deployment paper work, not knowing that was it, that was the last time, forever? How do you begin to deal with that?
I am hurting for these families. Angry doesn’t seem to begin to cover it. Frustrated. Saddened. Dumbfounded. SICKENED. I am sick, over this.
These soldiers are trained for war, they get in a mindset, they get on the bus, they weep silently in the dark as they depart the hangar from their loved ones. They silently wipe their tears off nonchalantly on their sleeves and literally age as they swell their chests and depart the plane into hell “over there”, clinging to scented letters and screen shots of loved ones, and sometimes poetic emails and strings of words spoken, memorized, while holding laminated pictures they keep in velcro pockets. They deal with it any way they possibly can, because their lives are on the line every day over there until they set back into that same plane and come home, hopefully in one piece as they came.
They aren’t prepared to walk into an office on their military post and, without warning, be fired upon by one of their brethren.
These men and women of our military are ready and willing to give their lives for the safety of our country. They died, but it wasn’t serving our country. It wasn’t fighting for our freedom. They weren’t even armed, they were too shocked to defend themselves.
What kind of person does this? Serves alongside these people for how long, only to turn on them one day, turn on the country they long served?
I don’t even know where we, as a nation, begin to deal with this. Just know that, right now, my thoughts and prayers are with the many families, friends and loved ones of those involved.
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