My husband is a man who has more than my love, he has my respect. A child of immigrants growing up in New York and witnessing 9/11 firsthand, he joined the Army in his late twenties. We met after his first deployment, Iraq (OIF ). He was crazy enough to ask me to be his date for the battalion ball for our first date, and I was crazy enough to say yes. He looked smashing in his dress uniform and I killed it in my gown. We had a good time but more than that I found in him someone who could meet my quick wit and dark sense of humor with his own, and what he lacked in years of schooling (I have more than enough for the two of us) he more than aptly made up for in life experiences and a wisdom that is deep and rare.
He quickly told me he was never intending to get married and my response was, “That’s fine, baby, but if you’re dumb enough to fuck this shit up I’ll bury your body in the swamp!” He laughed. Who were we kidding? We were both full of shit and it wasn’t long before we both were thinking about making everything official. We even began thinking about and planning a wedding in between his field exercises in preparation for his next deployment…
Then we found out where he was going and that he would be going almost a year sooner than planned. We scrapped the wedding and went to the courthouse 6 days before he left for Afghanistan for 9 months. I remember the day I watched him step onto the big white army bus. I didn’t know it then but I would see him much sooner than we had expected.
Four months to the day after I sent him away, I walked into ICU room 10 at Walter Reed National Medical Center.