Pic of Rod and Carley when he left KS June 2006Today was ok-nothing real emotional or exciting at all. Rodney and I were interviewed as a follow-up by our local newspaper (a few stories were written earlier in the journey) so we did talk about where we have been and where we are now.
I think we probably have talked about it in some way to each other everyday for the last year. Some times I have actually had to say I need a break from this today, I don't want to relive all the emotion today, but today wasn't one of those days-I am so thankful!
So now as the year anniversary of the actual event has passed...I realize that there will continue to be anniversaries-and for me 3:00am October 13th is when I found out that my husband/my soldier that was deployed to Iraq in a war zone was wounded-and our reality changed again...I went from being a first timer as a spouse of a deployed service member to a whole new "club"...and within our unit I got to be the founding member and I didn't want to join-this was unchartered territory. I had no idea what to do or who to call-This wasn't supposed to have happened. He was supposed to be safe on the FOB (Forward Operating Base-he wasn't going out on security missions-he worked at the command post as the assistant armourer, but no one is safe in Iraq. So as far as this blog goes-this is what I want to do over the next few days or for however long it takes to get what our experience was blogged. It is a way of healing-but I have to go thru the pain-face it head on-to continue on this road of emotionally healing from this.
I began a journal directly the day after finding out just to keep track of names and information-I had no idea how important this was nor that I would fill half a book in 8 days.. So I will be sharing what happened-not verbatim-and most of the time in past tense. I have told the story so many times verbally but find it harder to write it because there is so much that happened in a short period of time-so I hope it makes sense.
:"Finding out the News"Friday, October 13, 2006 approx. 3am
We are all sound asleep-Carley is even home (she usually goes to her Dad's house on Thursday evenings). We had all attended Connor's 4th grade musical on Thursday evening.The kids all had the next day off school due to a teacher inservice-so Connor was camped out in the living room. I had not heard from Rod for over 2 days which was not the norm-but I was trying to be strong and deal with the fact-I had to do whatever it took to get through this 12 month deployment...I like to be in control but I was learning I had no control over when and if I heard from him-I had to live my life, take care of things on the homefront and be a parent to my kids and survive with half my heart in IRAQ. He would call when he could-it is what I lived for in reality-any connection to him.
So-when my home phone rings at 3am I can remember thinking-that is my husband,(without even looking at caller ID)-he should know what time it is here and I am not going to answer because he needs to get used to the idea we have to have to try for as normal of a life as possible-(no idea why I didn't jump up and answer the phone-that was my normal reaction)THEN..my cell phone rings-I still don't answer and just think he is being persistent (I also thought maybe it was my daughters boyfriend who had been out at haunted houses and maybe needed a place to crash-never happened before but it crossed my mind). Then a few minutes later my doorbell is ringing and someone is knocking-I am still not alarmed? (WHY???). I knew that the army protocol for notifying the next of kin in the case of a fatality and I knew they only did this between certain hours and not at 3am. What I didn't know nor had it ever been talked about in pre-deployment meeting was, what happens in the case someone is wounded?I went downstairs to the door and opened it to see my in-laws (Rodney's parents and sister)looking very sad-it took me a few seconds to even respond and of course I thought the worst even though this wasn't protocol (I still at this point believed the Army followed their own rules).I felt confused and disconnected-I then heard my father-in-law say "Rodney has been hurt"-I remember thinking what does that mean-Hurt just seemed such a mild word especially after hearing what his wounds were and how he received them. I know I felt so many emotions all at once-worry,fear,anger,sadness,and so so confused.I had so many questions and I needed answers Why were they notified instead of me? Was he in pain and when would he get back to the states? What happens next?? What do I need to do? I know I broke down but only for a short time-then I went into mom mode (letting the kids know what was going on-(Carley had heard me crying as well as her grandpa's voice. She had her back up to her door and wouldn't let me in "saying I don't want to know" over and over again-she expected the worst.) Connor handled it well and had questions, then went into party mode as more people desended upon the house. Taylor cried the hardest and longest.We all dealt with what we knew in our own way and held onto each other. I needed to keep it together for them. It was such a shock I must have just went into autopilot.Calling my family, friends, our pastor, the FRG unit coordinator as well as sending out an informational email to all those on my email list asking for prayers-
So the journey began, actually the week from hell began and I would never have believed it would be so painful or so many things would go wrong in the process of finding out information or getting to where my soldier was. That is what needs to change-it shouldn't be so difficult for the families during this time.
I know this was long thanks for sticking with me-it is 2:58am-almost 3am so glad this isn't like the movie "Groundhog Day"(little LOL)
Until next time and more of the story (Rodney's wounds)
God bless and goodnight