something more important came up… pray for hmh-363

I was going to write a post today about something banal, like my diet or maybe about some silly story.  I don’t know.

Then something way more serious came up.

Pray for HMH-363

It was announced that six Marines dies in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan, yesterday. The crash is being investigated and notifications of family are happening now.  (by the time you read this, the families should already know).

The news story, here.

No, this isn’t my husband’s unit.  And no, I’m not personally or directly affected by this tragedy in a way that will shake every minute of my life.  But for so many people – this will.  I’m so sorry for them, and I offer so much respect for the six men who gave their lives.

It makes me sick to my stomach to think about being notified.  Just the fear of being notified is just too awful for words.  I can’t stand the idea of someone knocking on your door or calling you to give you the worst. news. ever.

When it happens in a movie, I can’t watch it.  I’ve been having a hard time even when there’s a military funeral on a TV show or movie, it hurts me.

This story broke BEFORE the families knew.  And that is not okay with me, it’s awful and it’s unfair.  To think of the families and loved ones, riding out this deployment, doing their best to manage day-to-day, they heard that six men from this unit had passed – and they didn’t know which ones yet.

I can’t imagine those minutes and hours.

I don’t even know what to type here.


The news of this tragedy makes me want to clobber my husband the minute he walks in the door tonight and thank my God so fiercely for all that I have.  The news of this crash makes me cry, and it makes me think of that ever-looming fear you carry with you during deployment, the one you push to the back of your mind and don’t ever give any thought to.  I refused to give that notion, that terrible fear ANY of my energy, to give it any power.

But even still, it rides with you all the time.

Silently weighing you down.  Subtly stressing you out.

I honestly didn’t even realize it was there.  That’s how good I am at pushing it away and going about my business.

Then, the second I knew my Duggs was home, safe and sound, that weight broke right off me.  It cracked and unleashed itself from me and I turned into jello.  Unbeknownst to me, It had taken so much effort to hold it down that once my husband was home, I felt like I was so out of strength.

It’s the weirdest thing, it’s hard to describe.

Yeah, I turned to mush for a while there.  I felt fragile.  I had used all my glue to hold myself together, to ride out that deployment with grace; so once I didn’t have to anymore, I came undone.

And slowly, you build back up again.

Probably all the stronger for having gone through it.  Probably a better person, now.

With the help of my loving husband and with my focus on so much to be grateful for, a really wonderful life, I build back up again.

But then the news of today’s tragedy knocks me down a peg.  It reminds me of everything we go through in connection to this war and these deployments.  My emotions are stirred up.

And I’m not trying to make a mountain out of a molehill, and play this out like I’m a hero or some amazing being.

I assure you I view myself as just a woman, a civilian lady who loves her husband, a U.S Marine.

But today’s news just makes me think, a lot.

There’s a common thread that ties so many of us together.  I know so many spouses, and girlfriends and boyfriends, so many family members, friends, best friends… and even acquaintances to some degree – if you know someone deployed, we all know that creepy little fear thought that has to be smashed down so life can be carried on.

And we’re all united by that feeling, that experience. Our common thread.

And today, that little sick feeling, that heartbreaking sadness ebbs at us – reminding us of its realness.  Reminding us of the preciousness of life and the seriousness of war.

For so many people, today, that fear will come true.  They will get a knock on the door. They will get the call they never wanted to.  And they won’t be able to un-do the minutes and go back to a time when it was okay.

For six men, their lives have ended in a hero’s death. 

To those men, I offer so much gratitude.  So much respect.

And to all the loved ones going through this, I just offer prayers, and love, and my thoughts are with them.

So right now I’m just tugging on that string, the invisible thread that loops through so many of us, and I’m giving it a little pull to ask everyone to just pray, or if you don’t pray to just send some kind thoughts, and as I tug a little … I feel like it somehow brings us all closer.

To everyone in the line of danger for our country, thank you. 

And for everyone who waits for a brave one to come home, thank you too. 


11 responses

  1. This made me cry, because it’s so, so true. When J came home from Afghanistan, I went out on our balcony while he was in the shower. I looked out at the ocean, started to cry, and then fell to my knees thanking God that he came home safely. Even though he’s non-deployable for three years, so many friends and acquaintances are still out there, I keep a rolling prayer list. We are all connected, just like you said.

    • Jamie, I knew you would totally relate … I’m the same way, after Duggs came home, I just, I don’t know that word for it, but I was a mess of feelings and emotions. And now that he’s getting out and we’re leaving this world behind, it’s far from over for so many people.

  2. I’m SO glad you are writing, Rose. I hope you see what a gift you have, and what a gift you are to all of us.
    I almost put off saying this, because the last thing I want to do is trivialize the lives of these six marines, or the feelings of those who loved them. But life is uncertain, and we never know from moment to moment on which side of the veil we will be dwelling. So, while I am here, I have decided to speak what’s on my heart.

    To these marines, and those who loved them, our thanks, which are nowhere near enough, and our love and compassion. I would hug each and every one of you if I could.

  3. Rose, you always amaze me with the emotion you are able to convey in your writing. As I read about your surge of feelings upon Duggs’ homecoming, I felt like falling apart, too! Blessings to those heroes and their families, and you & Duggs.

  4. You have such a wonderful way with words Rose. I have shared this with so many people, because you have finally been able to say so many feelings and emotions that i have never been able to put into words. My thoughts and prayers are with all of the loved ones of these marines – and all of the men and women overseas. “tugging on the string” ❤

    • thank you so much staci, i’m glad you were able to pass this along. i’ve had a hard time articulating that feeling too, and it’s been something that’s been hard for me after both homecomings. during our first deployment i was able to watch shows like “generation kill” and stuff WHILE he was gone… and once he got home, all of a sudden, it really bothered me. and it was hard for me to understand how it bothered me more after he was home than while he was in harm’s way. then this past year, it happened again! months after he was home we watched a movie with a mil funeral in it, and i lost it. it was so upsetting for me.

      anyways… i’m rambling. every time we hear about losses “over there,” it’s so hard and sad, and it’s scary. its comforting to have y’all to understand these types of things.

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