War, Death, and Hope

This morning Justin and I were awakened by the ringing of his cell phone. It was one of his friends from work, calling my husband to let him know that one of their old supervisors had died in Afghanistan over the weekend.

I had never met this supervisor---I have no idea what he looks like---but I thought about Sergeant Simmons during random moments of the day. While I was in the shower, my mind drifted to his family---his teenage son in particular---and how they would never see him again. I thought about Sergeant Simmons as I made lunch for myself, contemplating the chances of losing my husband in some foreign country on some foreign battlefield.

At rare times, Justin and I have talked about death. Well, his death to be exact. We both know the chances of him dying while on deployment are slim. We both know that he is a smart soldier who knows his equipment and who thinks before he acts. We both know that he will most likely return home from his stints abroad in good health.

And yet...

I'm not a naive Army wife who believes that my husband is somehow bulletproof. I don't believe that if I pray enough during the day that somehow my prayers will create a protective sheath around my husband's body when he is in the middle of a crossfire. I know that the chances of his death are slim...and yet...I know they still exist.

In late August, Justin will finish his training in the Psychological Operations course and then he will be deployable at any time thereafter. I knew that this day would come---that one day his training would finish and that he would have to leave me behind---but it still seems so soon.

For Sergeant Simmons, life came to a close so soon. I will think of him and his family tonight.