I fully expected to spend my next post sharing stories and pictures from my spontaneous trip to visit friends in Japan. I am fortunate to have two friends that I know from Coronado a quick plane ride away from Guam and with Nick away this week, it was an easy decision to go. Our visit was going great until we received some unexpected heartbreaking news, which I feel is important to share with you now.
Some of you may have caught the news this week that a helicopter went down in Afghanistan. Off exploring Tokyo, I didn't hear about the crash until a close friend emailed requesting an immediate phone call (the friend I am visiting saw the headline of the crash earlier that day but refused to open the news article because her husband is a helicopter pilot). Though terrified picking up the phone, I was not expecting such tragic news---one of our friend's husbands was in the crash and did not survive. All of a sudden I was hearing stories of the uniformed officers contacting friends and family trying to get in touch with her. I was hearing about her sudden flight out to the east coast to meet the casket containing the love of her life. I was hearing about paperwork and photo slideshows and funeral arrangements. All in all, every military wife's worst nightmare descending upon my dear friend Amy.
Amy is part of the wine group you may have heard me gush about when I lived in San Diego. A unique group of five SEAL wives, three helicopter pilot wives, two navy doctor wives, and an intel officer, we got together every Wednesday to have a glass of wine, catch up, and oftentimes, celebrate the passing of another week that would bring us closer to reuniting with our husbands. The way the deployment schedules work, at least one person's husband was always overseas, with the likelihood of others' away on training trips. When Nick's team came home in the spring, Amy's husband's team had already left to replace them in their various missions. Last I talked to Amy, her husband was set to come home within a few weeks. Their deployment was almost over and homecoming was around the corner. She had been waiting for his return home since he left in March.
Our country suffered a monumental loss on Monday. Amy's husband Brendan was a Naval Academy grad, a noble fighter, a caring husband, a true warrior. Compounding the tragedy was the loss of one of Nick's BUD/S classmates, Adam Smith, in the same accident. At this point in time, all reports indicate the crash was, indeed, an accident. To me, that almost makes it even harder to accept, to make sense of, to find meaning in. Given the scope of this loss---nine American fighters were killed---I wonder if we ever will.
I write this today heartbroken for my friend. Even though we live it every day, I never thought our small group of wives would be so shaken by the effects of war. And here, tonight, a friend who loved her husband just as I love mine now walks on an earth without him. My heart aches as I consider this thought. Each of us in this circle, in this community, knows this could be our husband. The fact that it happened to such a close friend is almost unbearable. So today, I dedicate this message to my sweet friend Amy, who is unfairly yet gracefully bearing the true burden of this war. I regret not knowing anything adequate to say right now, but I am praying that divine presence and peace would comfort her heart as none of us can.
Please join me in praying for her, as well as Brendan's family, Adam's family, and all the families as they get through unexpected funeral services this week. Thank you, friends and family, for your ongoing love, support, and patriotism. And thank you for---for at least a moment---joining me in mourning our country's courageous heroes who this week made the ultimate sacrifice.
We love you, Amy, and we'll do whatever it takes to get you through this.
Funeral Services Set for Brendan Looney
The best verses I know for when you don't know what to say... particularly fitting during this sad time.
A Time for Everything
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.