Today has been a very hard day for the last 3 years. 3 years ago today it was the day before Thanksgiving and my family had gathered at my sister's house for Thanksgiving. We were busy preparing for the big meal the next day when my cell phone rang. I looked at caller ID and saw Allen's ex wife's number. I figured it was my step son calling to wish us a Happy Thanksgiving. Little did I know, my life was going to change drastically after that phone call.
The army had tried to get in touch with me for several hours but had only been calling my home number. Allen's command had not bothered to check his emergency contact list to get my cell number. When they couldn't reach me, they finally gave up and called Allen's dad who also did not know my cell number. He then called Allen's ex wife hoping she had my number, which she did. So, imagine my surprise when I answer my phone expecting my step son, but instead hear his ex wife's voice. I remember her telling me she had something she had to tell me but that I needed to sit down. She said the army had been trying to get in touch with me and I needed to call my father in law. She also said that Allen had been critically injured in Iraq but that was all she knew. I hung up with her and called my father in law. He said the same thing and that I needed to call a number. At this point, my dad took over the call for me because I was in shock. The details are very fuzzy to me after this point.
I do know that I flew to Walter Reed on Sunday and finally got to see my husband. He was excited to see me but then was ready to get back to his guys! He's definitely a soldier! He ended up being in ICU that night and then moved to the floor the next day. Allen remained in the hospital there for almost 2 weeks and then was out patient there until the middle of March. Thankfully, I was able to stay there with him that entire time.
Looking back at all of this, I can honestly say that we've been blessed. It was a terrible thing that happened to him, but then again war is a horrific event. He is haunted still by all that he saw and did the entire time he was there. We are all changed because of his selfless sacrifice of serving our great nation. I think everyone who was close to us at all has been changed by this. However, not all of the changes have been bad.
Allen has changed in every way. I've written about this many times, I can still see new changes all the time. But, I've come to realize this is just a part of life. True his changes may be due to a horrible incident, but he's still blessed. He meets new people quite often that end up becoming an important part of our life, as do I. Some of our closest friends are friends we've met because he was injured in Iraq. We never would have met these friends had this injury not occurred. Do not get me wrong, I would never wish this on anyone but I work really hard to see the positive in this entire situation. Thankfully, I usually do not have to look very far to see the blessings!
Today, I am writing in honor of my husband, my hero. I will forever be thankful that God chose to save him that day in Iraq. I also know that He didn't save him to come home and have a miserable life and this helps me keep going. While our road these 3 years have been difficult, we are still very blessed. If you've been a part of our life in anyway, thank you. We couldn't have made it this far without God and our wonderful family and friends.