Sunday, September 11, 2011

Carmen's Story: Where were you on 9/11?

Secondary Affects of the War on Terrorism on Military Families

I'm writing this post in a haze because I have been at the hospital all night. For weeks I had been thinking about how to write this post with grandeur, wit, and emotion, but somehow all my ideas always fell short. 

As a military wife, there are numerous ways 9/11 has impacted me and my family. I remember sitting in front of the television in the common hall of my dorm room in college when I watched the second plane hit. It was like watching a movie, almost too unbelievable. My husband, then boyfriend, enlisted soon after and has been deploying as a bomb tech, taking apart IED's for the last 5 years. It has been one hell of a ride. 

Last night I was in the hospital because my niece landed in the hospital after a routine check up. Low hemoglobin. Possible cancer. Severe Anemia. Her mother gave birth to a new baby brother 8 weeks ago, and daddy is in Afghanistan.

I saw my little niece sitting on that bed, terrified. Her hand bandaged up to keep the IV in her hand and an oxygen tube in her little nose. All she wanted was her daddy - yet he is still halfway across the world, helpless, and at that time unknowing of the danger his little girl is in. 

It it wasn't for 9/11, her daddy would be home. It it wasn't for 9/11 he would have been there 8 weeks ago for the birth of his son. If it wasn't for 9/11 MY husband would have been home for the birth of OUR second child. I wouldn't have widow friends raising kids on their own and I wouldn't be writing this post.  

10 years sounds like such a long time - yet it feels like nothing has changed. I still feel the turmoil first hand. I am still confused, angry, bitter, and frightened. It is so hard to be so esprit du corp when I see my little niece sitting on the bed wanting her dad. It puts a lot into perspective, yet everything is still so unclear. How can it be both at the same time?

10 years and there is still no real focus. I am exhausted. I know our spirits will rise when our little girl gets better and the strength her mother has gained will be invaluable for her survival in the future. It is strength none of us want, but we all have. We have it because 9/11 gave it to us. We send our out loved ones and pray they come back. It feels like jumping off of a cliff, and praying we'll land on two feet.

Carmen is a military spouse and mother of two boys. Her husband is a bomb tech that has been fighting the war on terrorism for almost 6 years now. She writes a blog for military wives called Connect with her on Twitter @spousesprite.

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