My heart stopped when I read about the Chinook helicopter that was shot down in Afghanistan southwest of Kabul on Saturday, killing 30 American service members and 8 Afghans. It was the deadliest day for U.S. forces in the 10-year war in Afghanistan. And it was a painful reminder that I am not a “normal” wife, that I am indeed part of a military family, a family that includes not just my service member husband, but the military community as a whole.
As I read online articles and flipped through news channels throughout the weekend, I tried to wrap my head around this tragedy. How could something like this happen? How can 38 families cope with their devastating losses? Does the Taliban feel a sufficient sense of revenge because 22 of the Americans who died were Navy SEALs? How did our country go from celebrating the death of Osama Bin Laden just a few short months ago to mourning the lives lost in the deadliest day this war has seen?
My heart breaks for the families of these fallen heroes. They are living every military family’s biggest fear, the fear we all have from the second our spouses deploy until the second those boots are sitting safely in our doorways. That knock on the door could happen to any one of us.
As more details are revealed about the crash and the individuals who were killed, I’ll continue to keep the families in my thoughts and prayers. Meanwhile, I’ll remember to hold my own family a little bit tighter.