I received another email from SSG Danny this morning... He tells me that although therapy is going well, he is having a bit of difficulty with the deaths of his comrades. However, he has much support from his family and church, and gave us his Stateside address so my team can send him "cheer up/get well" cards. (I had asked him if we could... we want to give him all the positive support that we can to help his recovery.) He expects to be re-deployed in August/September. *smile*
An Angel's job doesn't end just because they make it back to the States. I'm a firm believer that continued support and counseling are necessary to our returning heroes, even those that did not see close combat. It's a huge readjustment to our way of life, and integrating back with families who have had to fill the gap. Homeland support should be just as important.
Anyhow, a bit of good news, and I wanted to share...
As you may know, I work with Soldiers' Angels. I have a group of 75 writers that I work with sending mail to deployed soldiers for morale. Most times, we don't hear back from them. No problem, they're a little busy over there. We know the letters of spirit are appreciated.
Occasionally, we'll get a return letter, or even an email. I gotta tell ya; it's really a cool thing. So anyhow, this fella our team wrote emailed me back and I've spoken with him a few times. I even received a handwritten letter after he settled in-country. Every time I've emailed him, he responds that they're ok, busy, etc. Good deal, I know he and his group are safe.
It's been a few weeks since I've gotten an email back to my weekly email. I read the news, the military blogs, the stories. I know there's a lot of stuff happening in his neck of the woods. He's infantry; out in the thick of things. So I worry a lot for a little while, then resolve myself to waiting, otherwise I drive myself crazy.
Today, I get an email from him. (yay!) Big surprise: He lets me know that he was hit by an IED, and back in the States recovering. He's doing well, and expecting a full recovery and re-deployment within a few months. Double-yay!!! I didn't get to ask if his wife got to be there with him, even for a short while.
However, this little twinge of sadness runs through me. I had no way of knowing. He was one of MINE. (I know, I know.) But still. I was stunned. Speechless even (and we know how often THAT happens.) I responded to him, babbling like an idiot, I'm sure. I'm so glad he's ok.
I'm also very sad, because I see on the website the 3 others who were killed that same day. Those men I did not know, nor have I had any contact with. That's what saddens me. I feel so bad for their families, their friends, their comrades. Most of all I feel sad for them. I hope and pray they had people who loved and will miss them. I do, but it's not the same.
Some days it hurts to be an Angel...