I remember when we first started dating, everyone told us we won’t last long. They gave us a year at the most, wonder how many of our friends lost their money on this one?
Our love for each other was never easy. You serving for your country and me serving for mine. We caused a lot of attention, when we walked around in uniform together to grab some food on the way home. I know we started our relationship head over heels. If someone would have told me that I would ever leave Germany I would have said they are crazy. Well falling in love with you, changed that for me pretty soon! The way you made me laugh, the way you touched my face, and the way you completed my sentences, was what made me fall in love with you. This is why I was so sure about spending the rest of my life with you is the right thing to do. Everybody thought we must be crazy or I must be pregnant that is why we got married. That part of our family came more than two years later. You gave me our beautiful son, who is still looking up at you for all you have done. He wants to be just like you serving his country (even if it is still unclear which one that will be...lol).
Shortly after we moved to Georgia, you deployed with your new unit. This was not our first time going through this together, but I must say it was harder for me this time around. The different country, my car accident, and no close unit this time was a tough one to swallow. I was living for the moments to hear from you! You would call me and sing to me on the phone, like you used to do while you where home. I could tell that something was different, but I could not put my finger on it back than. After over a year you finally returned home! The first weeks where wonderful, besides you not wanting to go anywhere and having nightmares. From there on our life together went downhill. Anger outbursts, picking fights for no reason, panic attacks...where just a few of the daily things we struggle with. I had to convince you to get help and they diagnosed you with PTSD and several other things. This led to your medical retirement. Not knowing what civilian life is like no more,we decided to move closer to your family. Since than we struggled more than ever to keep our little family together. After one of our worst times together, we found out that you had a TBI all along, what the Army conveniently missed out on. Since that time we are fighting to live a normal life.The VA system has made it really hard for us the past couple of years, but hopefully with our new understanding caseworkers in the OIF team, we will get the help you deserve. Your emotional roller coaster and symptoms are sometimes more than we both can handle, but I life for the little moments where I see my old love shine through the anger of war.
I know in my heart that you love us dearly, and that you are terribly sorry for every situation you act out on differntly. It is so frustrating to see you struggle with all your invisible wounds. But let me assure you, you will never be left behind my proud American Soldier! I will love you forever!
No matter if people will ever understand the sacrifices you guys made and still continue to do daily for every single person here in the USA to have their freedom!
Ich liebe Dich, mein Schatz (My Treasure, I love you)!
Submitted by Sandra Touchet, Proud Wife of an OIF Veteran
This blog post is part of The Love Letter Campaign... a project started by FamilyOfaVet.com to encourage those who love a hero to write a letter sharing their story (where they started, what they've faced together, and why their love endures). It's not just for spouses, but also for parents, siblings, caregivers, and friends. It's about telling the "rest" of our stories... stories that continue despite PTSD, TBI, and the challenges of life after combat. To share your love letter or find out more about the campaign, visithttp://www.familyofavet.co