I met you for the first time last night. After chatting about TV shows and where our kids go to the pediatrician we started talking about Army life. We quickly realized a common bond.
We were at the same duty station. We discovered we were in the same brigade at the same time and experienced the same impossibly difficult deployment. It was the kind of deployment that sends soldier after soldier home in a flag-draped casket, the kind that leaves widows and fatherless babies and mommies without their sons.
The instant we realized that commonality, we knew we shared the kind of bond that only really deep emotional trauma can bring. But what happened next was what really got me. You told me what you specific unit you had been in, and I told you ours.
And in that moment, the light in your eyes changed.
In your eyes I saw deep sympathy and understanding. Your eyes reminded me that I am not alone.
Your eyes told me that you know. You know without me saying a word about it. You know everything I carry in my soul from that season of our military lives, all the residual pain and heartache I feel, all the drama. You know the toll of war in my house. You have walked this path next to your Army sisters and brothers. You have experienced it first hand.
Your eyes told your story — and they knew mine.
Your eyes reminded me that even in the moments when I scream into the universe asking why we were chosen to live with the tolls of war long after the battle has ended, there are people out there who know. They know the hardship. They are walking to road, too.
Your eyes told me I am not alone. And for that I am grateful.
To the spouses who are searching for comfort, for understanding: those who are on this road are here. We are listening. We see you. We understand you. And we are honored to walk beside you.