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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Ten Monologues For Women: Monologue #7-Morning Patrol

I knew the risks going into it. But, of course nothing really prepared me for the phone call and the in-person visit. I had so many questions. How did it happen? Was he alone? 

The kids are crying because they can sense my pain and sadness I struggled to hold it together.  This is not what I signed up for…alright maybe it is. But, he promised that he would be careful.

Why did he have to break that promise? 

I should have married that nice teacher. My mom warned me that being a Marine wife was not all rah-rah.  She should know. My  father was in the Marines for 20 years. I remember my mother glued to the 24/7 news stations with a bottle of Jim Beam clutched in her hands.

I swore to myself that I didn’t want that kind of life.

 So, I avoided military men at all costs. 

But, I ended up falling in love with one anyway.

 I fought it and to his credit Randy understood my reservations about being a Marine wife.

 Of course, he still pursued me relentlessly.  Two years later, I accepted his marriage proposal.
We were 24 years old when we got married.

 It seems like a lifetime ago. In reality, it was about 15 years ago.

We agreed that I would get a nursing degree so that I could work anywhere. He was only going to stay in for 8 years and then he was going to get his MBA and work in Corporate America.

 But, it didn’t exactly happen that way.  9/11 caused him to change his mind.

Shortly after 9/11, Randy informed  me that he wasn’t going to be able to honor our original deal. He said he wanted to become career military. He  felt that he owed it those people who died on 9/11.

There I was… pregnant with our second child.

I felt as though he owed it to me to hold up his end of the bargain.

 In the brief moments  after his huge proclamation, I understood exactly why my mother was often clutching a bottle of Jim Beam.

I recalled turning to other Marine wives for support. Some of them were in the same boat as me. 9/11 had created an unspoken tension in their marriages as well.  They too, had watched in helpless confusion as their loving husbands turn into virtual strangers hyped up on vengeance and hatred for an unseen enemy.

They wouldn’t give me too many details about his death. They said that his unit came under attack during a morning patrol.  He was killed instantly. I don’t buy it. Something more happened but, that’s the military for you.

My kids have completely changed. They don’t want to let me outta their sight.  I don’t blame them. I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose your parent during childhood.  I joined one of those War Widows support group and it helps a lot.

It’s been 3 years and it’s still hard to move on. My friends and family are trying to be patient but, I can tell they want the old me to come back. They want me to become the woman that they remember.
They don’t seem to understand that she died along with Randy during his morning patrol.

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