Recently I read a book written by my husband's friend, "Beyond Duty". He had asked me not to read it, but like a kid being told to stay out of the cookie jar, I couldn't resist.
The book, by Shannon Meehan, was written with the intent to release his inner deamons; the ones that have been following him since the day he called in a missle strike. The day the war changed him.
As wives, mothers, and fathers, we worry about that very thing. When he comes home, will he be hardened by what he's seen or grateful for what he's done. Will he struggle quietly with images and sounds of war or will he be able to disassociate himself with the pictures of war. Who will he be when he comes home? You don't talk about it, but it's always right there. The wondering. They give you pamphlets on what to look for, signs. You memorize them. You search for them reluctantly and pray for them not to be there.
What do you do when they are? You pray. You ask for help. You cry. You worry.
Less than a week ago, a wife contacted me about a special care package. It is not for her children or herself, but for her husband. He has PTSD and is struggling to get by on a daily basis. I could feel my heart ripping apart and the tears welling up in my eyes. Throughout the entire e-mail she never once wrote about her own feelings, struggles, or heartache. She simply wrote with a purpose- send something to him, so he knows he's not alone.
The only problem is, I don't know how to wrap up my arms to hug him or my heart to replace the one in him that's broken.