Tuesday, June 10, 2008

'My' Soldier Came Home

America's Son came home from war alive and whole, so why do I feel such a loss? My sleep has been forced upon me, I forget to eat, I constantly check the email in the hopes that he'll let me know he's alright. After all, that is what we did for 18 months. He would let me know if he had to go dark. I must admit, I was not prepared for this darkness.

This is a rather unusual situation I find myself in, because this Soldier and I have never met. I could not pick him out in a crowd, yet we have shared the past year and half becoming friends while he was in Afghanistan. He never mentioned that he was in the kill zone. That means the Taliban were all around him.

I know I did not share in his experiences during this time. He was on the battleground while I was safely at home praying for him and his teams everyday--all day long. I believe it did work, too, because they all returned home alive and whole. At least in body.

The twist? I am ashamed to admit it, but I am sad. I thank God he made it home to his family! Not for one second do I regret that! Please do not misunderstand. I am just having a little bit of a difficult time of it. I feel a horrible loss. I miss my friend. I cannot serve another lonely man or woman in our Armed Forces until I resolve this.

I have done this four times before him, and I shall continue to do so. But no one told me about the consequences of getting involved with a person whom I do not know, will never meet, will pray for constantly, write to frequently, and then all of a sudden it's over. I am no longer someone, I am no longer needed, and I don't know if I'm even wanted as his friend. It has come to an end. Time to move on to the next Soldier, Sailor, Marine, etc.

I do not understand the sadness and loss I feel. Could it be because I built up something in my mind that wasn't really there? I do not think so. When you try to meet the needs of another, that may happen. Their gratitude is nothing more than gratitude. I never thought it was more, at least intellectually. That is one of the things of which I am certain.

He used to e-mail me whenever he could. I've e-mailed him a few times now, and I am worried that something is wrong. He is a good and decent Christian man. Did Afghanistan have a negative effect on him? He went through Hell over there. Does he have PTSD?

I suppose some of my fears may be that I can no longer help him. I will never know what he saw because he is a Man, he will only discuss that with his buds (which is understandable), I am no longer useful to him.

AHA! Could that be it? I am no longer useful to him? That would be very selfish! Am I doing this for myself, or am I doing this for our Servicemembers? Well, I remain anonymous to the world, so I don't do it for the glorification. I am on a fixed income, but I still send care packages as often as I can. I know it is not as often as everyone else, but I still try to send them. They are needed.

He loves the children, and they loved him. He is a very special man, and I will never hear from him again. I believe that is part of why my heart aches. I cared too much. Is that possible? NO! Maybe I cannot put on paper how I really feel, maybe it's a combination of these reasons and more, but I need to write it down in the hopes of getting back to normal. I will move on to another Soldier in a little while. I just don't ever want to stop praying for him, and I do not to forget 'him'. Is that one of my fears? Yes. I don't ever want to forget, but am I allowed to? I am shamed in my own eyes for even think this way, but I have seen it happen before.

I am trying so hard to write a post that may help someone else who is also going through the changes of caring for a Soldier you don't know, becoming close to this person, and then it is over just like that. Of course you'll be happy they are 'home' and alive. Maybe it is just time for us to realize that it's okay to admit we are sad. We can remember them. We can continue to pray for them. But we were never anyone they ever really knew, and they owe us NOTHING. We were never a part of their lives.

We were not in a foxhole with them. We did not raise their children. We did not do a lot of things, but we cared enough to step in for a time to let them know that we support them. After all, is it not they, and not we, who should know they are loved? They are, because it is they, not we, who are fighting to keep us free.

Just try not to care so personally. Scratch that. I'll care as much as I wish, thank you very much. I don't even know if this what is bothering me. Do I love him? No. I don't know him that way. I'm not that kind of a lady. However, it is the seperation, no more emails, he's writing in his blog very seldom and some things I wish I could do for him (such as all the paperwork, getting a job, readjusting, comfort, etc.) I am not able. When I cannot help him, that makes me sad. When it comes to our Armed Forces, I am ashamed to admit I feel sad. I guess I should just buck-up, eh? I will...soon.

PS. I would just like you to understand that I do believe I have only scratched the surface. I feel like I have lost a friend, and I know this isn't true. He is a good friend to all who mean no harm to America or his family. Thank you for allowing me an outlet to speak my feelings, because it surely isn't my mind. I wonder, is there a place for those of us who have to stay behind to go share our feelings? Hmm. May be a good idea...

PSS. I thank God for the time I did have to be his friend, and I thank God for all the members of his teams and him. They chose to go to war for us so we could sleep well at night. These are special men, and I shall always be in awe of them.

Cross-posted @ Talon.

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123beta: Good Stuff Tuesday.
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