There are things and events in our lives that we never really forget... like riding a bike. Recently, with the birth of Noah's son, Thomas, I realized it doesn't take much to wooosh you back in time and to places in your mind and heart you thought you'd long forgotten. Although it has been more than 20 years since I fed a bottle or sung a lullaby to a little bundle to coax him to sleep and then stared into that sweet cherubic face, it doesn't take much to rouse the memories and fullness of love and amazement that come with those simple acts.
Yesterday and today, I have been pushed back into the fears of waiting... wondering... anxious... dreading. The area near Our Guys was hit in an attack over the weekend... a dozen or more wounded, one KIA. Of course, there has been a communications blackout on since then and the mothers, wives, sisters, children and brothers of those serving in that area are forced into a vacuum of silence and not knowing.
I have received a number of emails from other 3ID Moms and a few wives wondering if I had heard anything or knew anything "unofficial"... they know I "know" people (but not as many as they think). I, myself, once news of the attack broke, scoured the internet and news sources for information... gleaning every little nuance from the words in print.
Others on the private forum for families of this Division posted what they had heard before the phones were locked down or that Rear Detachment said they knew no details (and that Rear D couldn't tell even if they knew pending official notification) or links to various news stories... each responding person careful to say when they heard it and from whom to allow those readers the all-important ability to reason away unreasonable fear.
I have even had one mother email and ask me how long it had taken the Army to call us when our son had been wounded. When I responded that it was 12-15 hours between the attack and the phone call, I cautioned her that I have heard of some people who were notified in just a few hours and a few that it took longer than a day to hear -- that each scenario and command and branch of the service has their own protocols and SOPs (which is something the services really need to lock down better and address!) I took great pains to build in this warning to this mother because I needed her not to rush to judgment one way or the other -- fearing that if she thought the "magic" time had elapsed then her son must be safe or if she hadn't heard by now then it must be worse news. And, of course, I strongly encourage all those waiting to speak the mantra many times and swiftly: NO.NEWS.IS.GOOD.NEWS.'CAUSE.BAD.NEWS.TRAVELS.FAST.
All the families of the military are a related "community" -- sharing a kinship with that town in Iraq by reason of the temporary residence of sons and husbands and brothers... and tonight, that community is on pins and needles. No one knows anything -- or if they do, they are wisely keeping it to themselves until it's "official". It is a large community that encompasses many forward operating bases, combat outposts, patrol bases and other installations... all are subject to the communications blackout... and none have been named in news reports so none have been excluded from the worry.
So it's back to the worrying and waiting... holding our breath until that car coming down the street passes... putting a note on the front door warning that if you are not from the Army, don't bother knocking or ringing the bell... turning up the volume on phones and instant message programs... so that each will know the minute the comm blackout is lifted... or until the phone rings... or the knock comes.
Tonight we wait... hardly daring to breathe... working diligently to keep ourselves from the "dark side" of our thoughts... waiting in the throes of the mental asthma attack that is fear for loved ones in harms way. Tonight we wait...
Labels: 3ID Family, DoD, wounded warriors