color: SOME SOLDIER'S MOM: Memorial Day 2006: A Soldier's Widow

Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day 2006: A Soldier's Widow

SFC David Salie and two of his children

Memorial for SFC David Salie, Baqubah, Iraq
February 2005

I asked my friend Deedy Salie if she would write a little something on Memorial Day and she graciously did.

Something for Memorial Day, something possibly about my husband or maybe his men..... maybe even about the day itself. However, I'm not sure how to write about Memorial day.

I know what Memorial Day is for; I know what we are remembering. However, this is my life. Everyday is Memorial Day for me. You see, I am a war widow, though I still have a very difficult time using the word widow. My husband, SFC David J. Salie, was killed in Iraq last year. February 14 is supposed to be the day meant for love. We buy flowers, chocolates, cards to celebrate this day, but it will always be the day that I lost the love of my life, the person that was supposed to hold my hand when I died... and yet he died on a street, in a country light years away from me.

David was on a patrol to get familiar with where he was, he had only been in Iraq for four days. His was the fourth Humvee in the convoy when an insurgent clicked a button on a remote that would shatter my world, the world of my children. I had spent the day buying my children little things for Valentine's Day, like I had every year. That year the day ended much differently than most, I opened a door around 9:15 that night only to be told that my David was gone forever.
My life has changed drastically since that night. I now live in a small town in Mississippi with our three children and my Mom. I do all the things that I'm supposed to do with my kids and now I also do all the things that a Daddy is supposed to do. I have so many things that most people aspire to have in life: a beautiful house, automobiles, land, my children and not so bad health.... and yet all of it, with the exception of our children, means almost nothing to me.

I look around and realize what an influence David still has on me. Honestly, this is David's house we’re living in! I always wanted an old country home, a fixer upper.... David was the one that wanted a new house with all the bells and whistles. I now own a four bedroom, four-bath home that was built 4 years ago. The only thing I didn't get that David wanted was a log cabin -- I've often wondered if one had been on the market if I would have bought it? LOL. But David's not here to share it with me, with us.

I still own David's truck and will probably own it until the day I die. David loved that truck and so I love that truck. It will probably become a planter in my front yard before I ever get rid of it. David always wanted an "I love me" room -- a room that he could put all his plaques on the walls and such. I've turned the computer room into that room for him. Our computer room has turned into David's “I love me” room... our "we love him" room. It's amazing how much of an influence David still has on me.

We're having a few people over, mainly family, for Memorial Day. Though I'm sure everyone that comes to my house will think of David, they will also be thinking of all the others that have lost their lives and/or the people that have come home with a permanent limp or without some body part. I'm sure they will think of the ones that have come home from other conflicts. I, however, think of them everyday. I think about all the men and women that will never be the same because of what they've seen and what they've had to do while at war.

Memorial Day is every day for a woman like me, a family like mine. We live it, we breath it, we are it. I think of David's soldiers all the time, they know it. They know that no matter where they go or what they do, they will always be "David's men" and I will always think of them, be here for them, love them.

I hope that people will not only remember our soldiers, but also remember their families. Remember the spouses that are now raising children on their own; remember the parents that will never see their child again; the soldiers who have lost fellow soldiers; the families that are still living with a military member who will live another day in the life that they love so much.

In closing I ask that while you are there having that BBQ, drinking that beer or swimming in that pool: take a moment to remember all of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. Remember their families -- they, too, pay the price. Even though they pay the price willingly and most just as adamantly as their military member, they still pay it. When the "thank yous" are handed out, they are the ones that are least likely to get one. Please take the time to thank them, let them know that you remember their sacrifice. Tell a military child that you appreciate what their parent has given our country, for they are the smallest yet sometimes (I think) they are the most affected, but least remembered. The littlest heroes. They surely are the ones that pay a very high price indeed.

Deanna "Deedy" Salie
Wife of SFC David J. Salie
KIA Baqubah, Iraq


At 5/29/2006 11:43 AM , Blogger Stacy said...

Thank you Deedy for sharing this story with us. Please know that you and your family will be in my thoughts today.

At 5/29/2006 2:34 PM , Blogger kbug said...

Thank you for sharing your feelings with us, Deedy. I can't imagine what it must be like for you...but, then again, I have a son deployed now and the thought that he might not come back crosses my mind more than I care to admit. I've always taken time to remember our fallen troops and their families, thanks to my Marine dad and upbringing, but the last 2 years have affected me much more deeply...having someone deployed makes a big difference. Please know that I am thinking of your husband and you and your family on this day...praying that God will bless you and bring you happiness again.

At 5/29/2006 4:04 PM , Blogger Michelle said...

We remember. Thank you for all that you and your family have given for mine and this great nation. I know the words don't do it justice but we are eternally grateful for great men like David and all the others like him. They are our warriors, mighty and strong, brave and true....David's Mighty Men.

At 5/29/2006 6:08 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wrote you from SPAIN, and I wish to express my thanks from EUROPE, to all american soldiers, for their efforts and sacrifices for freedom in this generation, and in the past. Because without the people of their kind, for sure that I wouldn’t be free to do and think what i want, instead of have to do and think what other people said my to do and think... in german or russian. And thats the perfect proof for all those leftish, protesters and STALIN lovers, that if your country is an empire, IT´S AN EMPIRE OF FREEDOM.
I wish you enjoy the memorial day, and thanks to all of you from the bottom of my heart.

At 5/29/2006 10:04 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


Your sacrifice and that of your children leaves me short on words. My heart aches for you.

Thank you for opening up your life to us and for sharing your deepest thoughts. Please know that I will carry the memory of your husband and the suffering you endured with me for the rest of time. Although I never met you or your husband, it is because of people like you that I still have hope and faith in this world. These are words from my heart.

May God bless you and carry you as you find your way through these difficult days. All is not lost as long as you live the life your husband wanted for you and your children.

Scott Holmes
Boston, Massachusetts

At 5/30/2006 6:12 PM , Blogger Melinda said...

Deedy, I have to tell you, I would have been overcome reading your words even if I didn't have a husband of my own who serves our country. Because I do, though, it hit me especially hard.

He, too, has a truck he loves and I think your idea of holding onto it & making it into lawn art is perfect. He also wistfully talks of wanting an "I love me" wall; he even uses those exact words.

Thank you for sharing your story. I will add your family to those I hold in my heart. I wish I could give you a big squeeze!

At 7/11/2006 8:19 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too am an Army widow. My Tim and I were together 19 years when I lost him. He had returnd home and died in my arms of wounds that he recieved in the Gulf. We had moved 17 times and our two girls had never really had a home . We now live across the road from my mom. I too have the I Love Me room, (the house is full of

Tim even thou he is not here. Be strong talk about him. He is still with you.


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