|Photo credit: U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Liesl Marelli, Colorado Army National Guard.
Sharon was inspired to submit this poem to DCoE after reading Sgt. Lenihan’s poem. We hope this helps military families; you are not alone.
“My husband was on active duty for nearly 22 years, and has been retired for two. He was away for approximately half of the time. We used to joke on our 15th, 18th anniversaries that we had only celebrated two of them together, so we were really only celebrating our 3rd or 4th. He has missed much of his three daughters’ milestones and lives. When our first baby died in utero, they brought him in from the field, all grubby and smelly and covered in greasy sweaty cammo, still hung with all his weapons and gear. I was sorry the baby had died; he was sorry I had to lose the baby alone.
…I've done everything. I've dealt with medical catastrophes; disabled children; comforted widows, while keeping the secret guilt of being glad it wasn’t me; I've become a maintenance guru and a technology whiz; both handyman and housewife – all while keeping my kids’ father in their lives as a real everyday person, not someone who left them ages ago and won't be back for a long time. I've explained puberty, religion, math and bullies. I can answer the hard questions in life and the easy ones too.”
Sharon wrote this poem to “show other military wives that yes, someone else knows how strong - and how weary - they are.”
The first time it happened
I cried and I cried
How could the Army
Leave me a lonely new bride
The years rolled on
Babies were born
The Army kept taking him
Leaving me forlorn