Friday, March 7, 2014

Fighting Fear

With FM being out of reach for training, I’ve had a bit more downtime in the mornings and evenings, which generally just leads to over thinking/processing and general worry.  Over the last couple of days a sinking inescapable feeling of fear has been creeping over me, popping up at the most random of times.

While I try to keep myself away from the horror stories and harsh realities this military life sometimes presents or makes me face, there are some tales that are just too tall to ignore.  The latest gripping report burrowing into my brain is that of Cpl. Kyle Carpenter, a Marine who is due to receive a Medal of Honor for his selfless and heroic act in Afghanistan, throwing himself over a live grenade to save the life of his friend.  You can read more about his story here as I will not do it the same justice, and better yet, you can see exactly the price that Cpl. Carpenter has paid to save those two lives, if you have not already had the fortune of hearing about him.

Of course we have all read similar stories of valor fairly regularly since this war began, and will likely continue to hear them long after it is over, so the event itself, although equally tragic and inspiring, is not what is most troublesome to me at the moment.

What has been bothering me is the possibilities it brings to mind.

The possibility that FM will be placed in the line of fire.
The possibility of him needing to fight for his life.
The possibility of him being deployed to that area of unrest.
The possibility that he could find himself in a similar situation.
The possibility that he would do the same for his battle buddy.
The possibility that he could be injured for the rest of his life.
The possibility that he may not come home to me.

I have always known all of those things to be a complete reality.  I have not jaded myself so much as to believe that it is out of the realm of certainty.  But it’s still not something I care to explore, to consider, to accept, and certainly not something I entertained five years ago when we met, long before our Army days.

What is, perhaps, scariest is knowing in my heart of hearts that FM would be that guy to risk his life; the one to jump on that bomb, to change his, ours, and other’s lives forever.  If thought about too much, that fear is simply paralyzing.

I suppose it’s something I will likely learn to get used to, or at least learn to live with until he decides to finally part ways with the military.  But until that point, at the end of the day when the blogging, and PCS worries, and BAH screw ups, and FRG meetings, and uniform cleanings are all done, the fear will likely stick around and find a way to snap me back into the reality now and again.  For as long as his contract runs, the possibilities will always be there.  The fear will always be there.  And I will forever be fighting it off.

Ladies, gents, fellow milSOs, how do you deal with the fear and possibilities of danger and injury to your soldiers? What’s your secret to coping with these harsh realities?

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