When her husband is serving overseas, there's no question a military wife is sacrificing for our country. But a heartbreaking story out of Afghanistan is putting in perspective just how much a military spouse goes through. Army Captain Bruce Kevin Clark was Skyping with his wife last week when suddenly he dropped dead right in front of her.
Susan Orellana-Clark couldn't do anything. She was stateside with the couple's two daughters. And she had to wait until the Army released his body to send it home. Can you imagine?
Right now, no one knows how Capt. Clark died. Susan says she saw a bullet hole in the closet in her husband's room, but she was on Skype with him, she couldn't examine the room. And the Army says there wasn't a wound on him -- aside from the cuts and bruises that resulted from his head hitting the desk.
Honestly, I can't imagine being a mom of young kids (their girls are 3 and 9!) and having my husband die under any circumstances. Wait, scratch that. I prefer not to think about my husband dying. Period. So right there my heart is breaking for Susan.
For most of us, if, God forbid, something happened -- say a car accident or even something on the job -- you are relatively close by. You can get to their side to clasp their hand and cry. If need be (shudder), you can get an autopsy done rather quickly. We take it for granted when we don't have a spouse in the military.
Instead, because her husband was deployed overseas, there this poor woman is, an ocean away, and she can't even get an answer on how her 43-year-old husband died. And this is what military wives and husbands deal with.
Whether it's under mysterious circumstances like Captain Clark's death or as a casualty of war, answers to your most basic questions can get caught up under the guise of "national security." And even something as simple as being able to give them one last hug is not to be.
My heart goes out to the Clark family today. I hope those little girls know their daddy died while he was doing something he thought was right.
Do you know a military spouse? What do they do to get through the days?
Image via brittanylynae/Flickr