When Air Force Capt. Lucas Gruenther, 32, took off in an F-16 from Aviano Air Base in Italy for a routine training excerise over the Adriatic Monday, no one expected he'd go missing, least of which his wife, Cassy. She wrote on the base's blog that if "anyone could survive something like this, it would be Luc." Cassy, like most wives of servicemen, didn't want to give up ... especially since their first born, Serene, is due in a matter of weeks.
Along with others, Cassy was encouraged when bits of Luc's plane were found along with his helmet, in tact. She remained optimistic and continued to hope, if not whole-heartedly believe, that he was alive.
The search and rescue squad comprised of American and Italian forces found the body of U.S. Air Force pilot Gruenther on Thursday afternoon.
Cassy was not alone in her optimism that her husband would return home safely, and I'm sure many wives of military men can attest to the strength it takes to stay positive during a trying time. Her upbeat attitude is probably reminiscent of so many Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine wives, etc., who provide stability, fortitude, and courage for their families when an unexpected tragedy strikes.
Cassy's story is made all the more heart-wrenching since her husband won't have the chance to meet his first born next month, but hopefully she can find a small silver lining in that their daughter, Serene, will have one tough, Air Force Capt. guardian angel looking down on her from above.
Do you stay optimistic in the face of uncertainty?
Photo via unc-cnc-usfk/Flickr