…I’m glad that the Yank isn’t on a flying billet.
And yet, I will ALWAYS be proud of him, and the amazing things he’s done – and continues to do.
That being said… On last night’s late local news, I heard that a USMC helicopter had crashed in Afghanistan. Instantaneously, I was wide awake. N wasn’t home – away at training for a week in Yuma. And as it was 11:– pm, I didn’t think he would appreciate my phone call. Almost immediately, I felt the panic rising, the fear that it’s someone from our flying family, someone we know and love. Somewhere, military wives and families were going about their lives, not anticipating that fated knock on the door. I quickly ran through my list of friends whose husband’s are currently deployed and flying overseas. It was a bit overwhelming. I had my suspicions about what kind of aircraft went down, based on the casualties – but I wasn’t certain. With these things, no one is.
It’s all a guessing game – just one giant roll of the dice.
I thought a lot about April-Nov 2010, the last time N was flying Yankees in Afghanistan, and what a tumultuous time that was. I don’t think people really realize how deeply it affected N, myself, and our flying family. It was horrible, and unfortunately unforgettable. We all live with the consequences of that deployment on a daily basis.
There’s always ALWAYS a fear that something horrible will happen to the person you love, physical and emotional, and being married to someone who flies USMC helicopters doesn’t make it any easier. A running joke in the helo community is that “If something hasn’t broken on your helicopter, it’s about to.” And even N would comment, “Helicopters don’t fly, they beat the air into submission.” It’s very hard to explain, and I absolutely understand that it’s a risk we take by doing this in the first place – loving someone in our Armed Services, choosing to fly, deploying to a war zone, etc etc etc. But when bad things happen to the people you love, it’s a stark reminder of how real Life can be.
Love it while you live it and hug your family tight and tell your friends you love them. Everything else is just icing.
Nothing has been reported, and a blanked of silence has settled over those in the aviation community. I haven’t spoken with N today, won’t until he returns sometime this evening. We all hold our collective breaths and wait.