Monday, February 27, 2012

Edit: WIA Notification.

In my attempt to be helpful to explain my own experiences with WIA notification, I neglected to focus on the positives. It was completely unnecessary of me not to mention the things that went correctly. If it sounds like I'm backtracking, I am. That was- for the first time- not written out of anger or frustration but to simply educate people on something that is not set in stone in the military.

Our command did everything they could have possibly done to ease the pain for myself and Aaron. As I described in my "angry post" about the person who did tell me about Aaron: Thankfully, it was someone who is kind, who knew me, and felt a whole lot of pain while doing it. That person was our commander. I considered it a given that I wasn't judging down-range command for the actions of the stateside rear-d, but I shouldn't take it for granted that everyone can detect that. It really twists my insides that another company's decisions could possibly make our company command look poor in any way. We did have a pre-deployment briefing on KIA/WIA notification from a casualty affairs officer. It was basic, but it gave me enough information to know that when the two ACU uniformed strangers came to my door, I knew what they were there for when they asked to come in.

Perhaps it is a learning lesson that people shouldn't judge anyone down range for what happens Stateside. I know I certainly don't. I know if our captain or first sergeant could have done anything to save my notification, they would have. If I already made this clear, then I'm reiterating. Also, I know the first sergeant was there in surgery when Aaron came in. He watched my husband go through all of that. That is yet another thing I hold dear in my heart. He and his wife came to visit on their R&R, when Aaron was still really bad off. I should have addressed any personal issues I had with anyone more privately before I talked about it publicly.

 I never had any intention of making our company look poor in any way. They couldn't have done anything differently or better, and I am completely satisfied with what contact we have received from them. I take it for granted that I obviously wasn't talking about any dissatisfaction with our company down-range. The mistake I made was not devoting the same amount of energy to detailing my happiness with them that I devoted to discussing my fury over the rear-d company. It's pretty negative of me to not spend energy on being positive. I'm working on it.

Spouses get angry at a lot of things all the time, and spout off about it. I have no issues talking about my notification because I haven't said anything that isn't true. If anyone involved has an issue with it, they can address it with me. Obviously, some people I truly care about felt that I was expressing myself with malcontent. I have begun to address this privately and now I am addressing it here. I'm not doing it just to save face. I mean every word: The 760th down range and plenty of their wives back home couldn't have done anything more than they did for me, Aaron, and our families.

I'm angry about a lot of things in this situation, and I come here to vent. It's a personal issue I've been working on for months to only focus on the positive, but when Aaron is hurting or not sleeping again, things start to stew inside of me. I still get mad about everything sometimes. It's easy to tell me (and I tell myself a ton, too) to just get over it. I have been well on my way with that for a while now, but because of my history of being mad it was probably pretty easy to read my notification post as yet another furious tirade. That's a history I wrote for myself and if I want to correct any preconceived notions people might have about why I say what I do, I'm going to have to write a new history for myself, aren't I?


  1. You are entitled to your feelings. And to put it mildly, after such an emotionally charged and traumatic event, it is next to impossible to talk/write about it without stepping on someone's toes. Until they have walked in your shoes, let's see how politically correct they can be all the time. Use that anger to heal, it is a normal and an expected emotion. But you already know that. xo

  2. This is your space. You are right to be angry some times. You are struggling with difficult things. Sending positive thoughts your way.

  3. Exactly. It's YOUR blog, you get to say what you want, when you want, how you want.

    I have no idea about who may or may not have been upset, but if you are reading this & are among them, how about throwing off the feelings and instead seeing this pragmatically, as a treatise in regards to WIA notifications.

    I can't imagine that anyone would disagree that the system needs to change. Clearly, there are issues. Rather than arguing about the delivery, let's fix the root issue.

    ~~From a milspouse who praise God has never had to receive the dreaded notification, but who hurts for those who have

  4. I did not take your previous post as anything more than a cautionary tale- to inspire wives to action. There should be an Army-wide procedure for WIA notifications. Until that happens I took your post as a motivator behind getting our immediate chains of command to adapt a procedure. Sucks if people had their feelings hurt. Maybe they should humble themselves, look beyond any reference you may or may not have made to them and see the underlying point. However, on the other hand I see why on a personal level you would want to move focus from the negative to the positive. I cannot blame you for wanting to shift your focus (not that you aren't entitled to discuss what went wrong or was not ideal).