Yesterday I was reminded of something a friend of mine emailed this morning, "Our military family is often closer than our blood family." I was asked if I would be willing to comment on what military spouses were thinking and feeling while this was unfolding. I wouldn't have had to guess, because I knew exactly what they were thinking and feeling. And doing.
I heard the breaking news yesterday while in my car running errands. We have a SpouseBUZZ author whose family is attached to Ft. Hood. I pulled over and texted airforcewife to please try to make contact with her. She texted back that the SpouseBUZZ gals (and Toad) were already on it. All within ten minutes of the initial report. Meanwhile, I was preparing a list in my head of who we knew at Ft. Hood and how to get in touch with them.
I cut my errands short and returned home to a flurry of emails, phone calls and text messages. People were passing news along and checking in to let everyone know their status. My last phone call of the evening came at 10:00. From a civilian who just wanted to be sure we were okay, the people we knew were okay and to extend her condolences to the entire Army family.
What was happening at my home was being repeated at countless military homes worldwide. We needed to know that the people we personally know were safe, all the while worrying about the families we've never met who were less fortunate because, like my friend said, they're our family, too.
My heart breaks for all of the victims of the Ft. Hood shootings, but I know that our Army family has its strong arms wrapped tightly around them. I love having a huge family. Sometimes we squabble. Sometimes we have spats. We may not want to be BFF, but when we need each other. Really, really need each other, we have a massive Army to lean on. As bad as things may get, I'll always find a measure of comfort in that knowledge.