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Welcome New SurvivorBUZZ Readers, and SpouseBUZZ Readers!

SurvivorBUZZ was created to offer support for survivors of fallen military members. No topic is off limits. You can come here and discuss your experiences with others who can identify with you and what you're going through.The journey that follows the service-related loss of a loved one is a difficult one. SuriviorBUZZ acknowledges that the price of freedom is carried by the families left behind, and will probably remain with them theirentire life.

My name is Jackie. That journey is a familiar one to me. I lost my husband in early 2003. We had two children, ages 5 and 2, and another one on the way. My husband was killed in action by a suicide bomber. When I received the knock on the door, I was more than stunned. I was sure that the crisply dressed soldier was going to conclude his speech with the word 'injured'. When he said 'killed,' I thought, 'No way. Not my husband. He is a great soldier. He follows protocol to the tee. He puts so many hours into training and perfecting his job. He's the kind of guy who is full of life, and lives life to the fullest. He can't be gone. There's just no way.' I cannot tell you how many days, months and years it took to sink in. For a long time, my short-term memory was just a blur. The future was a concept that I could not begin to grasp.

But all of those feelings were secondary to my biggest concern; my kids. How was I going to tell them that Daddy was not coming home? I had to do it and I knew I couldn't take the hurt away. It took every ounce of strength I had, but I did it. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. They didn't really understand. I realized then that the years ahead were going to be harder for them. Although it was already unimaginable, It was going to get worse. I learned to paste a smile on my face and tell my kids, "Mommy misses Daddy too, but I promise that we will be okay because we have each other." I could see the comfort they felt, and that brought me comfort. Hopefully, I would one day believe those words too. I thought about the baby. How was I going to keep our unborn baby healthy when I felt so torn apart inside? Eating became a task that I did for the baby. Could I control my grief, just for the next 6 months, in order to give the baby a peaceful place to grow?

After our families left, I adjusted as best as I could to my new reality.Thankfully, the kids were healthy and doing well.We talked a lot, and played more.I did everything I could to make this adjustment easier on them.But no matter how well I thought the day went, at night I often found myself in the same spot.In front of the computer with the phone, racking my brain for a number to call or an address to type where someone would be on the other end. Someone who could offer some sort of comfort or relate to me and what I was going through.I needed someoneto talk to.My milspouse gal pals were amazing.They were with me through really rough times.I don't know where I would be without them, but I still needed someone to identify with me.I wanted the assurance that there have been people who have made it through this, and felt whole again.Someone who could tell me that I didn't just bury my only chance at happiness.I searched and visited many sites.

I found great resources, but never the one thing I was looking for. As the years passed, the need grew even stronger. There were so many unexpected and unpredictable feelings, and things that happened throughout this journey. Very shocking things, in fact. Some good. Some bad. In the coming months, you will hear a lot more about my journey, as I hope I do yours.

I'm guessing that many of you are thinking "How can you tell this story without it tearing you up inside?" It does tear me up. My heart is in my stomach every time I think of my husband. I cry. But I allow myself to hurt, because fighting it just does not work. At the same time, I choose to embrace life and enjoy every moment I can. I want to reach out to others who are going through similar things, and to those who know, or want to know, how they can offer support to the families of the fallen. There are a lot of us now. Our group is growing and sadly, it won't stop anytime soon.

The goal of SurvivorBUZZ is simple -To support, help, and comfort those who have suffered the loss of a loved in the name our freedom. We do this in a community made up of survivors and milspouses, (in my opinion) the two strongest and most extraordinary support systems on the planet! In a support network like this, you can find others who not only relate to you, but can answer questions related to support of a loved one or friend in a similar situation. We can share parenting tips with each other about how to best help our children who are missing their fallen parent. Share information about benefits, etc. If I don't have an answer, I know somebody who does. But mostly, we'll share the day-to-day challenges and successes that we all experience.

Please do not feel awkward about commenting if you're not a survivor. We're just regular folks living with a unique situation. I hope that this window into our world can help inspire someone to support another by removing any barriers that make one hesitate to offer support. It's a window that is not often opened. Your support is welcomed, and appreciated. I'm here to help you too.

Welcome to SurvivorBUZZ!

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