The mother and aunt of Megan Born, the Army spouse who learned that her husband's downrange death over text message, both left messages on SpouseBUZZ yesterday, offering some further explanation of just how this happened, praising the command at Fort Stewart for their support and thanking our readers for their condolences.
Because those posts -- Military Spouse Notified of Death by Text and Army: Spouses to Blame for KIA Notification Fail -- have so many comments making it hard for anyone to read them all, we wanted to make sure you had a chance to see their notes.
From Megan Born’s mother, Cindy:
Megan Born is my daughter and the first thing I want to say is that I appreciate the concern and compassion in the comments.From her aunt, Myra:
The second thing I would like to say is that the Army did everything they were supposed to do and are going "above and beyond" in taking care of my daughter and helping us through this situation. I am a veteran and I am aware of how this should have been handled and I know that the wives in his unit were briefed many times on OPSEC and loose lips. The girl who sent my daughter a message was a former friend that she had not seen or spoken to in months and there was absolutely no excuse for what she did. My heart goes out to the poor distraught soldier who confided in someone at home and is now going to pay for it.
I don't know if I will be welcome in this discussion, but here goes. I am Mrs. Born's aunt, and was with her when she was notified of her husband’s death. She got a Facebook message several hours earlier telling her they were sorry for her loss. It was from a spouse that she knew but was not close to.Her aunt also left a follow-up comment:
She called Fort Stewart and started asking questions. It took them a while to call her back. The Major that did the phone notification was, without a doubt, one of the most compassionate men I have ever spoken with. It was clear that this was not how they wanted to handle the notification. But they did not want her sitting for hours waiting for the notification team. We live in a very rural area. The team arrived approximately 2 hours later. And they were truly wonderful.
It is heartbreaking losing Sgt. Born. And it was devastating for her to find out the way she did. We are not a military family and I don't have a lot of experience with how the Army does things. But I will say this, I have the utmost respect for the Major from Fort Stewart. And for the Notification team. And for every single Army personnel that we have come in contact with. They have been extremely professional and extremely caring. You can tell that they are grieving for their own loss as well. Thank you.
The Major has actually called many times since that first awful day. I cannot say it enough, the Army has been incredible. They have gathered around Megan and insulated her from as much as possible. The Chaplin told her the first day that she would soon meet many Army "family" that had her needs first through this ordeal. He was absolutely correct. I admire you all so much, because you live with this possibility every day and I don't know how. I will pray more fervently for the safety of all our soldiers and for your peace of mind, while you patiently await their safe return.Myra, Megan’s Aunt, also shared with us via email that Megan is asking anyone who would otherwise send flowers to instead make a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project. I know so many of us feel deeply for Megan – feel free to visit the Wounded Warrior Project to make a donation in Sgt. Joshua Born’s honor.