Yet another Army spouse learned of her husband’s downrange death through Facebook when a female Soldier in his platoon sent her a message saying there was an emergency and asking the spouse to call her.
"She told me over the phone, right in front of my kids and I completely had a meltdown,” Ariell Taylor-Brown told a Columbus, Ohio NBC affiliate. “She wasn't supposed to but I guess she took it on her own power to do it.”
Just hours later the notification team came to her Mobile, Ala. door. Her husband, Staff Sgt. Christopher Brown, was deployed out of Fort Carson. He had been downrange a week before his April 3 death. The couple has two small children and Ariell said she is about 11 weeks pregnant with their third.
Can you imagine?
The last time this happened (that we know of) Army wife Megan Born found out from fellow spouses who either ignored or simply did not know the notification rules and disregarded common sense. Megan lived several hours from a military base in a rural area, and it took the notification team extra time to get to her.
Ariell, however, received the news from a soldier. A soldier who absolutely had to have known better. A soldier who, by her actions, purposefully disregarded a system steeped in honor and ceremony to notify a spouse over the phone.
"It was a horrible way for me to find out. She didn't even give me a chance. I could have been driving and I could have harmed myself learning this," Ariell told NBC.
In the past we have wondered whether, in light of the speed of information over social networking, a review of the military’s notification system may be warranted.
But I don’t think that is the solution at all. Is it really too much to expect that those who should know better -- especially fellow servicemembers -- just show a little decency and respect?