A pregnant Fort Bliss Army wife was stabbed repeatedly by a family friend and fellow soldier as her husband watched and listened via FaceTime from Afghanistan Oct. 30 -- highlighting just how helpless military couples can feel from a world apart.
Rachel Poole, 31, and her now new-born healthy baby girl are reportedly in stable condition and her husband home. Some reports by her husband, Pvt. Justin Poole, on Facebook indicate that she may still loose sight in one of her eyes as a result of the attack.
The story, which broke over the weekend, left us with our jaws on the floor. The alleged attacker and fellow soldier, 19-year-old Corey Moss, broke into the home while Rachel was out to discuss a debt he owed Poole, according to this story. The discussion never happened -- instead he allegedly waited for Rachel to return, then attacked her and stabbed her multiple times in the face and abdomen. Because she recognized him and said his name while connected to FaceTime, her husband was able to alert Fort Bliss officials to what happened.
Rachel's injuries, according to this report, included at least temporary loss of sight in one eye, a collapsed lung and displaced vertebrae.
This story is shocking for a few reasons. But what can we do about it?
This story makes me feel scared -- so let's take some safety steps. If this lady got attacked by a dude with a knife while her husband watched helplessly from thousands of miles away, that can totally happen to me, too, right? Frankly, yes. And as cliche as it sounds, you could also get hit by a bus walking down the street -- and that's probably the more likely scenario. The truth of the matter is that living alone makes you vulnerable. But you don't have to be powerless. You can take some practical steps like installing a security system that buzzes when someone goes in or out. In Rachel's case even a system that only was armed while she was gone would've done the trick. Living in fear, however, is not the solution -- being practical and safe is. This is a great list of safety tips for women living alone.
Her husband was "there" but powerless to do anything -- sort of. It's safe to say that this story in every way is THE fear. It's the same feeling we had when we heard about this military spouse who over Skype watched her husband die in Afghanistan -- so close yet SO FAR. But there are things you can do to be empowered. For example, have the correct phone numbers for your chain of command so that if something does happen, you can get in contact. Poole knew what he was doing when he called soldiers at Bliss to intercept Moss. You can do the same thing. Even a little bit of self-empowerment goes a long way.
Fellow servicemembers are supposed to be the good guys -- but that may be naive. It's the same reason the insider attacks seem so much more shocking than other kinds of attacks. Aren't these guys the ones we trust? Aren't they the good guys? No one was looking for Maj. Nidal Hassan to attack Fort Hood, because he was a "good guy," or so it seemed. The truth of the matter is that even though every fiber of our beings said it should, uniform does not always dictate intentions. Especially when living alone, keep personal safety your top priority regardless of uniform.
Photo courtesy of Facebook.