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When a Military Spouse Dies Through Terrorism

Spouses serve, too. And last week Air Force spouse Gail Minglana Martinez paid the ultimate price.

Gail died from her injuries after the terrorist attack last week, we learned today. Her husband, an Air Force Lt. Col., and her four children remain hospitalized.

We can't say for sure, but if my research is correct Gail last week became the first military spouse to be killed in a terrorist attack since 9/11, and the first to be killed in an extension of the War on Terror. Because when ISIS claims responsibility for an act of terrorism, that's an extension of war.

Any civilian casualties are too many. But the death in an act of terrorism of a fellow military spouse hits especially close to home.

When a service member is killed in the line of duty we know what to do. But a civilian military spouse? She was killed in her own line of duty -- spending time with her family, in the airport on the way to a family vacation. A source tells us that the family was celebrating a recently completed deployment, headed out for post-deployment leave.

And then, terror.

In the face of this kind of news -- a stark reminder of the reality that, no, no one is immune -- there is little that we can do other than hold each other up and remember Gail's sacrifice for her family and her country. Had she not been stationed in Europe, she would most likely have not been in that airport. She died serving.

In the coming days I hope to write more about Gail. I didn't know her, but I am looking to share stories about her from those who did. We owe it her to remember her. We owe it to ourselves and our community, too. If you knew Gail and would like to share your memories or tell us about her, please contact us through our SpouseBuzz contact button.

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