"These guys have the most dangerous job in Afghanistan." Not the words an Army wife wants to hear. Chills ran through my body as I gripped his hand a little tighter and whispered, "I am so proud of you." My tears were hidden by sunglasses. He tells me I need to be strong. I need to show no fear because we are an example; an example for the first timers, the mothers and fathers, the wives and girlfriends ... He has earned the position to lead, and with that comes the biggest responsibility; the responsibility to bring these soldiers home.
The few months leading up to deployment we filled the DVR with Bomb Patrol Afghanistan. This was going to be a true and honest depiction of what we were facing. We snuggled up to watch what we recorded as if it were a movie we were dying to see; when in fact it was our reality. As we continued to watch, BW would explain to me what was happening. He would often use words and abbreviations that I was not familiar with. I knew he was doing this to give himself a peace of mind. He needed to prove to himself that the training paid off; that he knew what he was doing. It was the kind of reassurance that would ease his mind before a mission. He made sure I knew how safe the vehicles were. He made sure I knew that these missions could take days. He made sure I knew that he knew everything. I listened to every word.
While BW paid close attention to the logistics of each mission, I watched other things. How long are they gone for? Were there snacks in the Truck? Is anyone talking on a cell phone? What do the sleeping quarters look like? Will he have a pillow? There is nothing safe about what he does. There is no denying that, but knowing that when he kicks off his boots and lays his head down at the end of his day it is comfortable...that's the kind of reassurance that I need.
He says he's tired; I know that means he hasn't slept in 3 days. He says its hot; I know that means the dust storms are blinding. He says he sleeps in a bunk; I know that they are on top of one another. He says he paid for internet; I know that it cost a small fortune. He says everything is okay; I know that means everything is tolerable. Even from 1000s of miles away he keeps me safe. He keeps my mind safe.
We spoke today. He said he'll talk to me in a few days. I've seen the show. I know what that means.