We laid your body to rest the other day. You are not where I wanted you. I suppose that is because you died here in the states and not in Iraq or Afghanistan. I guess that means that you don't rate to be in Section 60 with all of the other Fallen Heroes who died serving our country on foreign soil. They absolutely deserve to have a special section dedicated just to them. They deserve to be remembered for the sacrifice they and their families paid for this country of ours. I do not take any of that away from them. I think it's an honor to be at Arlington to begin with, and even more so there in Section 60.
But, Tom, those two wars Did take your life. No, not in the same way, and maybe the families of the men who died IN war would disagree with me and say that while you deserve to be in Arlington, you do not deserve to be there with their loved ones. I think you do! I know that suicide has such a stigma and you "chose" to die while they did not, but you didn't want to die. I know that. I know better than anyone how much you wanted to live. I know that you came home from Afghanistan wanting our lives to be happy. We were making lots of plans for this summer and for our future. People who really want to die do not make plans. But you were suffering for 3 years with the wounds that war caused. I know it's not the same to most people, but when you live it for 3 years and watch as the man you married and love slowly slips away, you know it, you understand that it WAS indeed war that took your husband. It WAS war that took you from us, Tommy. You wouldn't have been struggling for so long if you had never joined the Marine Corps or gone to war, but you did. That is what you wanted to do and while sometimes I hated it and wanted out of the military life, and while sometimes I didn't support your decision to re-enlist, I eventually did. I supported you and stood by you through some extremely hard times. I watched what war did to you and to our family. It wasn't pretty and I'm sorry, but I am pissed that you aren't in Section 60.
I told that to Bailey on the way to the airport yesterday and to paraphrase him, he said that you are in good company and that he would be fine being where you are, that it is an honor to be there at all and it doesn't matter where exactly you are. I feel better with him saying that, but not totally. Maybe not really at all. Maybe it wouldn't matter to you, Tommy, but it matters to me. I matters a great deal to me.
It was because of those 2 wars that you fought in that you took your own life and destroyed mine and our kids right along with it. I want people to walk past your grave and remember that you are a casualty of these wars. You gave your life for this country. It's because of your service that I am alone tonight, that our children are fatherless. I want people to know and honor you in the way you deserve. You were a wounded warrior just as much as someone who lost a limb. I know you didn't see it that way. That is why you turned down going to the Wounded Warrior Battalion when given the chance. I am mad and I feel I have every right to be. I am so tempted to pay and have you moved out of Arlington all together. I am sure that I will calm down enough not to go through with it, but that is how I feel. You gave your life for this country just as much as anyone else over there. I want that recognition and honor for you. If you had never joined the Marine Corps, if you had never gone to war, you would be here now. What is the difference? You were hit with multiple IED's in Iraq and thank God you lived through them, but you were still effected by them and everything else over there. You got a TBI from one of the IED's which played a major role in the change in you once you were home. It got to you. Maybe the war didn't kill you immediately, but it still killed you and Section 60 is where you belong.
With Love, Honor, and Respect,