Thursday, February 24, 2011

Love Letter: The family also serves

From Stars and Stripes:

Wife's letter to deploying husband strikes a chord with others

Read Jennifer Chaloux's entire letter to her husband here

Jennifer Chaloux, newly wed and deeply in love, didn’t know what to do.

Her husband, Spc. Matthew Chaloux, a Georgia National Guardsman, was deploying to Afghanistan for a year.

Should she try not to cry? Give him a hug, get in the car and just drive off?

It was last spring, and Matthew was in his pre-deployment training at Camp Shelby, Miss. There’d be one final weekend at home, then he’d be gone.

She thought about the absence of the husband it had taken her half a lifetime to find.

"It just kind of hit me: ‘He’s going to be in a country with these terrorists who will stop at nothing,’ " she said. "What was he getting into? It really weighed on my mind.

"I said, I’ve got to say goodbye to my husband, and I don’t know how to do it."


So the former hairdresser sat down and wrote a letter to give him before he deployed. She wanted to put down in words all the things she was feeling.

"When you find out your husband/boyfriend is getting deployed, your world changes completely," the letter began. "The man you share your life with is leaving and there is no guarantee he will come home. Days fly by … hugs, kisses and sighs because reality is too close … days on end trying not to cry too hard so you don’t make them feel bad … laying your head on their chest trying to memorize the sound of his heartbeat, the way he holds you. …"

The letter goes on, detailing the awful talks about death benefits, the pride she feels, how she regards her husband as a hero, the worry and loneliness she’s already feeling.

It’s a three-page letter, filled with her innermost thoughts, her most tender feelings, her heartache.

Her husband read it. Then he posted it on the board at Camp Shelby...

The rest of this story is a must read, here.

The family also serves.

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