Two years ago today, my beloved husband Chris was killed in Afghanistan. As I mark this sad anniversary, my heart is with his brothers in arms. I never really knew what it would be like to see him come home, experience a homecoming ceremony, run into his arms and kiss his beautiful war-torn face, or feel his invisible wounds of war.
My husband never came home as a different person—I never had to maneuver my way around his new demeanor, personality, anxiety and PTSD.
SPC Christopher and Jane Horton.
I never awoke to him crying or screaming, not knowing who he was anymore, or with haunting images of battle.
Chris never had to hold his closest friends during their last breath—he never came home to deal with the pain, hurt, confusion, disappointment and guilt of being left on the battlefield and coming home with less than he went over with.
But you do.
Too many of you will have to spend the rest of your life trying to wade your way through a normalcy that will always be anything but normal to a soldier who has experienced war. For too many of you, this world will never be normal to you, but rather a maze of doubt, guilt, regret, fear and pain. As much as my heart hurts and longs for the man to whom I pledged my everything, my heart goes out to you.
My heart is for you. All of you.