I teach by a very large military installation and consequently, a lot of my students have a connection to the military, as do a lot of my co-workers. It's just a fact of life here. I've had many parents deployed (multiple times), I've had kids move in and move out due to changes in duty station, and I've even had one very cool Dad meet the team via a conference call from Iraq last year to discuss his daughter's performance (not good, Dad was not happy). Many of my fellow teachers and staff are veterans and many have spouses who are also veterans or even active duty. One of our Partners in Education is a unit on the local military post. We are, in fact, a community where what most people read in the paper impacts a lot of us personally.
So, it is a blessing to realize that The School hasn't been touched more frequently by the kind of tragedy that happens when you're in a military town. We have had two parents killed in action over the past ten years. That's bad enough. However, looking at the many connections we have, the fact that we've only had two has been just sheer luck. The fact that none of our co-workers has lost a spouse is also somewhat astounding. So, while the past two months have been dreadful on the military community here with a large number of young men and women losing their lives in Afghanistan, we've all been saying our prayers that our little school family will remain safe.
Our number, however, was up.
We had a faculty meeting a few weeks ago, with the Superintendent from The District coming by to talk to us about goals and visions and all that, and The Principal had to break the news to us that the husband of one of our Aides (who was out on maternity leave) had stepped on an IED and was in really, really, bad shape. So bad, they weren't sure he was even going to make it long enough to get to Germany for better medical care. Talk about getting whapped upside the head with some absolutely dreadful, horrible news. Our Dear Aide has resigned so she can focus on her husband, but as far as we're concerned, they're still part of our School Family. He has lost one leg completely, another below the knee, has damaged pelvic bones, damaged elbow and hand. However, from what we've heard, no internal injuries. He made it alive to Germany, then to Walter Reed, and he is there with his wife at his side.
And we prayed. This is a pretty solidly Christian group of faculty and staff (after all, we are in The South) and we believe in prayer. So we prayed.
And a miracle happened. He woke up this morning, for the first time, and spoke, and his wife was at his side.
And so, at times when I'm feeling whiny about my lot in life, how the kids won't listen, and the paperwork is burying me, and I just feel like retiring and going to work at Home Depot, I realize how lucky I am that I am in fairly good health, my Daddy is recovering, my husband is fine, and all in all, it's a pretty good life. And I'm glad, and humbled that there are men and women like Sgt. V who give their all for our way of life.