I got the call at 6:02 am on August 1, 2007. The phone rang and I could barely see the number because my eyes were so heavy from the little amount of sleep I had in the last few days. It had been 3 days since I last heard from Mike. On July 17th Mike had told me that they had switched his MOS from a light wheel vehicle mechanic to EOD. We were on yahoo chat and he told me that he would not be talking to me as much anymore because he will be on missions a lot. I had not idea what EOD was but he told me to google it. When we got off the the chat, I did. Here is what I read: (I saved it)
"The army is paying bonuses of up to $20,000 for new recruits..." That is exactly what stuck in my mind. I had been around the military long enough to know that if they are willing to pay this amount of money, what you are getting yourself into is bad news. EOD...Explosive Ordinance Disposal....I went to youtube and looked at videos. Bad idea. I was terrified for my husband. I was already scared to simply know that he was going to be on base fixing vehicles in Iraq now he is going to look for bombs. Mike was proud because he was chosen due to his high scores at the range. He was now the lead gunner of truck #1 in the EOD convoy. He was the first line of defense. That meant he would be the first to endure the violence. He was proud, I was terrified.
I worried about Mike every waking minute. I was exhausted from having a newborn and even though I should have been sleeping when he was sleeping, I cried. I cried myself to sleep every night after Mike told me his job changed. Pictures from the videos that I had watched played over in my mind as I lay down next to my son thinking about the fact that he has never seen his dad. I prayed every time I got the chance. I prayed that god would bring Mike home safe. I asked god to bring him home now, I did not care if he was kicked out of the Army, I wanted him home.
The last time I talked to Mike before I got the call was 3 days before he was hurt. We were on yahoo chat again and I had the webcam on and showed him our son sleeping. I saw the look in my husband's eyes as he was watching his son through the computer screen and it broke my heart. I told Mike that I wanted to move from Florida back to Kentucky to be closer to my grandmother and brother. It caused a huge fight. We ended the conversation on a horrible note. He thought I was seeing someone else and that is why I wanted to move. He told me if I left Florida not to contact him again. He had totally changed since he left for Iraq. He became really angry and possessive. When I would tell him about things going on back home he would get angry and tell me that they were not real problems compared to over there. We were at each others throat when we last spoke.
The phone rang and I tried to look at the caller id but I could not read the number because my eyes wouldn't open all the way. When I answered I heard someone speaking but it sounded muffled and like they were speaking another language. I kept saying hello but I could not understand them so I hung up. The phone rang again and woke up my son. He was crying when I answered the second time and I heard my name. My husband said my name, he sounded so weird like something was wrong with his mouth. He asked me if someone had called me yet. I was clueless, I asked why would someone be calling me. He said, "I have be hit. I am injured. I love you. I have to go." What? I began to bawl. I was crying uncontrollably. Hurt? Like how? What was wrong with his voice? Was he going to be okay? How hurt? Where was he? WHEN CAN I SEE HIM? I wanted him home right then!!!
That day was filled with useless phone calls. I called the FRG and they told me they were not aware that he was hurt. They told me that he was not hurt. What idiots, clearly he was hurt, he called me himself. No body knew where my husband was or what happened. I did not know what to do. I was going to Iraq to find him myself. Seriously I was that out of my mind that I went to CVS and got my picture taken for my passport. I went to the post office and tried to apply for a passport and they told me it would be 6-10 weeks. I had a breakdown right there on the floor of the post office. The lady called my dad and he came to pick me and my son up. I was a mess. He took me home and we sat by the phone all day waiting for a call since no one was providing us with any information. No body was calling so I began to call everyone on base that would answer the phone. Finally a guy told me that yes he was injured but he would be "fixed" and sent back to Iraq and that I would not be seeing him. That infuriated me. I was going to see him! I got a hold of the rear detachment commander and he told me he would call me back with information. 10 hours after the call, they told me he was in transport to Germany and would be arriving at Walter Reed in DC within a few days. I was DC bound so I could introduce my boys. :)