Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

A newly widowed Marine wife talks about her life alone — and makes a request

The 3rd Battalion of the 5th Marines has suffered a casualty rate in Afghanistan so far of more than 17 percent, according to this interesting article by Mark Walker of the North County Times. Another Pendleton Marine, Cpl. Chad Wade, was with the 2nd Battalion of the 1st Marines. Katie Wade married him on September ...

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The 3rd Battalion of the 5th Marines has suffered a casualty rate in Afghanistan so far of more than 17 percent, according to this interesting article by Mark Walker of the North County Times.

Another Pendleton Marine, Cpl. Chad Wade, was with the 2nd Battalion of the 1st Marines. Katie Wade married him on September 18, 2009, and was widowed 14 months later on December 1, 2010. I find her blog almost too painful to read, like when she says her cheeks ache from holding back tears. "I wonder why I have to hurt this much?" she wonders. "Why am I 20 years old and widowed?"

But read on I do. "Is this real?" she asks. "I swear sometimes I sit back and just can not believe this is happening. It's like a slap in the face that my life isn't just a movie...this is what I have been handed and I have to deal with it. I'm not living someone else's life until he gets home."

The 3rd Battalion of the 5th Marines has suffered a casualty rate in Afghanistan so far of more than 17 percent, according to this interesting article by Mark Walker of the North County Times.

Another Pendleton Marine, Cpl. Chad Wade, was with the 2nd Battalion of the 1st Marines. Katie Wade married him on September 18, 2009, and was widowed 14 months later on December 1, 2010. I find her blog almost too painful to read, like when she says her cheeks ache from holding back tears. “I wonder why I have to hurt this much?” she wonders. “Why am I 20 years old and widowed?”

But read on I do. “Is this real?” she asks. “I swear sometimes I sit back and just can not believe this is happening. It’s like a slap in the face that my life isn’t just a movie…this is what I have been handed and I have to deal with it. I’m not living someone else’s life until he gets home.”

Her request to the world is worth keeping in mind:

“I’m not looking for people to tell me stuff to try and make me feel better if it doesn’t make them comfortable… Just talk to me. Talk to me like you would any other day. If I wanted talk about the situation with you I would. So to the people who are walking on eggshells with me and not quite sure what to say…just talk to me as a friend.”

(HTs to Dan H and David W)

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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