Of Wives and War

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Amalie Flynn and husband Jason Phillips

Every war generates its own poignancies. Some are in that twilight zone of fearful waiting and longing, felt by those the soldier has left behind since before the Trojan War happened, or didn’t, more than 3,000 years ago.

Amalie Flynn married a Navy officer shortly after 9/11, and has experienced the separation only a military spouse knows when Jason was ordered to help train the Afghan army in 2007. She began writing of that sensation on her Wife and War blog:

He was gone for 15 months. And I was alone at home. Suddenly, I really was a military wife. And that experience made me aware of the hardships of being a military family. It made me aware of the hardships of deployment, on both the military member deployed and on the spouse left behind. And, when my husband came home, and when our experiences of reintegration, both separately and as a couple, were difficult, it made me aware of the hardships of homecoming.

So she began writing, and has kept writing, things like this, which she posted last week:


Posted on September 22, 2011 by amalieflynn

The first time my husband said it, said

The word divorce, I felt my marriage break,

And I remember how on 9/11, just when

I stopped running and started to walk, how

I heard it, heard it behind me, a loud crack,

The crack of metal breaking, and how I knew,

I remember how I knew that the North Tower

Was breaking, breaking in half and falling down.

And I said to myself, as I started to run again,

Said this is really happening, just like I am now,

Like I am saying to myself now, as I stand here,

By the door, waiting for him, my husband, a phone

In my hand, because he told me this is not working,

And how we need to talk, and how I am waiting,

Like I waited all those months, for fifteen months

While he was away at war, waiting for him to call,

And come home or die, die even, and now, now I am

Here again, standing in our living room alone, and

Just waiting for him to come home again, and I am

Wondering if he will say it again, that word, divorce,

So I can feel it, feel our marriage crack,

Crack completely in half and fall down.

She says she and her husband are happily married and living in Rhode Island with two kids. But she adds that the strains of deployment are reflected in everything she writes.