“I see a darkness — I feel cold…something is not right.”

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"Welcome home!" -- DoD photo

Many military spouses deserve Purple Hearts of their own for dealing with their troops when they return home. The Army is trying to help with week-long sessions for them at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington. The “Significant Others Support Group” offers basic training in how to deal with multiple deployments and the combat stresses many troops bring home with them. They’re taught resilience skills that help them grapple with the challenges, along with meditation and acupuncture.

Here’s a report from the front lines of the latest group, now underway:

By MSgt Gayla Amor Romanowsky, USAF-Active Duty

I’ve been in the AF for over 15 years. My husband recently retired from the Air Force. We’ve been married for over 8 years and he was deployed for 2 years in a 3 year timeframe to Iraq. My husband was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart and I am not only his proud supporter– I am his #1 Fan! I want spouses and significant others of our wounded warriors to know they are not alone.

Just because I’m in the Air Force doesn’t mean I understand fully what my husband has gone through. It is important to reach out to the people and spread the awareness. I want people to know they are alone and they will always have someone that they can talk to!

Tuesday was day 2! I haven’t been able to sleep since I got here. Listening to other wives tell there stories I feel guilty. I feel guilty because I have passed that phase that they are just now experiencing. I just want them all to know it can get better if both wife and husband want it to get better. I went through the phase of initial SHOCK! Who is this person and what happened to my husband? He looks and smells like my husband….but what is that look in his eye? I see a darkness — I feel cold…something is not right. He looks fine — but what is wrong?

I could easily start to run with how it was a few years ago — but this wouldn’t be a blog…it would be a book! Everything in my head — all my responsibilities — not only as a Superintendent in the Air Force — but as a wife, a best friend, and a Mom.

When I talk to people I’ve learned to talk less and to listen. Truly listen and be supportive — I can relate — everything we talk about — I remember — I just want to cry — because its very emotional and overwhelming and now I not only have what I went through but what all these wives are NOW going through. I want to hug everyone and tell them it would be ok — but I don’t know for sure.

I am opened minded to anything they throw at me. I want to be educated and I want to know what my husband went through. I want to know how he felt — what he thought — what he learned. Everything I learned today — I want to take back and share with my husband and see once I’m done helping myself — I want to help him. I’m very thankful to be here and I’m looking forward to the next day!

Til tomorrow…..

Gayla “Romo” Romanowsky
“Dave Romanowsky’s #1 Fan!”