Growing up in a military family I have a very special place in my heart for the men and women who serve our country. When I say this, I don’t just mean those who are in uniform. I mean the wives and husbands who love these men and women back home and support their spouses wholeheartedly to serve our country. Many times that support ends in a sacrifice and a loss that is unfathomable. No amount of empathy, sympathy, encouragement, or support can fill the void that has been left in their lives. The phrase hero is not thrown around lightly in my opinion when it comes to them. So many are left to become the Mother AND Father to their children. After the initial show of support subsides, they are left to pick up the pieces of a shattered life and start the rebuilding. They are left to singlehandedly raise their children in a way that honors their lost hero all the while struggling to manage their own personal grief.
There are two amazing women I know back home in Virginia Beach who have lost their husbands in battle. A war they were fighting, to keep OUR freedom in tact. Their husbands, who were their best friends and the fathers of their sons, lost their lives while defending ours.
I went to school with Christopher Cabacoy and can still remember that infectious laugh and smile of his. There was a goodness about Chris that you could just feel whenever you were around him. His wife Tami Espino Cabacoy is one of those heroes who is now raising their son Aiden in a way that will honor Chris’s memory. We lost Chris on July 5, 2010 when an IED detonated near his vehicle in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Stacey Lucas- Workman lost her husband, Navy Seal, Jason Workman on August 6, 2011 in Afghanistan when his chinook helicopter was shot down during Operation Enduring Freedom. She too has a son, Jax, who she now has the blessing of raising to be a brave and honorable man like his father, but the curse of having to do it without Jason. Although I never met Jason personally, I have known Stacey for years and can only imagine the incredible man that Jason was.
These women have carried on in a spirit of courage, strength, and grace beyond belief in the face of their worst nightmare. These are just two heroes. There are thousands like them who are having to cope with this unimaginable pain and heartache. That is why I want to spotlight The America Widow Project this month. Please visit their website and spread the word. These men and women deserve not only our time, but out continued support and gratitude for their service and sacrifice to and for this country that we so freely live in. God bless all of you heroes and your little ones. Words can not adequately express my love and respect for you.