I'm taking a break from writing about my crazy life because I want to share with you this story. God blesses us with people in our lives that leave such an impact on you, that it drives you to be a better person.
I met Kathleen (aka Katie, I think I'm the only one who actually still calls her Kathleen hehe) in 6th grade and by 7th grade we became best friends and we have been so ever since. She's one of the most selfless people I have ever met. Here is a bit of her story.
We graduated in 2002 and she headed to the East Coast for college and got engaged. The following summer of 2003 they were married. The next 7 years were spent hopping around the U.S.
First stop was Columbus, Georgia (Ft. Benning) in July of 2003 for a total of 9 months. For the first 4 months he was gone every other week (but home every weekend). Then 2 of those months he worked "regular" hours from 5am to 6pm. Then he was gone for 3 months for his Ranger school.
Next stop was up to Fairbanks, AK (Ft. Wainwright) in July of 2004. After 2 weeks of being up there he had to go out in the field for a few weeks and got home just in time to help move them into their house. After being home a week he had to go away for a month. Two days before Christmas they found out that he would be deploying to Iraq in the summer. In May he left for training for another month and then deployed sometime late July/early August.
He was deployed for 16 months.
Then they headed to Poquoson, Virginia (Ft. Monroe). He had a normal job with normal hours for once. After he got out of the military that April (2008) and took a government contract job then he had to travel about 1 1/2 weeks per month and that job lasted 4 months. Then he had 5 months of FBI training, where she flew out and visited twice for the longer weekends.
Then they arrived in Milwaukee, WI on the first day of 2009. He had to do quite a bit of traveling, usually one work week at a time, once every other month.
Needless to say, they bounced around quite a bit, as military families do. She stayed in school via online courses and also picked up jobs in several of the places they lived. Making friends, establishing community in churches and continuing to be a supportive wife.
In the fall of 2009 her world fell apart. She called me sobbing. Crushed. Broken. During his FBI training he had an affair. And he was having an affair at that moment with another (different) woman. He told her, fully expecting her to just walk out on him.
Never in a million years did I foresee this. He was in love with her. They were all each other ever knew. They made a commitment to the Lord. He treated her like a princess. She followed him everywhere he went, faithful at each point. It blew my mind.
She came out to the West Coast to be near family, to think and pray and process. She made it clear she was in the marriage for life. She would do whatever it took to save it. She promised him she would not leave.
He ended up coming out the West Coast and they traveled home together. With him promising he wanted to work on things.
To make a long story short, over the next several months he would remain unfaithful and yet tell her he didn't want to end things. Finally it became clear he was not willing to give up his outside relationship. He decided to abandon their marriage after 7 years.
To be continued....