“It’s funny, but I had always been an athlete, but had gotten out of shape after having children. When my husband died, I took up running to take my mind off of things and clear my head and it became instant therapy and helped me to cope. Now, it’s a necessary habit and my oldest son has joined me. It’s the time when anger, hurt, and sadness seems to be released. Anyway, I saw many posts and thought I would share about my soldier. My husband, MSGT Charles Allen Young, committed suicide June 10, 2013, just 9 days short of our 14 year wedding anniversary. He was 33. He joined the army in high school, left for basic at FT Benning Ga, right after graduation and was an Infantryman through and through.
We were high school sweethearts and were married June 19, 1999. He was stationed in FT Riley, KS. He deployed to Bosnia, and was part of a peace keeping mission, but told about the sadness of watching people look for remains and memories of family members in mass grave sites. He came home and decided not to reenlist active duty, even after being begged by his commanding officers. He was a good solider. He joined National Guard rather and became an MP. He came home, started college, and was then deployed right after 9/11 to Afghanistan. He was one of the first guard units sent over to that area. They took prisoners, questioned and detained people, and worked close with the CIA on missions. He came home after 10 months. He started back to college, we moved to a new town so I could get a job teaching, and sure enough, 4 months after being off orders they deployed him and his MP until to Iraq. It was brutal! It was happening again, and honestly I have no idea what he did in Iraq. It was not talked about or discussed. After 10 more months he came home. He went to BLET and became a police officer. He struggled. I would find him sitting in the living room with a gun rocking. He didn’t sleep. He worked out like an insane person. He was never still. He was still doing National Guard and never left the military since the day he enlisted. He struggled being faithful to me, even though I know he loved me more than anything. He had demons and battled them silently. He applied for an active duty AGR position as a recruiter and got it. It was worse than war. The hours were horrible, the stress was horrible. When things were good, they were great, and when they were bad, it was hell.
We had a son, who is now 7 and they bonded instantly. He was the biggest hero and an amazing dad. When my son was 3, I was pregnant with a little girl, Ava. Allen was stressed and working all the time. He was traveling to this and that meeting or conference. To make a long and sad story short, I went into labor at 38 weeks. The cord got wrapped around her neck, cut off the air supply and she died. I delivered her with Allen by my side and we cried together. Our world was shattered. I kept thinking, the deployments, the pain, the cheating, the death of my daughter, this had to be my bad thing. Everyone has a bad thing. Recruiting became hard. Our lives were dependent on 18 year old punks and silly girls who wanted attention and had no intention of enlisting or what it meant to have pride in your country.
I became pregnant with our youngest son, age 3 now. The entire pregnancy was just waiting for this baby die. 1 week before our son was born, Allen locked himself in Ava’s room, painted it, packed all the girl clothes away, and cried, so that I could go into that room. We had our healthy son and life was good. Again, recruiting became hard. He wasn’t making mission. He was on hours. He stressed and cussed and talked about leaving and if something happened to him, what I was to do. I finally talked him into going to the VA. He went. He applied to be seen. He received a letter in the mail, stating that his rank (SFC) was too high, we made too much money and he needed to seek help elsewhere. He did not go anywhere. He was ashamed and embarrassed. He wouldn’t go on meds because he said he could lose his job. He lied on every mental health form because if they found out he would lose his job. If he put the truth on the form after those deployments, he would be held back and not get to come home. It is a messed up system. June 9, he received a call that he would be visited by the SGT Major concerning some accusations, the next day. He cleaned his office, and stressed. He had signed a counseling statement the week before, for being 7 behind in enlistments. He was on hours. We never saw him.
I dropped him off at work at 6:30am June 10, because his truck had broken down and was in the shop. He met the SGT major. I found out later, incidents of infidelity had been questioned. He admitted it, signed a statement, without any of his bosses, chain of command, fellow recruiters present. He only texted me that day. No one else could get him to answer his phone or respond to texts. He wrote a letter. He bought me an anniversary card. He wrote out an email to his boss Master SGT. He sent me an email at 2:30 of our daughters grave and new flowers he had bought. I responded what an amazing dad you are. He sent me sweet messages all day. He asked me when I would be home from work so we could spend some time together, because our kids were at my moms. He sent me a text message at 3:56pm, saying he was so sorry he had taken me for granted and he loved me with all of his heart. Then he said “want to have a movie night”. I responded with, “you’re scaring me.” 30 minutes later, police arrived at my door. He had shot himself at our daughter’s grave. He waited until the police arrived so no one else would find him. He had sent the email telling what he wanted, where I was, and where he was. He told them where all important documents were, and told them he had been unfaithful, but that wasn’t what this was about. He said I would forgive him because I had before. He said that he couldn’t deal with the pain from deployments and not being good enough anymore. He was gone. I was left to pick up the pieces. He was an amazing, decorated soldier. He was a dedicated, loving, father. Despite, his need to boost his ego, he was a good husband, who I loved with everything that I am. He is forever a part of me, and I will fight whomever I have to fight, to make sure that no wife, no child, has to through what we are surviving. Thank you for listening, and letting me share. Thank you for what you are doing. Thank you for honoring, men and women, like my husband.” From Amanda