30 August, 2011

CAB Ceremony

{I know it's been a while since my last post, but I finally have something worth talking about!}

Yesterday my husband came home for lunch and informed me that his CAB {Combat Action Badge, for those of you who don't speak Army.} ceremony would be in just a couple hours. At first I thought, Oh great...another ceremony. But it seemed important to him that I attend, so I graciously got off my toosh and got ready. Of course, when we arrived at his company we were told that they'd pushed back the ceremony...3 hours. Just like the Army, right? Well, he was told to go get a hair cut so I went with him to the PX and we ended up going to get groceries....until he got a text saying he was needed. I continued shopping while he walked all over the post. =P The man just spent a year in Iraq hoofing it around the FOB. I wasn't too concerned. Haha. Anyway, after going back and forth to post it was finally time for the ceremony.

It took them forever to get in formation and line up everyone who was getting a CAB...and then we waited for the "important" people {aka officers =P} to show up. They invited the whole two spouses who showed up {I wish I was kidding} to come stand in front of the formation to take pictures. It was then that it kind of hit me that this ceremony really was important.




I stood there talking quietly with another spouse about what had happened that earned this men and women the CAB they were receiving, and it still didn't really sink in...



I was just there supporting my husband, proud of what he'd done to deserve this award.



It wasn't until the LTC started speaking about the attack that earned all but one of these Soldiers the CAB that I started to remember. He's only been home two months, but apparently the fear and the worry I felt during the deployment has completely melted away.

On our way home from the homecoming ceremony, Joe asked me if I'd heard anything about the company possibly getting CABs. I told him I hadn't and suddenly wondered why he asked. I told him that I hadn't received any of those "Your Soldier is OK" emails in a while, so I had no clue what he was talking about. Then he told me. The day they were leaving, his FOB took heavy mortar fire. In fact, the LTC said yesterday that it was the heaviest that FOB had seen since the beginning. The heaviest. And my husband was in it. He told me that had he not left where he was when the incoming alarm went off, he might not be here. I think at that point he realized he was scaring me and left the rest for a couple days later.

Apparently, he and about 20 other Soldiers crammed in a bunker meant for about 10 people while about 19 mortars hit all around them. He showed me pictures of the "tents" {I use quotations because they're less like tents and more like large garages full of cots} that were hit by mortars. These were the tents that he and  most of his company were sleeping in. Window AC units were torn apart and melted by shrapnel. There was a ton of shrapnel in the door to his tent. Buildings torn and ripped... I cried when he showed me these things... I was so incredibly thankful nothing had happened to him...and terrified at the thought that it could have been him. All of my "what ifs" could have come true on the day he was leaving.

Joe would like me to tell you that he knows it's not centered. =P

Now that I fully remember what happened and all of the fear and worry I felt throughout the deployment, I'm glad I watched my husband receive his well-earned CAB. He may not be an Infantry soldier, or someone who fights on the so-called "front lines," but I'd say 19 mortars earned him the right to wear it. I'm just thankful - so thankful - that he made it home to me.

8 comments:

Reccewife said...

Thats pretty cool! I don't think the Canadian army has anything like that, but it's pretty special that you get to go watch him be appreciated like that!

Mr. Superman & Mrs. S. said...

Yayyyy Joe!

JG said...

Wow, that's so neat that you got to be there for that. And again, I'm SO glad he made it home safely!

Katie said...

Wow-- glad you were there and even more glad that he is home!!

Amanda said...

Congratulations on the CAB- it's a hard earned honor he should wear with pride. I am surprised the unit didn't put the ceremony out for more to attend. Glad you made it!

Skinnie Piggie said...

How gut-wrenching to have him tell you the story... I'm so glad he is safe and that you got to attend/take photos.

chambanachik said...

Gosh, a CAB is definitely a big deal. Shame on all the other spouses not supporting their soldiers for something so important. Please tell him thank you for what he did there.

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

Wow! That's a big deal! Congrats!