Sep 28, 2011

No Wonder My Soldier Can’t Sleep!


My husband saw his share of Death.
Eleven years ago, 88 passengers and crew died when Alaska Airlines Flight 261 crashed into the Pacific Ocean off the Ventura County coast, my home town. While I never visited the crash site, I remember the news coverage like it was yesterday. My husband remembers the crash differently. He was one of the first responders at the crash site charged with the task of retrieving human remains. Stationed at Port Hueneme Naval Base, and working for base police at the time, LeeRoy’s job for weeks was to comb the surface of the ocean and collect debris and body parts from the crash site.

LeeRoy worked for the Port Hueneme Base Police Department for seven years and still feels connected to this role. He speaks of the sad day when he patrolled the barracks and found a young cadet hanging in his room. The young soldier had committed suicide. My husband was tasked with the job of taking the young man’s body down.

He also witnessed his own son’s death at age 2 ½. Baby James died of a congenital birth defect called Spina Bifida. Three days after the funeral of his first born son, my husband deployed without his family or even time to grieve.

So, he self medicated!
For the past several years, LeeRoy has taken the prescription medication, Ambien to treat his insomnia. Before then, each night, he drank a bottle of NyQuil to help him sleep. Before that? Crown Royal. He would say, “I don’t know why I can’t sleep. I just can’t!”

Our soldiers personally witness a lot of death.While serving in the desert, they sleep in their uniforms ready to wake and fight at a moments notice. Some say, “I feel afraid for my life 24/7.” It’s no wonder our soldiers can’t sleep!
Now, he sleeps better! 
After LeeRoy accepted Jesus Christ into his heart, things began to change. While, he began to talk about and heal from the death he had seen, I prayed for him to be able to sleep. At first, he was only able to sleep for a few hours. Eventually, he slept more. Sometimes, he still wakes up in the middle of the night, turns on the t.v. and says, "I am done sleeping!" And when he does this, I remind him that through God, there is hope and new life. LeeRoy smiles and then, he goes back to sleep!

To read how I first surrendered to Christ and led my husband to God,  please go to: 
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