“Unremarried Widow” — A Military Wife’s Memoir

The Military Spouse Book Review

reviewed by Simone Gorrindo (Army)

When Andria first asked me to review Artis Henderson’s debut memoir, Unremarried Widow, I was hesitant.

I’d been wanting to read the book for some time, but the cliché is true: that knock on my front door really is my worst nightmare. There’s a dark corner of my mind where that nightmare lives, a place I try my best to avoid, and I knew that to read Henderson’s grief would be to go to that place and stay there for a while. And parts of Henderson’s book were painful to read – I wept when the casualty officers informed her, in standard cold military language, of her husband’s death; when she discovered a video of him among his things that he’d intended to send her before he died; when she took off her wedding ring for the first time. But, mostly, I felt awe…

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Published by: Warriors With PTSD

There are so many things that make me. I am a mother, wife, retiree of the U.S Army and a combat injured soldier. My last deployment was at most difficult. Months before my final deployment I got out of the military and I had a great job with the navy. Then out of the blue I received a fed ex package ordering me back to active duty. I loved serving my country but this time it felt forced. There would be 50 irr soldiers that I would MOB with and they felt the safe way. In the end we stepped up to the plate and we did our jobs. I would end up in Mosul, Iraq which was still a hot zone. We got stuck in a national guard unit that never deployed and that caused a lot of stress amongst the ranks. All of us irr had mos q'ed and had security clearance but this unit didn't do these preparations before deployment. So we would be doing the dangerous stuff even though it was not our job . I was a 25 bravo which is networking . On this deployment I worked a check point outside Mosul searching trucks and people for contraband and bombs. We we're 6 pm to 6 am and trucks could be lined up for days as there was on a few of us searching . Most nights were busy , wet and cold. I did a lot of body searching and retina scanning as well. One night we had the Air Force coming and they cleared their 50 cal on us. That was the beginning of the crazy. Me and another soldier would head to Baghdad for a quick training and once we returned we worked longer shifts. Every soldier has issues but some can't deal with going to work and knowing you could die.For myself I just did the job and tried not to stress about death. Then one day one the soldiers I worked with was having issues and he took his pistol and shot himself in the head right in front of us. I tried to put his head back together but he was gone. This haunts me because I didn't talk to him much. I should of though. That was March. In May I was at work and we had six cement trucks roll up. We had been on high alert but you can't know when the attack would come. I was standing a flat bed and I was going through the trucks boxes and the next thug I know I am waking up and my head hurts. My would throb for months and my jaw was shattered. I would would be sent to Germany and ended up in a warrior transition battalion for medical treatment. It was been five years now and I am medically retired and a 100 percent through the va. I failed to deal with my PTSD and it has caught up. Now I want to help those like me. I am female and that makes me different.

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