Packing up this morning once again to get a plane to travel to a fellow military family member in need, well not just one this time, there are four families. They all have different needs, have a range of concerns and all of them have been waiting for my team and I to assemble to assist. We are all now together and will be going to visit to help advocate, educate and honor fellow military families members and the service member in need.
I have been told by people that my life is "So cool" and seems "So glamorous" I can tell you there is nothing cool or glamorous about walking into a hospital knowing that you are about to meet a terminal service member or veteran and his family to help them cope and deal with the unknown. Usually the wives or mothers make the first initial contact with us as the Military Veteran Project because of attachment with the life Jamie and I had dealt with, the life triumphed in, never losing our faith or love for one another nor our country. Once the service member or veteran read or watch our videos, they have questions, they want to educate themselves on the world of the living for their family after their gone and they want to know about the world of dying. Each time I enter the hospital room, feelings of unity over whelm me, instantly we are family. I bring packets of information from the VA, DOD & MVP- We give the family an outreach coordinator from the Military Veteran Project and then we listen to their concerns, their worries and everything on their mind.
Each story is different and this weekend I will be visiting my 113th family in the last nearly two years since Jamie passed. Never does it get easier to walk in or try to calm a sobbing mother who is kissing her son goodbye a hundred times a day because she doesn't want to miss a moment that may be her last. Or to watch a father try to carry his child with the one arm he has left from an RPG that took his three other limbs.
As harsh as this all may sound, I know that each day I make the effort to assist Active duty, retired, wounded and military families, I am doing something that others may not have time for nor have the resources to be able to do. How can I sit at home in my pretty glass house as I get emails from people across the nation asking for assistance and just shun them and tell them sorry I can not help you. When I know exactly how it feels to be in that position and ask everyone for help and to hear that they are too busy, unable to travel due to money or that they do not have the answers.. I remember each day I sat next to Jamie's bed as a he laid on life support, searching the internet and calling hundreds of people and asking for direction or assistance only to hear "Im sorry.." All I wanted was for someone to help me advocate, educate and honor my husband... and today that is what I do along with hundreds of volunteers nationwide, we stop our lives to assist our Military veterans and families.
My name is Melissa Jarboe, military spouse, wounded warrior wife and war widow. Today and everyday moving forward, I will honor the sacrifice of our men and women who selflessly serve our nation.