I first met Allen, Al to his friends, in the fall of 1991. I was dating someone else, and he was friends with my brother and his first wife. I would try on outfits and ask him what he thought. He was brutally honest! I immediately liked him for that! I was told by my brother’s wife that Al liked me. I had just broken up with the boyfriend and didn’t feel I was ready for anything more. Fate had other plans.
Al was working as an electrician’s apprentice and asked me out. Our fist date was us driving around the suburbs of Chicago while he showed me all the parking lot lights he had put in. I loved it. His enthusiasm was infectious. I was hooked! We married in ’93 and had our children in ’94,’96, ’97, and ’00. 2 girls and 2 boys. He said we had an heir and a spare for each! He was feeling burnt out as an electrician, so he joined the Army and left July 4, 2001. He was 34.
He was allowed to keep in touch during basic because he was so old! This was the first time we had ever been apart for longer than a weekend. We both never realized how hard it could be. I fell down a flight of stairs and broke my leg and needed a new knee. When he found out, he said I’m coming home, you need me. I said, “No ,because you’ll have to start basic all over again”. We got through it. Our first duty station was Fort Polk, La. He made friends quickly. He was a Geronimo. That unit, 509, was his favorite. We were there for 6 years. Then in 2007 we PCS’d to Fort Campbell, Ky. 2 BN 327th B. Co. No Slack. He deployed 3 months later. I wrote everyday. He did as well. We had weekly phone calls.
He kept losing his buddies. I tried to keep the talk as normal as possible. When he got home he had changed. Gone was the sparkle in his wonderful brown eyes. He was haunted. He screamed in his sleep. His smile was not the same. We weren’t the same. We argued all the time. He wouldn’t let me in his world. No one would help me. No one would help him. On Saturday, January 29,2010 Al hung himself in our garage after an argument. Our children were home. I was home. Our oldest had just had her 16th birthday on the 22nd. Our second oldest had just had his 14th birthday on the 28th. He found his father in the garage. I’m 5’4″ and couldn’t reach him to cut him down. My oldest had to do it. I had given him CPR but it didn’t work. He died that day. We all did.
The kids all see a therapist now. I do too. But we miss him so much. There is so much responsibility I feel over this. It has gotten better, but it’s slow going. My heart aches for his hands in mine. My soul aches for his laughter and his presence. All I can do is wait until I can see him again. I have coffee with him every morning and a cup of tea or glass of wine with him at night. He will always be my best friend and soulmate. Thank you for allowing me to get this out. I’m crying as I type, but it’s not the sad, pathetic tears that they normally are. I will be fine, I have to be, for me and our 4 children.
Mrs. Allen D. Corwin