I have always thought that I would get around to writing my story. And now that it’s been 6 years it’s time. I’ve always started and stopped at the same time….I could never find the right words to describe my husband, my hero, and my guardian angel. Well here it goes, it’s better late then never.
I met my husband Dave in August of 2004. I had just gotten divorced and was getting my feet wet in the dating world. Much to my mothers dismay, online. With working so much that’s the only way I had a life. And I’m so glad that I did otherwise I wouldn’t have experienced the greatest love of my life. I digress…. I saw his picture online and he really wasn’t my “normal type” that I was attracted to. We decided to meet up at a Claim Jumpers restaurant in Tukwila for drinks (my momma didn’t raise a fool, public place). The first thing I noticed right away was his beautiful green eyes, a smile that could light up and room and a laugh that could draw you in. I was smitten right away. From there we went and saw the movie Without a Paddle, and laughed the night away, so much so that from that moment on we were together.
Fast-forward to Valentine’s day 2005 he asked me to marry him. I said yes and since we both had been previously married we decided to marry in Vegas, which we did a day after his birthday (so he could never forget the date), April 27,2005. That was the best day of my life, our best friends came with us to be our witnesses. And since neither of our families could attend had it aired live for them to see our joyous union.
Shortly beforehand he decided to move to a unit to stay in Washington State, at Fort Lewis ( he really loved it there). With the new unit he would be deploying to Iraq, ( my worst nightmare).
Well, needless to say, he did deploy in April of 2007. I thought I could handle it, after all this wouldn’t be my first time. My dad who is retired Air Force did a few tours during desert storm. And having my family close by was a good thing, Dave thought of everything, he didn’t want me not surrounded by my family.
We talked as much as we could, I sent him a cell phone so we could text as much as possible, did yahoo chat, I even got to see him whenever he was able to get to a computer that had webcam.
Now comes the hardest part, my husband was killed on September 5th,2007. Not in the way a soldier would want either, he was killed by one of our own…..
Wow right?????…. I’ll never forget the day I was notified I just came home from work… It doesn’t happen like it does in the movies. There was an Officer and a Chaplin that came, apparently they had been trying to notify me all day. And everyone else in my neighborhood figured it out before I was actually told ( we lived on post). There were some ladies standing in the street, I paid them no mind and went into the house. Then the dreaded doorbell ring, where unbeknownst to me my life would forever be changed. Are you Michelle Cooper??? Wife of SFC David A Cooper Jr..??? Once it was established I was they continued by saying “on behalf of the president and a grateful nation we regret to inform you”…….
I knew something wasn’t right. I asked what happened of course they couldn’t tell me because there was an investigation going on. I had to lay my husband to rest without knowing the truth, I still don’t know everything. The person that killed him roams free to enjoy his life. There was a trial, and my husbands killer got 24 months in jail I know right??? It was deemed negligent, wanton disregard for human life. So instead of murder, it was considered far less. And the worst part is that he got out after serving 18 months for good behavior…. I was so bitter with the Army, how could they protect a killer while slander my husbands good reputation, after all he had given 19 years to the Army, had so many glowing reviews, etc. sometimes I feel like I’m still so damn bitter… My love hate relationship with the Army… Still continues to this day.
There isn’t a day that doesn’t go by that I don’t think of my husband or the sacrifice that we had to make. He will always be my hero.
I have managed to move on with my life, one that I thought was over. I never thought that I would be widowed at 31 or that my husband would stay forever 36.
I’m so thankful for him, he provided me with so much, showed me what true love was all about.
I had to kiss a few frogs before him and after him, because he wasn’t and isn’t replaceable.
I know he’s looking down at me and watching over me, and helping me make some dreams come true.
I’m finally a mommy, I have a beautiful 2 1/2 month old baby girl with a good man. God does work in mysterious ways. Interesting how some prayers are answered and some aren’t.
So I continue to live my life for not only myself, for my daughter but especially for the man that couldn’t.. I hope my story can help others. I know it’s a way of keeping my Dave alive by talking about him. And or always look forward, I know I will see him again one day….
To my love, my hero and guardian angel there isn’t a day that you aren’t missed.
In honor and loving memory SFC David A Cooper Jr.