There are so many memories I would like to share with you. I met Tom in Nov. 1992. I was working at a store in the mall and Tom had been transferred to the same mall…

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The Story of Us

Posted By Kate, Proud Military Widow of Sgt. Thomas G. Wright

I guess I should start at the beginning.

There are so many memories I would like to share with you.

I met Tom in Nov. 1992.I was working at a store in the mall and Tom had been transferred to the same mall working at a store near me. He came into the store and said,“Hi, I just got transferred and I wanted to see if I could make some friends,” I thought ‘what a geek’. My friend / Manager saw that we would make a good couple and made sure we had the same breaks. Our first official date was November 6th, 1992. We met at Bennigans. I drove separate because I wanted to be sure if I needed to get away I could. I didn’t and that date continued back at my house where I lived with my parents.

We talked, kissed and talked some more. Before I knew it was 4am. My dad woke up and I thought, I am in big trouble!All he said was, “Anyone for coffee?” Tom Left and his mom was hopping mad that he was out all night.  The next date we at had was a double date and we went roller skating, Tom fell. I didn’t realize that he had injured himself until the next morning when he passed out on the phone with his mom and which O had to pick up and explain to her that he was injured, and that I was Kate and nothing happened.  I also had to reassure her that I slept on the couch to make sure he was ok. He didn’t want to go to the hospital but I made him and we found out he had broke his tail bone.

At Christmas time Tom would pop his head in the store I worked at and say, “It’s Irish”….. He was giving me little hints on the gift he he was planning on giving me. That just about drove me crazy! One day Tom and I were walking around the mall at our break and we stopped in a store … I had asked an employee if he knew anything that was Irish that I could get as a gift… he said a cladah ring… I said, “Oh My Gosh that is what you gave me isn’t it?” He was disappointed that I guessed what I was getting,but he gave it to me on Christmas Eve. It was attached to a crystal rose I loved it.. I still have that ring and I remember that first Christmas we had together. We dated for about 5 months until he asked me to marry him. We were at Mountain Jackswhen he proposed.  He had placed the ring in a chocolate cake. I said “yes” and we were married Aug 14, 1993. The day was beautiful and hot. We went to Cancun for our honeymoon.

We decided to try for a family 5 years later and I found out I couldn’t conceive. So we took a break from trying to get pregnant. Tom joined the Michigan National Guard Nov. of 2000. When he came back from boot camp we decided to go see a fertility specialist. On July 2001 we finally conceived after 2 infertos .Tom was so happy! I can’t remember the last time I saw that big of a smile on his face except for the day we got married. When September 11th happened I was so frightened that he was going to be deployed out to Iraq or somewhere. I finally stopped worrying about him leaving and on March of 2002 we got that dreadful phone call that he was going to leave for Washington D.C..

Tom came home for the birth of our baby girl Alexis Josephine, weight 8lbs 4 oz at 8:23 pm April 12, 2002. Seeing Tom hold lexi for the first time brought tears to my eyes that we finally had a family, but he was going to miss the first year of her life. He was able to come home every 6 weeks for 4 days, and we talked everyday at least twice a day.

He was able to feed Lexi cereal for the first time and give her first bath and he totally fell in love with her, as I did too. I could see the love he felt for Lexi every time he held her. I loved Tom even more for being a good father and a good husband. Don’t get me wrong, we had our rocky times, however we knew that we could work out anything because that is how much we loved each other.

The end of the deployment came to a close and we began to have a family life. He was able to see her walk for the first time. We had our different ways of disciplining.To Lexi I was the “mean” one and Tom was the “Disney Dad “.  The only way I can describe him was as Lexi’s best friend. They did everything together.

Everything was calm and quiet, as far as deployments, until Sept 2005. Tom went to help Hurricane Katrina. I was so proud of him. He wanted to help in so many ways and this made him feel good inside. I was left to move a house, and thank God for the help of friends and family. He was gone for 5 weeks and returned home by Jan 2006. He was told that he may have to go to Iraq. I knew this was going to happen but I didn’t think so soon.

We enjoyed a cruise to the Bahamas and we really knew we had to get as emotionally close as possible to survive this deployment. We went to marriage counseling so we could be proactive and we did begin to have some issues and stressors that really made our marriage fall apart. Thank God right before the deployment we decided that we needed to have a heart to heart talk and we realized that it was us being so upset over this deployment and it wasn’t worth our marriage.

Tom deployed out July 9th, 2006. He was in Fort Dix New Jersey till Sept 24th. Our 13th anniversary was Aug 14th and he sent me roses like he did every year. 13 Red roses to represent the years he loved me and 12 White to represent how much our friendship meant to him.  He came home for 4 days in September.  We really enjoyed ourselves as a family. Watching Lexi with Tom really put a lot of things into perspective, especially how much he loved the both of us.

The day finally came to say goodbye to Tom as he left for Iraq. Not to hear from him for days and days at a time just killed me. We had arguments over it and sometimes the phone calls ended badly. We got through Thanksgiving and Christmas. Tom called me On New Year’s Eve and stayed on the phone till the ball dropped at midnight. We said “I love you” to each other and he hung up…Tom came home for R&R Feb 12th and stayed till Feb 27th. He tried so hard to surprise us with his leave because he wasn’t supposed to come home till July. He thought I knew and spilled the beans, but I was able to surprise Lexi and boy was she surprised! We left for the airport to pick him up and he was running one direction and I saw him and I stifled my reaction till Lexi saw her daddy first. A couple saw us and gave us their pineapple that they got from Hawaii. We went home. Tom and I sat up all night talking hugging and holding each other in bed.

We went to a resort while he was here and we made a pact that we would not fight for the rest of the deployment, and we didn’t. The morning Tom left I called Nicole and I was crying … saying I thought I was never going to see him again. Till this day I will always believe we were soul mates because of all the feelings I had before he died.

He surprised both Lexi and I one day and gave us each a bouquet of flowers. I was totally surprised. He was so pleased because he finally was able to surprise me. We celebrated his birthday April 5th over the phone and web cam, Lexi sang to him.

May approached very quickly. I was sad because he was going to miss Mother’s day and decidied to take Lexi out to get a small gift. She enjoyed going shopping with her daddy. Tom talked with Lexi and flowers were at my door the day before Mothers Day, I loved them they were beautiful. For some odd reason I felt moody and irritable but I couldn’t figure out why. I ended up having a great day with my girlfriend and I went to the spa and had a massage and then went to dinner to treat ourselves for.

The next Morning was Mothers Day. I received a phone call from Iraq. It was a doctor who had informed me that Tom was very ill. They called it VSI(very seriously ill). I was confused and and didn’t quite understand what was happening. The doctor tried to put Tom on the phone with me and all we got to say was each other’s name because he began to get sick. I thought maybe he had heat stroke or something.  The doctor said he would keep in touch with me in regards to his condition.

Later on that day I received a second phone call from Iraq and he told me he had arrested 3 times and that they needed to stabilize him first before he could be transferred to Germany. My heart sank. My girlfriend Nicole came over and stayed with me .She helped me make arrangements and left for the evening. I called her around 2 am and told her that Tom had arrived but they couldn’t tell me his condition. By 3 am I heard a door bell ring and my heart fell to the ground, I knew who it was behind that door.

I crept down the stairs hyperventilating. I answered the door and 2 military personnel came in and told me the news,  Tom died in route to Germany 1.5 hours into the flight. I thought I died. I called Nicole back and she hurried back to my house.  My life stood still and I was numb. I couldn’t react and I couldn’t feel. Our Lives together for the last 13 years flashed by me in seconds and I began to cry. My daughter was at her friend’s house. When she came home I had to explain to her somehow that her daddy wasn’t coming home and that he had passed on.

I sat Lexi down and told her that daddy’s heart was very sick and that God sent his angels to take him up to Heaven. She began to cry and she drew a picture of our family, with her daddy’s heart floating up to Heaven. We tucked that into his hands the day of his burial.

The day I went to Get Tom from the airport I was feeling very woozy.  I had to have my CAO officer and my friend Nicole hold me up. When the doors opened to the airplane I felt as if I was experiencing an out of body experience.

We got to the funeral home and I was the first one to see him. I cried and laughed because they had put so much blush on him and lipstick that he looked like a drag queen. If you can imagine seeing a military soldier in uniform and lots of makeup……

The day of his funeral I had no feeling. I didn’t shed a tear. I barely remember that day. 3 weeks later I bursted into tears and I couldn’t stop from then on. I felt as if my life was at a standstill. I couldn’t live without Tom. How was I going to raise my daughter and be happy at the same time?

He was my soul mate and he was gone …so was my soul.

It has been 11 months now and I am a lot better… I am able to do things I never thought I could do. I am very proud of myself for so many accomplishments I have had during this year.

“Will I ever marry again?” I don’t know, but I do know I still love Tom and he will always have a piece of my heart always.

Tom was a very caring and loyal man to me and everyone around him.He loved Bike racing. The joke was always said that Tom quit Bike racing when he met me … the truth is he quit way before we met(lol).

I know that I still have a lot of unresolved issues in regards to Tom’s death as far as not being able to tell him I love him one more time, or how proud I was to be his wife, or how I will always make sure that Lexi knows how much he loved her.

As a wife, lover, and best friend you always think that you would be by your husband’s side the day he passes on. I wanted that to happen and he died alone on a plane and it hurts my heart to know that someone I cared about so deeply had to go through such a painful experience and not to have me by his side holding his hand and telling him over and over how much I loved him.

The Story of Us

I guess I should start at the beginning.

There are so many memories I would like to share with you.

I met Tom in Nov. 1992.I was working at a store in the mall and Tom had been transferred to the same mall working at a store near me. He came into the store and said,“Hi, I just got transferred and I wanted to see if I could make some friends,” I thought ‘what a geek’. My friend / Manager saw that we would make a good couple and made sure we had the same breaks. Our first official date was November 6th, 1992. We met at Bennigans. I drove separate because I wanted to be sure if I needed to get away I could. I didn’t and that date continued back at my house where I lived with my parents.

We talked, kissed and talked some more. Before I knew it was 4am. My dad woke up and I thought, I am in big trouble!All he said was, “Anyone for coffee?” Tom Left and his mom was hopping mad that he was out all night.  The next date we at had was a double date and we went roller skating, Tom fell. I didn’t realize that he had injured himself until the next morning when he passed out on the phone with his mom and which O had to pick up and explain to her that he was injured, and that I was Kate and nothing happened.  I also had to reassure her that I slept on the couch to make sure he was ok. He didn’t want to go to the hospital but I made him and we found out he had broke his tail bone.

At Christmas time Tom would pop his head in the store I worked at and say, “It’s Irish”….. He was giving me little hints on the gift he he was planning on giving me. That just about drove me crazy! One day Tom and I were walking around the mall at our break and we stopped in a store … I had asked an employee if he knew anything that was Irish that I could get as a gift… he said a cladah ring… I said, “Oh My Gosh that is what you gave me isn’t it?” He was disappointed that I guessed what I was getting,but he gave it to me on Christmas Eve. It was attached to a crystal rose I loved it.. I still have that ring and I remember that first Christmas we had together. We dated for about 5 months until he asked me to marry him. We were at Mountain Jackswhen he proposed.  He had placed the ring in a chocolate cake. I said “yes” and we were married Aug 14, 1993. The day was beautiful and hot. We went to Cancun for our honeymoon.

We decided to try for a family 5 years later and I found out I couldn’t conceive. So we took a break from trying to get pregnant. Tom joined the Michigan National Guard Nov. of 2000. When he came back from boot camp we decided to go see a fertility specialist. On July 2001 we finally conceived after 2 infertos .Tom was so happy! I can’t remember the last time I saw that big of a smile on his face except for the day we got married. When September 11th happened I was so frightened that he was going to be deployed out to Iraq or somewhere. I finally stopped worrying about him leaving and on March of 2002 we got that dreadful phone call that he was going to leave for Washington D.C..

Tom came home for the birth of our baby girl Alexis Josephine, weight 8lbs 4 oz at 8:23 pm April 12, 2002. Seeing Tom hold lexi for the first time brought tears to my eyes that we finally had a family, but he was going to miss the first year of her life. He was able to come home every 6 weeks for 4 days, and we talked everyday at least twice a day.

He was able to feed Lexi cereal for the first time and give her first bath and he totally fell in love with her, as I did too. I could see the love he felt for Lexi every time he held her. I loved Tom even more for being a good father and a good husband. Don’t get me wrong, we had our rocky times, however we knew that we could work out anything because that is how much we loved each other.

The end of the deployment came to a close and we began to have a family life. He was able to see her walk for the first time. We had our different ways of disciplining.To Lexi I was the “mean” one and Tom was the “Disney Dad “.  The only way I can describe him was as Lexi’s best friend. They did everything together.

Everything was calm and quiet, as far as deployments, until Sept 2005. Tom went to help Hurricane Katrina. I was so proud of him. He wanted to help in so many ways and this made him feel good inside. I was left to move a house, and thank God for the help of friends and family. He was gone for 5 weeks and returned home by Jan 2006. He was told that he may have to go to Iraq. I knew this was going to happen but I didn’t think so soon.

We enjoyed a cruise to the Bahamas and we really knew we had to get as emotionally close as possible to survive this deployment. We went to marriage counseling so we could be proactive and we did begin to have some issues and stressors that really made our marriage fall apart. Thank God right before the deployment we decided that we needed to have a heart to heart talk and we realized that it was us being so upset over this deployment and it wasn’t worth our marriage.

Tom deployed out July 9th, 2006. He was in Fort Dix New Jersey till Sept 24th. Our 13th anniversary was Aug 14th and he sent me roses like he did every year. 13 Red roses to represent the years he loved me and 12 White to represent how much our friendship meant to him.  He came home for 4 days in September.  We really enjoyed ourselves as a family. Watching Lexi with Tom really put a lot of things into perspective, especially how much he loved the both of us.

The day finally came to say goodbye to Tom as he left for Iraq. Not to hear from him for days and days at a time just killed me. We had arguments over it and sometimes the phone calls ended badly. We got through Thanksgiving and Christmas. Tom called me On New Year’s Eve and stayed on the phone till the ball dropped at midnight. We said “I love you” to each other and he hung up…Tom came home for R&R Feb 12th and stayed till Feb 27th. He tried so hard to surprise us with his leave because he wasn’t supposed to come home till July. He thought I knew and spilled the beans, but I was able to surprise Lexi and boy was she surprised! We left for the airport to pick him up and he was running one direction and I saw him and I stifled my reaction till Lexi saw her daddy first. A couple saw us and gave us their pineapple that they got from Hawaii. We went home. Tom and I sat up all night talking hugging and holding each other in bed.

We went to a resort while he was here and we made a pact that we would not fight for the rest of the deployment, and we didn’t. The morning Tom left I called Nicole and I was crying … saying I thought I was never going to see him again. Till this day I will always believe we were soul mates because of all the feelings I had before he died.

He surprised both Lexi and I one day and gave us each a bouquet of flowers. I was totally surprised. He was so pleased because he finally was able to surprise me. We celebrated his birthday April 5th over the phone and web cam, Lexi sang to him.

May approached very quickly. I was sad because he was going to miss Mother’s day and decidied to take Lexi out to get a small gift. She enjoyed going shopping with her daddy. Tom talked with Lexi and flowers were at my door the day before Mothers Day, I loved them they were beautiful. For some odd reason I felt moody and irritable but I couldn’t figure out why. I ended up having a great day with my girlfriend and I went to the spa and had a massage and then went to dinner to treat ourselves for.

The next Morning was Mothers Day. I received a phone call from Iraq. It was a doctor who had informed me that Tom was very ill. They called it VSI(very seriously ill). I was confused and and didn’t quite understand what was happening. The doctor tried to put Tom on the phone with me and all we got to say was each other’s name because he began to get sick. I thought maybe he had heat stroke or something.  The doctor said he would keep in touch with me in regards to his condition.

Later on that day I received a second phone call from Iraq and he told me he had arrested 3 times and that they needed to stabilize him first before he could be transferred to Germany. My heart sank. My girlfriend Nicole came over and stayed with me .She helped me make arrangements and left for the evening. I called her around 2 am and told her that Tom had arrived but they couldn’t tell me his condition. By 3 am I heard a door bell ring and my heart fell to the ground, I knew who it was behind that door.

I crept down the stairs hyperventilating. I answered the door and 2 military personnel came in and told me the news,  Tom died in route to Germany 1.5 hours into the flight. I thought I died. I called Nicole back and she hurried back to my house.  My life stood still and I was numb. I couldn’t react and I couldn’t feel. Our Lives together for the last 13 years flashed by me in seconds and I began to cry. My daughter was at her friend’s house. When she came home I had to explain to her somehow that her daddy wasn’t coming home and that he had passed on.

I sat Lexi down and told her that daddy’s heart was very sick and that God sent his angels to take him up to Heaven. She began to cry and she drew a picture of our family, with her daddy’s heart floating up to Heaven. We tucked that into his hands the day of his burial.

The day I went to Get Tom from the airport I was feeling very woozy.  I had to have my CAO officer and my friend Nicole hold me up. When the doors opened to the airplane I felt as if I was experiencing an out of body experience.

We got to the funeral home and I was the first one to see him. I cried and laughed because they had put so much blush on him and lipstick that he looked like a drag queen. If you can imagine seeing a military soldier in uniform and lots of makeup……

The day of his funeral I had no feeling. I didn’t shed a tear. I barely remember that day. 3 weeks later I bursted into tears and I couldn’t stop from then on. I felt as if my life was at a standstill. I couldn’t live without Tom. How was I going to raise my daughter and be happy at the same time?

He was my soul mate and he was gone …so was my soul.

It has been 11 months now and I am a lot better… I am able to do things I never thought I could do. I am very proud of myself for so many accomplishments I have had during this year.

“Will I ever marry again?” I don’t know, but I do know I still love Tom and he will always have a piece of my heart always.

Tom was a very caring and loyal man to me and everyone around him.He loved Bike racing. The joke was always said that Tom quit Bike racing when he met me … the truth is he quit way before we met(lol).

I know that I still have a lot of unresolved issues in regards to Tom’s death as far as not being able to tell him I love him one more time, or how proud I was to be his wife, or how I will always make sure that Lexi knows how much he loved her.

As a wife, lover, and best friend you always think that you would be by your husband’s side the day he passes on. I wanted that to happen and he died alone on a plane and it hurts my heart to know that someone I cared about so deeply had to go through such a painful experience and not to have me by his side holding his hand and telling him over and over how much I loved him.

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