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Your Husband was in a Helicopter Crash in the Bering Sea

The “Tell-Your-Own-Story” military spouse contest sponsored by in connection with Lifetime TV’s Season 2 of ARMY WIVES has announced the contest winners. Their names and the winning essays can be read at

Some contest essays are especially compelling. And for that reason I want to share some of these essays with my blog readers. The essays that I’ll be featuring are reprinted here with permission from

Here’s an essay by Rose, one of the five grand prize winners:

On Wednesday, 8 December 2004, my eight-month-old son was enrolled in the Kodiak, A.K.USCG day care, where I worked. My 10-year-old daughter had Nutcracker play practice every day that week.

Nights come early in December and it felt much later than 7 p.m. when we finally walked in the door after a full day. We were living on base and knew all the neighbors. Five of the six wives in our little cul-de sac of three duplexes were married to helicopter pilots.

On this night, my husband was the only one in our little fish bowl that was deployed. Most of the husbands had come home for dinner that night and rushed right back to work. We were so close to the air station that we could hear the Search and Rescue (SAR) alarm when it went off at all hours.

On this night, no alarms went off, but the air station was buzzing well after the usual quitting time. Everyone wanted to find out the fate of the crew. For a change, no one was calling to tell me the day's gossip.

We were so busy I didn't notice that I hadn't spoken to the other wives. I just knew that my husband was deployed for the week and I had to hold down the fort. He was scheduled to be gone and would miss our daughter's play.

We rushed in the door eager to get the baby in bed before he had a meltdown. The phone rang just after we got settled. The first words I heard were, "Hi! I am calling to let you know that David is up and walking around."

I think the operations officer was calling to relieve my worried mind. Everyone knew that there had been a helicopter crash at Dutch Harbor. Everyone but me!

I responded with something like, "I am assuming there is more to this story." He told me that David's helicopter was in the water, but the crew was fine. Then he asked me if I wanted to talk to a priest. To which I replied, "You just told me that he is fine. You tell me. Do I need to speak to a priest?" Nothing made sense.

David's helicopter had gone down in the Bering Sea. He and the crew were fished out of the water. Six had died. The details were sketchy but it sounded pretty serious. David called an hour later and in a very calm voice said, "Hi, Honey. I hope you didn't cash the check yet." I didn't get it. He meant the SGLI survivor check.

I still had no clue how close he had come to dying that night.

He was flown home in the admiral’s plane the next day. Christmas was especially sweet that year. He even got to see Mad in her play.

You can see the whole story of the crash on the History/Discovery Channel story “Alaska, Dangerous Territory.”

P.S. Check out the newest post at the official blog for www.eMailOurMilitary.com

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Technorati Tags: Mrs. Lieutenant,, Discovery Channel, helicopter crash, Bering Sea,, contest winner,

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