This has been an incredibly tough couple of weeks for all of us in the Naval aviation community. I say this as though I'm a pilot or naval flight officer. Being married to this community makes all of its members family. This has never felt more true than in the last two weeks.
On March 31, we lost a true hero, Lt. Zilberman. A father of an adorable 4-year-old boy and 2-year-old girl. He fell in love with his wife in high school and they married in 1998. He was 31 at the time of his death. He flew the E-2C Hawkeye so that the other 3 crew members--one pilot, 2 naval flight officers--could bailout safely and survive the crash without injury. Had he not been so brave and quick to act, we would have most likely attended a memorial service for four lost aviators last week. Prayers for Katrina and her two young children. May she know that we continue to think of her and her children every day and we will always be here to help in any way that we can.
If you wish to read more, please do so HERE.
Personally, I have struggled every day since the news was released that an E-2 crashed. I know that it's "rare", but that does not make it any easier to sleep at night. It doesn't help that my husband is still 3,000 miles away training on this very plane every day...even as I type this. The memorial last week resulted in some of the most difficult hours of my life. I've always found it difficult to sleep when I know he is flying. I still get dressed every time his plane is scheduled to take off. I am very conscious that hostile fire is not my only concern. Up until now I was able to compartmentalize things to the point where my day-to-day activities were not affected, but that is out the window now. The life of Navy wife is tough enough--moving on command, taken away from our family and friends. I actually plan what I will do if my husband dies! We will stay here in Virginia Beach since this is where my young boys will remember living and playing with their daddy. All of this makes me want to stop going to school and stay home hugging my boys.
Yesterday, a T-39 crashed and all 4 aviators are believed dead. The plane was part of Training Air Wing 6 out of Pensacola, FL, Ryan's former command. One quarter of the fleet's original T-39's have crashed and no one has survived these crashes. Source.
We support our loved ones in their desire to defend our rights and freedom. I have said it before, that if Ryan were not in the Navy, I would join. I do not sit here feeling sorry for myself or my family. We have taken the risks with the rewards. How many people can honestly say they have a job where they fight for a way of life, a cause in which they truly believe? Not too many. I just needed to "write" down a few on my thoughts. My silly little blog is my therapy right now as I don't really have anyone to talk to about all of this.