When I pulled it up today to find out what Reamer had in store for day 30, I noticed that there was an additional link to Tom's Ranger Blog. This link took me to another page with several more of Tom's journals that describe his entire time in the army. I was interested to find out more about him because I felt that by reading his Ranger School experiences, I had gotten to know him. In his account of Ranger School, he talks about his girlfriend and his family and his life's experiences. As I looked at his personal information I discovered that he had been blogging about the army and his life since he graduated West Point. I noticed that after Ranger School the next step of his journey was IRAQ. The final entry said that he had been advised to stop writing his blog because of security concerns. It sounded like the army told him to stop. I looked at the pictures he posted of his family and his girlfriend and felt a little closer to him. And in a way, reading Tom's Blog helps me feel closer to Reamer.
I have been very grateful to have this blog so that I can feel some form of closeness to my husband and everything that he is experiencing. I know that several other "army wives" are reading along as well.
I saw that Tom had a guest book on his webpage that you could sign and comment, so I thought it would be an opportune time for me to thank him for his insight and for sharing his experiences. As I read the comments from all of the other people that were his regular blog readers I started to feel anxious. As I read more and more I realized that Tom had been killed in Iraq. As I read on I saw condolences and messages concerning sorrow over his death. I uncontrollably felt tears welling up in my eyes and pit of my stomach just hit the ground. It felt like one of my friends had died. I know that I don't even know him, but I felt like his blog was bringing me closer to Reamer. After realizing that he died, it really hit me like a ton of bricks. The story that I had been reading for the past few weeks didn't have a happy ending. The person/blog that I was identifying my husband with had suddenly been taken from me. You never expect to read a such tragic ending but I guess, such is life. Here is part of his blog that I discovered today:
1st Lt. Thomas M. Martin, 27, of Ward, Ark., died Oct 14 in Al Busayifi, Iraq, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using small arms fire during combat operations. He was assigned to 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, Fort Richardson, Alaska.
Those of you who have been avid readers throughout the years know that Tom stopped updating his website in the summer of 2006 due to OPSEC concerns. Shortly after that he deployed to Southern Baghdad where he served as the Scout Sniper Platoon Leader for 1/40 CAV, 4/25 (ABN). Tom had been in Iraq for more than a year, participated in over 300 missions, and walked nearly 1000 kilometers when he was killed-in-action.
Although he stopped writing online updates when he deployed, Tom continued to send emails home and intended to post those messages to this site upon his return. In celebration of an incredible life and man, we are trying to fulfill his desire. We invite you to share in Tom’s last year through his email updates, and hope that by doing so he will continue to be remembered and maybe others will be inspired- to try a little harder, to push a little farther, and to live a little better.
I am going to continue reading along with Tom's Ranger School blog, and I encourage anyone who doesn't know what Ranger School really is to read along. It is amazing what these strong, brave, and mentally tough men go through to protect our country. After thinking about the meaning of everything that we go through as military spouses, friends and family it makes me feel proud to support these amazing men. I somehow feel a little less sorry for myself and realize that there is a much bigger picture. I'm so proud of Reamer and his strength to handle what he is going through. Here is a link to Tom's Blog: http://www.tommym1080.com/ Please pay a tribute the all of the men and women who have sacrificed their lives to ensure our safety as Americans!