Local News

Military Families Come Together In Effort To Cope With Possible Loss

Posted December 12, 2003

— Every time soldiers deploy, families worry about their safety. As the number of troops rises, so does the number of casualties. Many families gathered together Friday in an effort to cope.

Virginia Contreras said her family has already lost one relative to the war. Now, her husband is overseas.

"It's hard, but you just have to take it one day at a time. That's all you can do," she said. "All kinds of things go through your head, but you know you'll be notified as soon as something happens to your loved one."

"It's gut-wrenching. It's the hardest thing you ever do. That's why you have to have a strong faith," said Army Chaplain Maj. Jeffrey Watters.

Trish Rierson, who lost her husband 10 years ago, told the story of when soldiers came to her door.

"I stood there, my hand was on the doorknob and I thought if I don't open it, it won't be real," she said.

Despite the anxiety, families said they try to stay focused.

"You just try to spend as much time as you can with them as possible," Contreras said.

Fort Bragg chaplains often hold "anticipatory grief" sessions -- helping families cope with the fear of losing a loved one.


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