Green Beret's Widow Grieving But Proud
Posted February 17, 2006
HARNETT COUNTY, N.C. — Three Special Operations soldiers from Fort Bragg are among the latest casualties in Afghanistan. A roadside bomb exploded during combat Monday, killing Staff Sgt. Edwin Dazachacon, Sgt. 1st Class Chad Gonsalves, and Sgt. Alberto Montrond.
When a chaplain and soldier came to the door, Gonsalves' wife, Julie Gonsalves, knew what was going on.
"You just pray that they're going to tell you he's hurt, that that's all it is -- he's just hurt," she said.
Instead, they said her husband and two other soldiers were dead.
"(Some)times it sinks in and, other times, I tell myself he'll be back," said Julie Gonsalves. "He always comes back."
But Julie Gonsalves isn't bitter or angry. She's proud. Like other troops, her husband gave his life for his country. She said he was most proud of his accomplishments -- becoming an Army Ranger and joining Special Forces. But, his family was most proud of something else.
His mother-in-law Jody Linville said Chad Gonsalves was a wonderful father -- head over heels for his three sons.
"They won't know how very much their daddy loved them, and he did," said Linville.
Like most Green Berets, he was always coming and going. In fact, there is only one picture of the family together. Still, Chad Gonsalves made the most of the family time that he had.
"He loved the boys, he really did," said Julie Gonsalves. "(That's) probably why he didn't finish any projects. When he was home, he spent it with them, hanging out with them."
Now, every time a plane goes by, Chad Gonsalves' oldest son asks when his daddy's coming home, and when he'll be the one at the door.
Julie Gonsalves is from Alabama. She doesn't know yet if she and the boys will move back there.