So… I was told today that I needed to share a special video and since I talk about Scott so much in class… I decided to do a blog to fill everyone in.
First… Just so y’all can get my crazy life straight… This is my boyfriend Chris. We have been together a little over a year and I bitch about him a lot but I love him dearly and I don’t know what I would do without him…
And this is Scott… So Scott and I met in 2001 when we were both in the Marine Corps. He lived two floors above me but the first time we met was in a bar when I was a drunk 19 year old. We hated each other when we first met but somehow ended up together for 10 years (married for 8) before he passed away. He was an active duty infantry Marine, a Purple Heart recipient and served three overseas during the War On Terror, one in Afghanistan and two in Iraq.
Scott was injured in an IED blast on his 2nd deployment in 2006 when I was pregnant with our son Landon. He had a concussion and a small cut on his head but we had no idea how bad his injuries were till over a year later and after another deployment. His spine had actually shifted and was putting pressure on different nerves. After three unsuccessful back surgeries he was still in a lot of pain and taking 12-16 medications daily for pain, nerve damage, PTSD, something to help him sleep, something to stop the night terrors…etc…
The Marine Corps decided to medically retire him so Landon and I came home to Texas (He was stationed in Louisiana) so I could finish school and wait for him to be transferred to San Antonio. And I’m not even going to attempt to sugar coat things… we were taking a break as well. Living with someone with PTSD is not the easiest thing in the world and I’ll fully admit I’m kind of a bitch myself… But we went back and forth a lot and talked daily… Our last trip to Louisiana was so Scott could take Landon trick-or-treating.
On November 18th 2011… Scott drove to Texas to spend a week with Landon and I for Thanksgiving. Him and Landon played baseball and went and got skittles or starburts (Scott was a fruity candy fan) and Landon remembers those details better than I do. I remember Scott being very excited because he finally taught Landon to catch with his glove up instead of trying to catch it underhanded.
So… The evening of the 19th my mom and I went to go watch the 3rd Twilight movie and Scott stayed home with Landon and my dad. Mom and I got home around midnight and Scott had put Landon to bed but he was still awake… Because he had taken his sleep meds he was slurring his words really bad so I told him to go lay down and I stayed in the living room to watch a movie.
Around 2:30am on the 20th I kept hearing something from the room that Scott and Landon were in. When I walked back to the bedroom Landon was asleep but Scott was sitting at the edge of the bed playing XBox and he kept falling asleep while playing and dropping the remote. (He would fight his sleep meds till he fell asleep wherever he was… part of not wanting to sleep because of the nightmares) I told him if he didn’t quit dropping the remote he was gonna break it and he needed to sleep. He looked up at me and said “huh?” So I told him he needed to go to sleep… I smiled and I closed the door. That was the last time I saw him alive. Around 8 that morning Landon came and woke me up on the couch and then he went in to wake up Scott… I guess I dozed back off because the next thing I remember is my dad saying “get up I think Scott’s dead.” I walked back to the bedroom assuming he was still knocked out from his meds while my dad called 911… Scott laying there is a memory that will never leave me. 3 combat tours… and now this happens.
We found out after the autopsy and weeks of waiting that he died of “sudden death”… basically a massive heart attack that was triggered by a long list of things from the medication and weight gain from the meds to heredity issues.
Stop crying the story gets better…
So anyway… On December 2nd we had an epic funeral that Scott would have wanted. His friends and Marines came from all over the US. It was a beautiful military ceremony followed by a party with BBQ and Beer and a Bonfire. He would have loved it.
About 2 weeks later I was contacted by Scott’s wounded warriors case worker at BAMC (the military hospital in San Antonio) and she told me to fill out some paperwork for this organization I had never heard of… I only half remember filling it out now… everything then kind of ran together then. I found out later that I was filling out this paperwork just because they wanted some pictures of Scott, Landon and I… everything had already been planned but a few adjustments were being made since Scott had passed away.
A couple days later I got a phone call from a man by the name of Dan Vargas from this organization called Operation Finally Home. He told me that he wanted to invite Landon and I and 2 guest to a Texans game on December 18th. Because Scott and I and Landon are HUGE Texans fan I didn’t hesitate. I actually got some criticism from people about being out “partying at a football game” a month after my husband died… what people didn’t understand is that if I would have missed taking Scott’s son to a Texans game… he would have haunted me for the rest of my life and I knew it! So Myself, Landon, my dad and my little brother all went to watch the Texans play and honor Scott by doing so.
So… As we’re sitting there before the game starts. The man Dan Vargas mentioned above came and sat beside us and introduced me to a man named Dan Wallrath. I was told he was someone important… I honestly wasn’t paying attention because by that time the Texans had started coming on the field. He told us that about 6 mins before halftime… We were going to go with him because the Texans wanted to do something special for Landon.
Trust me… this is where the story gets better.
THEN THIS HAPPENED! WATCH VIDEO HERE!
See… I told you it got better!
We had a big ground breaking ceremony on February 14th 2012…
And on October 31st 2012 Landon and I moved into our new home. The Texans donated $30,000, The Marine Corps League in Galveston donated $30,000, UV Country in Alvin donated a crap ton that I was never told and so many wonderful people donated their time and money and skills to building a beautiful home for Landon and I.
Like I said earlier… I found out later that OFH had already planned on giving a home to Scott and our family… after he passed away they went back and took a vote with the board and decided to still do the home for Landon and I. We were the first family that had received a home after the wounded service member had passed away. It was such an amazing blessing.
So… Here we are. That was a piece of my roller coaster ride I call life. Here are a few more videos and a link to Operation Finally Home if anyone is interested. They have given amazing gifts to so many veterans over the past few years and continue their mission today.
Video from ground breaking (You can tell I had no idea what to say)
Video from when we moved in
And here is the video from New Hope Church who did all my landscaping
Here is Operation Finally Home’s Page and you can also find them on Facebook