Sunday, March 18, 2012

Respect is a Two Way Street

First of all, I am sorry for not doing an entry in a while.  Circumstances in my life prevented me from doing so.  If I had, this would have been a drama page because what was happening was so overwhelming, and I do not like drama.  I did not want to drag everyone else into the drama in which I was consummed.  I might list the issues my family has suffered over the last eight months later in another post, but for now, something is irking me.

I have discussed this issue with other wounded warrior family members (the guys themselves, wives, fiancees, girlfriends and mothers), and most of us seem to be on the same page.  However, recently I have come across a couple who certainly march to a different drummer, and it is a drummer none of the rest of us would ever keep beat with - such as begging for money as your focal point, playing with people's emotions, and outright lying or certainly exaggerating about procedures, problems and quality of care.  The people who can about our soldiers and follow our stories deserve so much better!

Those of us who have chosen to share our soldiers' lives are in a unique position to get out to the people what it is really like in the war on the homefront.  We can show them our lives in this strange new world.  Not everyone will agree with everything we do, and they don't have to, that's okay.  However, respect should be shown not only by the followers posting on our pages, but most importantly, by us. 

The people who take the time out of their busy lives to check in with us mean the world to me.  Whether you read this blog, follow Derek's facebook page, follow Krystina's page or follow my page, I am so thankful for each and every one of you.  You don't have to agree with what I've said or done, I am my own person, and I make mistakes, and I don't always do the right thing, but I am doing the best that I can. 

I am not perfect, and I am not trying to say that only my way is right.  This is just my opinion.

I have never deleted a comment off of Derek's facebook or this blog (even my former caringbridge blog where I was attacked mercifulessly) just because I didn't agree with it or because it was "mean" to me.  It is your right to say how you feel.  I will respect that.  I would only ask that you respect me, as well, and the fact that I am going through a very hard time and not attack me.

Respect is a two way street.  I respect all of the wonderful people who follow our story, even though some of them leave comments I would rather not see.  It is my personal opinion that because you are taking the time from your busy lives, we need to be respectful, even when you are not, and we should never, ever use you.

Now again, I tread carefully here.  I really feel the need to stand up for all of you who take the time to come into our lives, but I do not want to outright criticize another family going through hell just because I do not agree with how certain things are handled.  There are just some things I feel are so over the top, and I must address them.

Recently, I viewed a page of a soldier whose journey I have been following and due to an ambiguous status, it had many people upset, including family members.  When given the chance to clarify, the page's admin choose instead to attack the people who were asking questions with: "Be happy with what you get.  Don't ask questions." (or something like that - the thread has since been deleted.)  I'm sorry, but my back went up.  These people are supporting your soldier and you first upset them with a status making them believe something horrible and then refuse to clarify and get upset with them for caring?  These people have feelings and have taken your soldier into their hearts.  They have given you respect, and you repay that respect by attacking them?  I'm sorry, that is just wrong.

We have the right to deal with this journey the best way we know how.  No two people deal with tragedy the same.  But there has to be common ground.  You must show respect, and if you intentionally or mistakenly upset those who are supporting you, you need to apologize, not act out more.  The events of the last few weeks with some of these families have shown me that there are some not so nice folks around here.  They will use you, play with your emotions, make excuses for their bad behavior, and then blame others when caught.

All I ask is that we respect one another.  For the families, please don't play with our emotions.  We all love the soliders and want the best for them and their families.  We cheer with you, cry with you, pray with you, grieve with you, and we hurt when you turn on us for caring and wanting more information when you allude to something else.  We are not here for you to play with. 

When we choose to share our lives and have people care about and want to follow our story, we owe them respect.  We also owe them updates that are factual and clear.  We choose how much to share, but when we made the decision to share our lives, we now have a duty to those who came to us and now care about our journey.  This is something we should cherish. 

I hope this made sense.  I'm just being protective, I guess.  I feel for those of us going through this.  I not only sympathize, I empathize.  But even so, you need to be respectful.

Have a wonderful day!


  1. Well spoken. As an Army "brat" of 24 yrs I'd like to thank you for your service and sacrifice. May God bless you and keep you in His arms during your journey. I will keep you, your family, friends and caregivers in my prayers.

  2. I am at a loss for words...and that doesn't happen much lol! I thank you for letting me know the truth. I am sorry he has struggled for so long, but I was right there encouraging him and his family the whole way. You cleared up many things I had wondered about but never flat out questioned because I didn't think it was my place to ask...they were going through so much already. I work in the medical field...I even offered to help get some of the transfers to other facilities done ...since she stated the transfer was not covered. I think I was more upset because I had sent message to my son (who follows Team Derek, Team Allen and this family too) that he had passed....what was I suppose to do...send another message..oh ooppps..hold that thought?

    With my son so early in his Army career, you did put a face to the war on the homefront and scared the heck out of me and I CARE a lot for all the Wounded Warriors and families. Your family has become part of my heart, our prayers, and thoughts.

    I appreciate what you all share, I am proud of how you handle yourselves, how hard you fight, your determination, your love....I cannot imagine what you go through each day. Not every family can stand by their soldier when he/she is so horribly wounded...they should..but I learned from you they don't. I have learned so much from you all...I had no idea but am so blessed you have had you all share your journey and share honestly.

    I guess I just want to thank you all for being who you are...Derek has made America a better place, and by doing what you all do each day, the fight, the dedication to your Warrior, and sharing your all too, have made America a better place.

    Again....thanks for clearing the air last night, I am sorry it had to be done, but your honesty is appreciated!

    P.S. does Derek have a page yet for the Army 10-Miler??? As I was typing this the 2nd order just came in for the fundraiser...if not I will split it between you and Krystina!

    Have a nice Sunday!

    Thank you!

  3. Thank you for this post. I try to give the benefit of the doubt, knowing that I have never walked in the shoes of the Wounded Warrior's wife. However,when someone tells us in one post that she loves those of us who have supported them through their ordeal, then throws those very people into grief and confusion with the next post, and follows up with what looked like a criticism, I have to wonder what's going on. These wounded warriors are wrapped up in our heart strings, you know? Most of us aren't trying to be nosey. We just like to know what's going on in a general sense so we know how to pray and to encourage.
    God bless you and Derek and Krystina. You're an inspiration to me, reminding me to be grateful for what we have.

  4. I love each of you, each of the wounded soldiers and each of their family members unconditionally. I will always come from a place of prayerfulness. Prayers, for peace, comfort, success, healing, reunification and the best life that God can offer. I would never judge, because as you say, everyone deals with stress in a different way. Today and everyday I will continue to shower each of you, the families that I know, the families that are suffering in silent and most importantly the soldiers who are working so hard to heal--I will shower you in prayer and positive thoughts-may God hold each of your hands and guide you in the right direction as you maneuver this battlefield of recovery. Love to all of you. So much respect for you Siobhan.

  5. Thank you, Siobhan, for posting this. We appreciate you sharing your family's journey to the new normal that is your life, and pray that every day is a good day for Derek. You've never thrown your supporters for a loop, as another has, and you, Derek, and Krystina have always been gracious in thanking everybody for their prayers and support. I support ALL our wounded warriors and their loved ones, whatever their circumstances and wherever their journey takes them. I rejoice at their achievements and share in their frustration when there is a setback; and always, every day, pray for God's healing hand to intervene and for His will to be done. We don't know His plan for any of us; all we can do is have faith and trust that He is in control. God's blessings on you and your family, and again, thank you for standing up for those of us who genuinely love and care for our wounded warriors and their loved ones.

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  7. I just deleted my first comment. Oh well. I refuse to be attacked for my opinion. Don't like what I have the freedom protected by these guys to write? Don't read it.

  8. Siobhan I applaud your honesty and thank you for being so open with all of us about your triumphs and defeats. There are always those out there that thrive on drama but in the end the truth comes out. I'm just sorry this person/group of people have chosen to use us as their pawns. They are definitely hurting individuals but we as the "reading public" have feelings too. I think I know the events/blogs you are mentioning and many of my friends were confused as well. I will continue to pray for the soldier/family involved but will now do so at a further distance as a result of the current drama.

    I am glad you have said your peace on here as I believe that is what you created this place for in the beginning. You and your family have come through a lot and I have learned SO SO SO very much about the real struggles of having a Wounded Warrior. I can only pray that if I come into the same situation that I can take what I have learned from you and gain from your strength and be as gracious as you and Krystina have been.

    Keep up the good fight!!

    Love ya always, Cathy

  9. I have so much respect for all our wounded warriors & their families. I currently follow the pages of around 10 wounded warriors. I do so because I have been an Army Mom for over 16 years & by the Grace of God, have not been in your shoes. I pray that my prayers provide comfort to the wounded & their families. I hope that I have never made a post that anyone would find offensive or insensitive to their situation. I do look forward to seeing the posts, which allow us to share in the triumphs & defeats. Your particular posts,from yourself & Krystina are so well written & informative. I love your honesty, no matter what you are writing about. I don't think I must follow the page that has been referred to here, as I have never seen anyone begging for money, critical of care or lying about their situation. I do know that yesterday, a very respectable site made an error in reporting a death of a wounded warrior. It caused me, along with many other people much distress & I made some posts, which I later had to delete or update. As always keeping Derek, Krystina & yourself in my prayers.

  10. Someone above said she was at a loss for words and I am, too which doesn't happen all that often, either. Can't find words to express what's in my heart knowing that you're going through so much more than the overwhelming amount you have to process and deal with Derek. I see that you did end up deleting a comment and I don't see anything wrong with that at all! This is your site. You have the right to say what's in your heart but you also have the right to protect and defend that heart. I'll never understand people. Guess i did find some words, huh? Just know that all I ever want to do is support Derek, support Krystina, and support you!
    Always turn to the true source of help! Praying!
    Psalms 121:1-4 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
    My email address

  11. Saying extra prayers right now because this really bothers me...will never, ever understand why people have to be mean!
    Psalms 121:5-8 The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.
    My email address

  12. Continuing to pray for all of your family. You have touched so many. Continue to have courage and faith and know that many are here supporting you. I was particularly touched by one of my Mount St. Dominic Students today who when we were praying (we dedicate each Tuesday to pray for all those serving in the military and their families) asked for an update on Derek and how you all have been doing. Know you are loved.

    Mary Edwards

  13. Continuing to lift up prayers!
    Isaiah 40:28-31 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
    My email address