Everything happens for a reason

  • Published
  • By Maj. Duane Richardson
  • 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander
I have thought long and hard about how to use my "350 words or less" for this commentary. I read through many of the commentaries from years passed to ensure I not reiterate what others have said. I perused through my saved computer files of things I found interesting in hopes that it would spark some inspiring and profound words that I could pass on to those who read this. But, to no avail. I was unable to find words of leadership, compliance or fitness that have not already been said. Then, I came upon an article about my wife and now I'm unsure that 350 words are enough. I hope that at least one of you finds inspiration in my following words.

I was a staff sergeant stationed at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., as a Technical Training Instructor, where I lived with my 26-year-old wife and two young children. We were living life as most young couples do. I was going to school full time in hopes of becoming an Air Force officer and my wife stayed home raising our two children, when the unthinkable happened. My wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. SMACK! Our lives as we knew them would never be the same, but who knew that meant they would be better. That's when I first saw my beautiful, amazing wife as the "military wife" from the poem (if you haven't read it you should).

My wife became this pillar of strength with the compassion and love of an angel. She took her life-threatening disease head-on through 34 treatments of chemotherapy, 33 treatments of radiation and 12 surgeries to date. She supported and drove me to finish my degree and pushed me to Officer Training School even as she was being wheeled into surgery. She has put her career on hold to raise our children and hold down the fort through my 12 deployments. To my wife and ALL military spouses, I use my "350 words or less" to say thank you! You are truly heroes and you are my inspiration!