My sons were 3 years and 16 months old when their father, my beloved husband, SSG Michael Harrison Simpson, succumbed to his wounds on 1 May 2013 after an IED attack in Afghanistan. What could I say to them? How could I provide them any comfort when I had none myself? I said, “Daddy is God’s soldier now, but I promise we will never forget him.” It was the hardest conversation I have ever had with my sons. My grief was overwhelming. While I felt like I could not survive, I could keep my promise to never forget and always to honor my husband, a proud soldier who gave his life serving with the 1st Special Forces Group.
Just ten days after Mike died, I was welcomed with open arms at a wear blue: run to remember meet-up. Over the past two years, I have been embraced by a community who understands my pain, respects Mike’s service and sacrifice, and knows how difficult it is raising two boys without the direct love and guidance of their father. The day I met co-founder Lisa Hallett, I knew we would survive. She told me “Some are there to give strength and others to get strength.” Every Saturday at our wear blue meet-up, my sons and I yell out Mike’s name. We thrive from the strength of the wear blue Circle of Remembrance. We are not alone. With this community, I have accomplished things I never thought I could. wear blue gives me a healthy way to deal with my pain and pushes me when I think I can’t possibly go any further, in life as well as with every purposeful step in a race.
That damp, cool Saturday morning I received the call that Mike had been wounded in an IED attack changed my life forever. I will NEVER forget that moment. In the aftermath of our greatest loss, how I have endured and the community who has helped me on the way have made me a better person. We make a choice every day to stay under the covers and let life pass us by, or to jump out of bed and face it head on. I choose to face life head-on because that is what my husband believed in, fought for and died for. wear blue has, undoubtedly, given me the strength to do this.
Please consider donating to the Gold Star Race program: https://secure.donationpay.org/wearblueruntoremember/. Having the chance to honor the life of your loved one not only changes you, but gives you hope for the future. Thank you for believing in me.
Wife of SSG Michael Simpson, KIA 1 May 2013