An Open Letter for those who Criticize Senior Chief Petty Officer Ryan Owen’s widow.
Read more from Andi Johnson here
In what seems like a lifetime ago, I was a proud Navy wife. My husband was stationed on an aircraft carrier, and beyond that, I really don't know what he did. He worked on the flight deck of the carrier which is one of the most dangerous places, but not like having a husband on the front line or special operations.
I loved being a Navy wife; there was something about our common sacrifice that allowed us to bond with other wives almost instantaneously. However, there is a reality that plagues the minds of every service member's wife or spouse. They may not come home, and that kiss goodbye really could be the last. For the most part, you work so hard to keep yourself busy trying live life from call to call or email to email. Never knowing if you will get that devastating knock at the door at any time. This is the service and sacrifice that all military wives accept, and it became our duty to bear that burden. Carryn is living the nightmare I had for the bulk of my husband's career, and I wish to extend my prayers to her family.
While I cannot fathom the unbelievable pain and anguish Carryn Owens endures on a daily basis, I understand her need to see him honored. Most of the time our service members pass with little more than a footnote on the ticker screen rarely does their sacrifice get the time and attention it really should. This time though it was different. This time Senior Chief Owens was celebrated and given a hero's ovation, as they ALL should. As they paid the ultimate price for our freedom so our gratitude and a little fanfare is the LEAST we could reciprocate.
The cynical and bully media decided to paint a different picture. Whether it was pundits, who labeled her a “pawn” or Whoopi who had the nerve to say she just wanted attention. I challenge them to step into her shoes for a day. Imagine her with tear-filled eyes telling her three beautiful children that daddy was never coming home. Lay with her alone as pulls out his old shirts and wears the last of his scent Watch as she cries herself to sleep every night and follow her as she learns to accept and adjust to her “new normal” in the coming years. To say that she would ever want this outcome just to have her fifteen minutes is on all-time new low. I guarantee that she would have rather spent the rest of her life in anonymity and not have this tragedy become her story. However, she did her final duty as a proud Navy wife, she ensured that her husband's death would be honored and remembered. Since he was immortalized in President Trump's address as he said, “Ryans legacy is etched in eternity” I hope and pray those words will give her some solace and comfort in this journey that no one ever wants to take.
I pray that the “talking heads” in the abusive media will take note, this is what real sacrifice and honor looks like.