Memorial Day is so much more than celebrating a long weekend at the beach. When you honor Memorial Day as a Marine widow, it looks a whole lot different. Today, it’s a privilege to welcome Kelli Campbell, wife of Major Shawn Campbell, USMC.
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I once prayed that God would use my family to be a light in the world for Jesus Christ, never imagining He might answer that prayer through heart break and suffering.
To know Jesus is to know suffering. And to know Jesus, also, is to know hope.
God was with me when my life was turned upside down on a January night in 2016. My husband, a Marine Corps CH-53 helicopter pilot, died during a nighttime training mission while I slept peacefully believing he would be next to me by morning.
People often describe it as the moment my worst fear as a Marine’s wife came true. But you know, losing Shawn was never my worst fear.
In fact, over eighteen years ago just before we got engaged and he left for Officer Candidate’s School, Shawn came to me with a list of questions written on a yellow legal pad. A list of fears.
The Marine Corps already had his signature on the dotted line and he realized he was asking me to add mine in invisible ink. He wanted to make sure I considered the road ahead.
I don’t remember many of the questions, only that there were a lot of them — Shawn had really thought this through– but there was this one in particular:
“Do you understand that my job might one day take my life?”
We faced that possibility with tears and decided then and there not to live in fear.