Discuss: Wife Learns of Husband's Death Via Text (LIP) — The Bump
Military Families

Discuss: Wife Learns of Husband's Death Via Text (LIP)

http://spousebuzz.com/blog/2012/02/army-spouses-to-blame-for-kia-notification-text.html

 

Well, this is an infuriating story.

 

This wife learned that her husband was KIA via a text message from another wife. She had temporarily relocated to her hometown for the span of her husband's deployment, so the condolence team took a bit longer to notify her. Apparently in that short period of time, another wife alerted her of her husband's death over a text and Facebook, despite the fact that the unit had administered a communication blackout to prevent this very scenario from happening.

 

To make matters worse, upon being contacted by the spouse of the soldier who was KIA, the Major that was in charge of the unit's rear detachment confirmed the information via phone.

 

So, who's to blame?

The soldier who leaked the info to his spouse?

The spouse who sent the text?

Or the Major who confirmed such sensitive information via telephone? 

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Re: Discuss: Wife Learns of Husband's Death Via Text (LIP)

  • The first part of the blame goes directly to the idiot spouse who texted and FB'd the message. SERIOUSLY???? Who in their right mind would do something so callous. The blame also goes to whomever told that spouse the information. It is called a communication black out for a reason.

    As for the Major, well if I were in his shoes I'd feel guilty as hell to not confirm something I knew was true. I'd also probably be a fumbling idiot trying to get off the phone without giving away any information. Personally, I'm thinking whatever his answer was (even if it was a simple I cannot comfirm or deny) would freak me the hell out and I would go into automatic assumption the info was true...if it was or wasn't. If I were this spouse, even though there is a protocol, I would rather not be lied to (phone, person, email, etc) if I asked point blank if my husband was KIA. I would be over the moon and back pissed off if someone lied to me when asked a direction question about my husband's status of being alive or not. It isn't the Major's fault that the casualty team hadn't reached the spouse yet.

    Maybe no one will agree with me and that is fine but I think ultimately the blame should first and foremost be put squarely on who told the "talking spouse" and the "talking spouse" even though I assume there is a case that they may not have known that the spouse of the deceased soldier had yet to be notified.

  • Wow. I wish I could hit this woman who sent the text and the husband who told her in the first place. Do they have no respect?!  

     

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  • Blame is 100% on the spouse! Her hubby talking to her about the death of someone close to him is normal. People need to talk things out, but "pillow talk" is not for others, and she had no right to reach out to any one until the blackout was lifted. I am SURE this soldier was not the only one seeking comfort in his wife.

    I would blame the blabber mouth 100%, and the Major did nothing wrong. He confirmed what the wife knew already. There was no way out of that situation with out her knowing it was true.

    This poor family, breaks my heart and make me cry, and sends a shivver down my spine thinking this could happen to any one, any time, any day. I will be hugging my hubby tighter to me when i see him next...


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  • This story is infuriating. Why on earth would the blabber-mouth spouse go and text and FB the wife of the deceased? I think it's solely the fault of woman who took it upon herself to inform this young wife about her husband via text. I cannot imagine why she would feel that her approach was either justifiable or necessary. The soldier who leaked the information was technically wrong; however, as pp said, many spouses confide in one another things that they shouldn't. Everyone does need an outlet and spouses should be able to share confidential information with one another without worrying about it coming back up.  The Major was in an awkward position. There is really nothing he could have done besides tell the truth. If he'd said no, that would have been pretty silly knowing that she would soon be informed. And, anything he said to brush over her inquiries would have pretty much been a confirmation.
  • I put the blame on the SM who told the blabber mouth spouse. There was a communications blackout for a reason. He should not have told her until the blackout was lifted. 

    Yes, it's totally normal to want/need to talk to your spouse when someone close to you is KIA. But that need absolutely does not trump the deceased's family's right to find out through the official notification system.

    My guess is that the blabber mouth spouse wasn't saying something like, "Oh, BTW do you know your H is dead?" but probably more along the lines of, "I'm so sorry. I just heard. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you." All in good faith. That person's SM clearly either never mentioned the blackout or didn't stress it enough.

     ETA: I just feel sorry for the major. I imagine he was blindsided and just had no clue what to do. And really, if you were her, would you have let him off the phone until he told you?

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  • From what I understood, the spouse was part of a communications team and was aware that there was a blackout. 

    Even if she honestly believed that the spouse already knew, who the eff sends condolences THROUGH TEXT MESSAGE!??!?!

    I really do feel for the Major as well. I feel like the only way he could have avoided that would be if the condolence team would have shown up almost immediately after the spouse learned of her husband's death.

     

    This seriously reminds me of the first condolence delivery scene from the movie "The Messenger."

     

    And this poor woman now has to not only deal with the loss of her husband, but she's also faced with this story everywhere she turns.

     

    I pray that she has found somewhere peaceful to mourn her husband. 

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    "A woman really doesn't need to be rescued. Its not the place for the knight in shining armor. Its the place for her to face her darkest moment and lay claim to her victory." -TBOBB

    You know you wanna vote for Eden....

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  • image meltoine:

    I put the blame on the SM who told the blabber mouth spouse. There was a communications blackout for a reason. He should not have told her until the blackout was lifted. 

    Yes, it's totally normal to want/need to talk to your spouse when someone close to you is KIA. But that need absolutely does not trump the deceased's family's right to find out through the official notification system.

    My guess is that the blabber mouth spouse wasn't saying something like, "Oh, BTW do you know your H is dead?" but probably more along the lines of, "I'm so sorry. I just heard. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you." All in good faith. That person's SM clearly either never mentioned the blackout or didn't stress it enough.

     ETA: I just feel sorry for the major. I imagine he was blindsided and just had no clue what to do. And really, if you were her, would you have let him off the phone until he told you?

    Exactly this. The service member should've kept his big mouth shut until river city was lifted. Blabber mouth wife wouldn't of had anything to text if her H would've followed protocol.  

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  • image Lace&Josh:
    image meltoine:

    I put the blame on the SM who told the blabber mouth spouse. There was a communications blackout for a reason. He should not have told her until the blackout was lifted. 

    Yes, it's totally normal to want/need to talk to your spouse when someone close to you is KIA. But that need absolutely does not trump the deceased's family's right to find out through the official notification system.

    My guess is that the blabber mouth spouse wasn't saying something like, "Oh, BTW do you know your H is dead?" but probably more along the lines of, "I'm so sorry. I just heard. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you." All in good faith. That person's SM clearly either never mentioned the blackout or didn't stress it enough.

     ETA: I just feel sorry for the major. I imagine he was blindsided and just had no clue what to do. And really, if you were her, would you have let him off the phone until he told you?

    Exactly this. The service member should've kept his big mouth shut until river city was lifted. Blabber mouth wife wouldn't of had anything to text if her H would've followed protocol.  

    ITA.

    Do they not black out comms anymore when there's a casualty?

    image

    CJ 05/29/2013

  • I think the fault begins with the soldier who told his wife, mainly because there was a communication blackout.  I want to know how he got around that blackout in the first place in order to talk to his wife.  While my husband was deployed last year, they were put on communication blackout due to a death and they were completely without phone and internet service where he was for over 48 hours.  There was no way for him to call me even though we had a Skype date set up.  Normally, he at least emails me a quick "I can't call when we planned." But there was no possible way for him to even do that during their communication blackout.  It was two days later before I heard anything from him.   

    Ultimately though, even though the soldier somehow managed to get around the communication blackout, I think the entire thing comes down to the lack common sense and decency on the part of the blabbing spouse.  Did she even stop to think to herself "Is this the way I would want to find out my husband was KIA?"  Probably not, or she wouldn't have done that. 

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  • The spouse all the way. I believe the major SHOULD have confirmed it. She had already been told by some idiot spouse. Not Confirming it would have been more cruel, IMO. Bottom line is that if the spouse who told the wife was in some privileged position with information, then that privilege should be revoked. What kind of idiot texted something like that?
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  • image meltoine:

    I put the blame on the SM who told the blabber mouth spouse. There was a communications blackout for a reason. He should not have told her until the blackout was lifted. 

    Yes, it's totally normal to want/need to talk to your spouse when someone close to you is KIA. But that need absolutely does not trump the deceased's family's right to find out through the official notification system.

    My guess is that the blabber mouth spouse wasn't saying something like, "Oh, BTW do you know your H is dead?" but probably more along the lines of, "I'm so sorry. I just heard. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you." All in good faith. That person's SM clearly either never mentioned the blackout or didn't stress it enough.

     ETA: I just feel sorry for the major. I imagine he was blindsided and just had no clue what to do. And really, if you were her, would you have let him off the phone until he told you?

    This exactly.  The spouse that sent the text message was probably offering her condolences.  While some people think sending a text message is tacky, I think it's fine.  If my husband was KIA, there's no way in hell that I would want to talk to anyone, especially on the phone.

    I also think that it was right for the CO to confirm what he knew, than torture this poor lady some more. 

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  • image Lace&Josh:
    image meltoine:

    I put the blame on the SM who told the blabber mouth spouse. There was a communications blackout for a reason. He should not have told her until the blackout was lifted. 

    Yes, it's totally normal to want/need to talk to your spouse when someone close to you is KIA. But that need absolutely does not trump the deceased's family's right to find out through the official notification system.

    My guess is that the blabber mouth spouse wasn't saying something like, "Oh, BTW do you know your H is dead?" but probably more along the lines of, "I'm so sorry. I just heard. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you." All in good faith. That person's SM clearly either never mentioned the blackout or didn't stress it enough.

     ETA: I just feel sorry for the major. I imagine he was blindsided and just had no clue what to do. And really, if you were her, would you have let him off the phone until he told you?

    Exactly this. The service member should've kept his big mouth shut until river city was lifted. Blabber mouth wife wouldn't of had anything to text if her H would've followed protocol.  

    Agreed.  The fact that this situation even happened is unfortunate.  How absolutely gut wrenching to hear of your spouses death on facebook/text.  

    The family commented to the website and said the Maj told her of her H's death because she called looking for info and the casualty team was 2 hours away and he didn't want her to have to wait and wonder for hours.  I think he did the right thing.  The family commented that he was very compassionate, caring and professional.  I don't blame him at all.  

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  • I was reading about this yesterday and I just wanted to cry for her. Can you imagine waking up or at any time looking at your phone and seeing a text that your H was KIA. Then they have nerve to post it on fb! So disrespectful, maybe that spouse should have put herself in the shoes of the wife. How would she have felt? Can you imagine how her H may feel knowing that his wife caused all this trouble?
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  • Wow, that article made me cry.  I cannot imagine how difficult that situation would be, and I know if I were in her shoes I would be calling my husband's squadron to find out what was happening and would have done so until getting information.  I do not blame the Major at all.  From what her family posted it tooks some time before the Major called her and confirmed her husband was KIA and that he was incredibly professional and compassionate and only made the decision to notify her over the phone after determining it was the right thing to do.

    I just cannot even imagine what that spouse was thinking texting and writing on a Facebook wall about such a sensitive topic!  And I don't know why her husband got around the communication blackout and told his wife before the family was notified.  Just overall a really sad and unfortunate situation.

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