The funeral of Scott Jirtle, 29, reminds us of the daily sacrifices of military families and our sacred trust to the loved ones they leave behind.
Savannah Jirtle wrote for her Facebook profile: “I’m a strong loving devoted Army wife who loves her children and most amazing man in the world my husband…I thank God every day for my unborn son and my beautiful daughter Rylee who completes me every time I see her smile and I love my husband!!”
On Wednesday, Savannah, her three children ranging in age from four to eight, and unborn son, said their final goodbye to husband and father Charles Scott Jirtle at funeral services in Lawton, Oklahoma. Scott, 29, died with four U.S. Army comrades June 7 in the Kunar Province in Afghanistan when their mortar patrol struck a buried roadside bomb.
Mourners at First Baptist East watched as photos told an American story of a child with a jutting jaw and a playful spirit who became a man and then a soldier. One image showed Scott kissing the belly of his pregnant wife before his May deployment.
As Scott left for Afghanistan last month with the deployment of the 101st Airborne Division from Fort Campbell, Savannah posted a public goodbye for her husband on Facebook. Her words are a powerful testament to the love, devotion, and sacrifice of the Jirtles and so many others who risk their lives each day to protect the freedom we cherish. As we remember each of those who give their lives for our nation and our own, we must honor our sacred trust to the loved ones they leave behind.
For my deploying husband – one year without the love of my life
I’m the girl you don’t know, but I’m the girl who cries every night, and hopes every morning for his safe return. I’m the girl who drags herself out of bed every morning so that he will be proud of her when he comes home. I’m the girl who lies in bed longing for him to be lying next to me. You don’t know, but I’m the girl with a million things to say, but not one will come out without the thought of him. I’m the girl who carries his unborn baby. I’m in this alone but I stay strong for him. I know it kills him inside to know he cant be there for the first ultra sound or feel the first real kick of his baby. I know it must be hard to be so far away from his loved ones. You don’t know me, but I’ll always be there for him. I’m the girl who stops and stares and wishes for him to return soon each and every time another man in uniform walks by. What you don’t know is that I know love on an entirely different level from most. I know the love that spans time and space; that love that most people are constantly searching for. I’m one of the girls who waits months for a single kiss; a kiss that will make the months apart worth every second. A kiss where everything in the world stops and for what seems like eternity, you can see into that person’s soul and know that without them, life is not worth living. You tell me I don’t even understand what love is, I tell you, I know more love in one homecoming than most know in a life time. You don’t know that every time he leaves, part of me goes with him and part of him stays with me. You tell me that people change and I tell you, true love will always remain constant and steady. You tell me you know how I feel and that you understand what I’m going through; you have no idea. What you don’t realize is that I understand the true meaning of not only love, but of longing and anticipation. You don’t see, but I’m one of the few who gets goose bumps as my heart fills with pride every time the National Anthem is played. I’m one of the girls who will stand tall and stay strong on the outside, but be dying on the inside. I am one of those girls who will make friends with complete strangers for only they can even begin to understand what I am going through. You don’t understand that I picture his face everywhere I go and that he is with me in everything I do. You think I don’t cry anymore, that I have gotten over it, but what you don’t know is that I just hide it better. You don’t know the feeling the first time you hear the word deployment or the feeling of his hands as it slides out of yours for what could be the last time. You don’t know what that last hug or kiss means and how important that goodbye truly is. I’m the girl you see walking by with a disheartened face staring silently at the ground. What you don’t know is that I know true love no matter what obstacles we have to face.