One Year Later: War Widows

After his public talk with the troops at Fort Campbell Thursday, President Bush met privately there with families who've lost loved ones in the war.

CBS Correspondent Mark Strassmann talked with two of the Fort Campbell widows who met with the president.



Pride and sorrow both live outside her home and inside Christine Bellavia's heart. Her husband Joe, a staff sergeant with the 101st Airborne, left for Iraq a year ago.

"You want them to stay safe and you pray for them everyday. But you just don't think it's going to happen to you," Strassmann.

Sergeant Bellavia was killed outside an Iraqi mosque in an ambush. He left behind a letter for his wife.

"I know I haven't been a perfect man. The only perfect decision I made was to be with you," Ballavia read.

For some at Ft. Campbell, the dream of a giddy homecoming will never come.

During Operation Iraqi Freedom at least 60 soldiers from Ft. Campbell have been killed, more combat deaths than from any other U.S. military installation.

Cherish Piche teaches seventh-grade math.

She thought the odds were on her side when her husband Pierre deployed to Iraq, and made her a promise.

"I promise you that I will come home. I promise you I will be all right," she said.

Then two Blackhawks collided.

And Cherish Piche found herself on the same path where Captain Piche had proposed to her, scattering his ashes.

"I miss you and I love you so much. And I'm trying to be strong for you. But sometimes it's really, really hard," Piche said.

The deadly threat to her husband went up she says, after three words of Presidential bravado -- "Bring 'Em On."

"I have a problem when people say things like that when they're not the ones doing the fighting," said Piche.

Christine Bellavia still supports her husband's mission.

She said, "He was doing what he believed was right. And so I pray for the President's decision every day."

When some soldiers came home, half their widow's hearts stayed in Iraq.

  • Bootie Cosgrove-Mather

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Follow Us

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

On Twitter