CONCORD, Calif. (KRON) – As some veterans and their families struggle to watch what’s unfolding in Afghanistan, one woman from Concord, who lost her husband during the war, wants service members to know she is proud of them and that they made an impact.
“It is just gut-wrenching to see all that is occurring over the last few days,” Lisa Hallett said.
Lisa Hallett’s husband, John, deployed to Southern Afghanistan in July of 2009. Just after he arrived, their baby girl, Heidi, was born.
“And three weeks later, I heard the news no military family wants to hear,” Hallett said.
John never got to meet his youngest daughter, who is now 12 years old.
“The last time I spoke to John was on August 5, and I remember we were talking on the phone and I am just desperately trying to shush the baby and John said I haven’t heard Heidi cry and I said don’t worry you have a lifetime of it and that lifetime wasn’t going to be ours,” Hallett said.
John was killed on his way back from a goodwill mission.
“It was an overwhelming time when John was killed. Not only was I dealing with navigating a heavy burden, a hollow grief of losing my best friend but I was raising three young children on my own,” Hallett said.
Hallett leaned into the support of her family and the military community surrounding her.
They went for runs together and eventually, she started a not-for-profit called Wear Blue Run to Remember, which is now a global organization that honors the service and sacrifice of the American military.
Hallett says John’s heart would be heavy today for what his fellow service members are now carrying but that his heart would also be heavy for Afghanistan and the people there that she says her husband believed in.
“Afghanistan is complex and I know John’s first passion was the soldiers with whom he served and I know that his heart would be heavy for those guys and gals who served at his side who cared for him and for whom he cared for and I think as a military community we are just filled with sadness and frustration right now we have given our blood and our love to sow the soil that is Afghanistan,” Hallett said.
Hallett hopes every member of the military is proud of their work in Afghanistan and knows that it matters.
“I am immensely proud of all our service members who volunteered to serve our country and had a profound impact on the Afghan people and truly made America a safer place to live,” Hallett said.