Image courtesy: Pfc. David Hauk, U.S. Army. Kandahar, Afghanistan, November 12, 2009

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

By His Side

Image courtesy: Melissa Jarboe

It's been almost a year since Army Sgt. Jamie Jarboe was shot by an enemy sniper in a tiny southern Afghanistan village.

Early Wednesday, Sgt. Jarboe, who was paralyzed by the terrorist's bullet, was still in the middle of a monumental battle.

"Jamie is alive and fighting for his life," his wife, Melissa Jarboe, wrote to The Unknown Soldiers on Tuesday, Mar. 20.

Last month, I authored a newspaper column about the Jarboes. In recent days, however, some rumors began floating around about the wounded warrior's condition. Wednesday morning on the Prayers for Sgt. Jamie Jarboe Facebook page, Melissa set the record straight.

"There are no words that can describe what this last week has been like knowing that my husband and I would never have a life we always dreamed of," Melissa wrote. "Last Thursday Jamie was placed in a comfort care or hospice setting."

Since everything changed for Jamie, 27, Melissa, 32, and the two children being raised by the couple on Apr. 10, 2011, there has been one constant. From the moment the wounded warrior arrived back to the United States from Afghanistan, his wife has always been there for him.

"Jamie and I spent the last few months planning our funerals, not because we wanted to, because we had to," she wrote. "Jamie made me promise to carry out his final wishes and out of love for my husband I vowed to protect his wishes."

As she prepared to deliver this sad news to the public, the loving wife was curled up next to her wounded husband.

"I'm (vigiling) by his side loving and kissing him every second of the day!" Melissa wrote in Tuesday's e-mail.

Back in January, I had the honor of speaking to Sgt. Jamie Jarboe by telephone. While the soldier's voice was understandably weak, his will was audibly strong. It was enormously courageous of him to speak with a writer in the midst of a slow, painful odeal.

Something the wounded hero said during our interview has resonated with me ever since.

"I want to do what a father does and be what a husband's supposed to be," he said.

Because of you, Sgt. Jarboe, we are all inspired to be better parents, spouses, and Americans. As your devoted wife lay beside you, please allow the prayers of a grateful nation to surround your hospital room during this challenging time.

You fought for us, and for that, we will always be by your side.

"By the grace of God, we were given 11 more months to live life and for that I can't be selfish or greedy," Melissa Jarboe posted. "We lived every day like we were dying...because inside we were."

Note: This post was edited at 4:52 p.m. EDT.


  1. Thank you... Have done my own post and linked to you...Couldn't find a contact for you, so here's the link to mine, which you can remove from comments...:

  2. Simply amazing to have the ability to share this journey. Still inspiring others and providing perspective. Praying for you all.

  3. To The Family of this Soldier,All my Prayers and Semper Fi.

  4. Gods peace be with you today!

  5. R.I.P. Warrior

    1SG Joey "Brasso" Welsh USA-Ret

    Rangers Lead the Way

  6. As we sit in the comfort and safety of our homes,
    Pray for those who are for the most part the unknown warriors who carry the burdens, make sacrifices and who protect our life and nation.
    May God protect them, their families and be with them every step of their journey.
    Our Lord hears our cries and knows our anguish.

    Praise God for Jamie and Melissa.

  7. God Bless you and your family. You are not alone and may the love and prayers of all of us who have been touched by your many acts of courage offer a bit of light during this time.

    Semper Fi


  8. While Heaven Rejoices that you have arrived, a Nation grieves a tremendous loss..God be with your Friends,family,and fellow soilders...Thank You for being a TRUE ROLE MODEL...someone children should STRIVE to be like, someone this nation is much richer for having known, but so much poorer for having lost you so young..your family will ALWAYS be in my thoughts,and prayers..Fly High and Godspeed Sgt. are now a member of the Ultimate Calvary Division!!

  9. Melissa, your courage and your love have been such an example to me for the past year. I know that you are walking a different journey now that you and Jamie had planned and dreamed for. But you are still walking with Jamie and making him proud and happy to call you his wife, and his soul mate.
    Heaven is richer today because Sgt. Jamie Jarboe is there in it's golden city!!
    God bless you Melissa and thank you Jamie for your service and for your sacrifice.