An Air Force Widow’s Story: Living by Faith


Just before sunset on Veterans Day, she sat next to her husband’s headstone at Arlington National Cemetery, reminding her three children how their father was with God in heaven and what it means to have faith.

Faith has kept Heather Gray moving forward. It’s what has gotten her through the grief and trials she faced after her husband, Maj. David Gray, was killed by a suicide bomber in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, on Aug. 8, 2012…

One of David’s escorts had brought back a little box, one that usually holds wet wipes, and told Heather he didn’t know what it was, but thought it was something she would like to have.

“Each kid had given David a small toy of theirs to take with him while he deployed and vice versa. It was one of those things where he gave something of his (for them) to hold onto with the understanding that they would give it back when he got home,” she said.

It was in this little box that the kids had put the toys for their dad.

“He was such a good dad. Anytime we would FaceTime, he would play with them,” she said. “My daughter had written on top of (the) box ‘daddy’s toys, only until he comes back.’ … And so that was how I told the kids, because I had this box.

“So when I came back on our anniversary and sat the kids down in the living room, I honestly didn’t even have to say much. Once they saw that box and they knew David wasn’t there, then it made it very real,” Heather recalled with tears in her eyes again. “And I told them, ‘he took care of it for you, he promised you he would and he did.’”

As daunting a task as it was, she said she was thankful for the way she was able to tell them.

“Even in the midst of all that, I was able to look at it and say ‘thank you God for these little things,’” she said. “(We’re) all asked to go through trials, but if we look, we’ll see the little things only God can provide that serve to remind us he is there.”

Take the few minutes to read the story.  Seriously.  Read it.

Aside: Unfortunately, the Air Force felt the need to add a disclaimer due to the article’s focus on faith:

Editor’s note: This is the authentic story of an Air Force widow and how she has dealt with and continues to overcome adversity. The U.S. Air Force does not endorse any particular religion. The Air Force highly values each person’s right to observe the tenets of his or her respective religion or to observe no religion at all.

Kind of a pathetic distraction from an otherwise outstanding story.