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Tom Sileo's op-ed column on The Unknown Soldiers: Someday
David Warsen and fiancee Karlyn Deveau.
Courtesy of Karlyn Deveau
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"It was just so peaceful knowing that if I woke up, I could see him," she wrote about their Skype calls. "I always dreaded when I would hear his alarm going off, which sounded like a dog barking, because I knew it was time for him to head out."
Karlyn and David spoke for about an hour in the early morning hours of Aug. 16 before the SEAL left for a mission. They were supposed to talk again later that day, but the Skype call never came.
"I was freaking out a little bit," Karlyn said. "Then I found an article that said there was a helicopter crash in Afghanistan."
It can't be him, Karlyn thought. But when she learned two Navy SEALs were killed in the crash, the worried fiancee grew terrified.
"I got that sick feeling that it could be him," she said. "But I didn't want to believe it."
Special warfare operator Petty Officer 2nd Class Warsen, 27, died in the Aug. 16 helicopter crash near Kandahar, Afghanistan, along with six fellow Americans.
"It's hard to talk about things because in my mind I don't feel like this situation is real," Karlyn said on Nov. 20. "I feel like he's going to come back."
The fallen SEAL's fiancee, who spoke in a quiet, dignified tone throughout our phone conversation, then paused.
"It's so hard to know he's not coming back," she said.
David also leaves behind his parents, brothers, and grandparents.
"I'm glad that we're all together to be there for each other," Karlyn said. "It's nice, but it's hard."
David's obituary, printed in the Grand Rapids Press, contains a quote that sums up the courage of
"Failure to David was never an option," the obituary reads.
While Dec. 8 will be filled with tears of sadness instead of joy, Karlyn and David's romance is the opposite of failure. Karlyn's road ahead is difficult, but David's love will always be inside the heart of the woman he longed to call his wife.
"I just want him to be honored like the kind person he was," Karlyn said. "I wish the whole world could have met him."
Someday, David and Karlyn will meet again.
Tom Sileo is a columnist for Creators Syndicate.