Iraq War Widow, Iraqi War Widow

May 28th, 2010

Inspired by An Iraqi war widow finds solace among U.S. counterparts (Washington Post 5/27/10).

“When I met the widows, I told them, ‘If you guys don’t like me for whatever reason it is, I totally understand it… There was no problem. They took me right in. We were all going through the same thing, and they told me that all they know is my love story, and it’s like all of theirs” – Lena Ahearn, an Iraqi women who met her husband, Major James Ahearn, while he was on patrol in Baghdad. After a chaperoned courtship, they fell in love, married, and had a daughter (Kadi, now 4). They moved to Fort Bragg, NC, then he deployed back to Iraq. He was killed by a roadside bomb. She  joined a widow’s group to help deal with her grief, but worried that they wouldn’t accept her because of her accent, religion, and country of birth. None of that mattered.

They met and fell in love in an unusual way,

But that doesn’t mean they didn’t love each other anyway.

She was an Iraqi woman, he an American soldier on patrol,

Carrying out his constitutionally defined role.

Every night, they sat on a bench in front of her house.

After a month, Jimmy asked Lena to be his spouse.

(Her brother sat nearby as a chaperone

So Lena and Jimmy wouldn’t be alone.)

They got married and moved to Fort Bragg.

He shipped back to Iraq to fight for our flag.

Major James Ahearn was killed there by a roadside IED,

Striking a mortal blow to the young family.

Lena joined a widow’s group to help deal with her grief.

She was worried they wouldn’t accept her, but to her relief,

They “showered her with hugs” instead of rejection.

They share, after all, a deep connection.

Going sky-diving together was the first thing Lena and the widows did

(“Jimmy was Airborne, so I really wanted to… know what it felt like, what he did.”)

Lena will go to the Memorial Day concert Sunday night

To honor those who fought and fight.

Then she and their four-year old daughter Kadi

Will visit Jimmy at Arlington National Cemetery.


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