total hearts received for Moments That Survive

Brandi Locke

In 2016, my husband, an Army veteran with four deployments, experienced difficulty processing his experiences and finding his identity outside of the military. One evening, I returned home with my children. As we entered our home, all of the lights were off. We were met by my husband, with an AK-47 strapped around his body. In a very serious voice, he informed me that there were people outside our home. With my coaxing, he returned the AK-47 to his locked gun safe but emerged carrying a bayonet, moving in stealthy motions throughout the home.

Eventually, that evening, the bayonet was exchanged for a pistol. He slept on our sofa with the pistol resting on his chest. I spent the night with my children, locked in a bedroom, terrified, questioning what action would be in the best interest of my children and my husband.

Ultimately, our marriage ended.

Today I continue to experience nightmares about that night. I awaken with the same fear, three years after the event. My thoughts about guns and gun legislation have changed. I hope that U.S. citizens will work cooperatively to legislate changes that make sense and create more security for everyone.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.