48th Brigade Spouse Comforts Families of the Fallen

Three soldiers from the 48th Brigade have been killed in Iraq, bringing the total to 11 from that unit in less than two weeks. The 48th Brigade's Family Readiness Groups are comforting these families during their time of grief.

This has been a very devastating time for the families of these citizen-soldiers, and now women on the home front are making sure families don't have to grieve alone.

When we showed her a tape of an interview her husband did with us, it was one of the first times Joni Bennett has seen her husband since he deployed with the 48th Brigade.

"It was just awesome to be able to see my husband and hear his voice and feel like he was right there with me," she said.

In the interview, given the day before four more men from his unit would be killed, Maj. Charles Bennett spoke about the 48th's mission and the families back home.

"We're glad to be here," he said. "We want to do our jobs, but we're up to the challenge and just keep up, keep the support from home and we'll keep doing what we do here."

"We're grateful for every day that passes, because we know that's another day toward when they'll come home," Joni said.

With the latest car bomb attack that killed three more soldiers, more families will be denied the chance to see their loved ones come back home.

"It's very difficult," said Joni. "You don't know what to say, you want them to know you're there for them in every conceivable way possible and you just reach out with love, comfort and support."

Traveling around the state to offer support for those who've lost their loved ones has been a daunting task, but one Joni says must be done. "They will forever be a part of the 48th Brigade Combat Team," she said of the fallen. "They will always be a part of our family and we'll always hold them close to our hearts."

The identities of the three soldiers killed yesterday have not been released.

Reported by: Nicole Teigen, nteigen@wtoc.com