Bianca Hubbard – US Army Veteran and Gold Star Wife

Bianca Hubbard – US Army Veteran and Gold Star Wife's Story

My story is about my experience but I’m also speaking for someone who no longer has a voice, my late husband. I am an Army veteran as was my husband, Joe Hubbard. We met at our duty station in 1998 in Hawaii and were in the same platoon. We were married for 18 magical years and enjoyed Jeep rides and our Harley Davidson motorcycles. We moved back to his childhood home in Friendsville, TN after his last duty station in Ft Campbell, KY.

He had two previous children & then we also had two more. Joe completed a TVA apprenticeship and worked at Watts Bar for 10 years. On 12/28/2017 Joe lost his PTSD battle & committed suicide in front of me, while our children were downstairs. My “Army” brain plus military friends and family were paramount in helping me through the shock & trauma, to plan a funeral, comfort our children and continue to walk forward. I felt like my ruck sack got much heavier and I still had to carry my battle buddy with the chaos and pain he left us all in. We were each other’s battle buddies. We definitely had a codependent relationship and both of us didn’t always handle our PTSD, survivor’s guilt or health in the smartest of ways. Joe would speak of being “tired”, which I can relate to as many other veterans and their caregivers do.

My children and I continue to live in our house that Joe and I rebuilt and I turned the man cave he died in into my mermaid lounge. I realized many things immediately, one that I could not help Joe anymore and he could not help me, only the lessons of his life and ultimately, death. We are still grieving and he left me with a lot of anger at him, which is a foreign feeling. I was the only person that could calm him so there was no room for my anger but that doesn’t lead to the healthiest communication or marriage. I can see it clearly now, but my loyalty and love for my husband and battle buddy was paramount.

Through the years, gardening and growing flowers has been the one hobby I held on to that helped my stress and PTSD. I’m excited for this opportunity for my children and I to help build, watch and tend to growing things as well as learn about gardening vegetables. I certainly hope Joe is at peace as I’m working and walking forward for peace for our children and myself.

Bianca Hubbard

Bianca Hubbard