VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay – Andrew P. Carpenter

Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Andrew P. Carpenter. Andrew, better known as Andy, served during the Afghanistan War.

Andy, lived by the life motto “it is what it is.” His wife described him by saying, “I truly never remember him not having a smile on his face. He was a big kid… very laid back about things.” Andy joined the United States Marine Corps in September 2007 and was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

On Feb. 14, 2011, while on patrol in the Helmand province of Afghanistan, Andy sustained gunshot wounds. He passed away five days later on Feb. 19, 2011. His wife, Chrissie, was 34 weeks pregnant with their first child. One month after the death of his father, Landon Carpenter was born.

After meeting the founder of Operation Song, Bob Regan, at a charity golf tournament, Chrissie could not pass up the opportunity to write a song about her husband. The song, “Til the World Starts Turning Again,” talks of her grief and continuing on without her husband. “I didn’t realize how therapeutic it would be on so many levels,” said Chrissie. “There were moments of laughter and moments of tears.”

The song starts by describing the image of Chrissie and Landon alone in the middle of a field next to a big tree with Chrissie, and she says it’s “how I’ve felt… ever since Andy died.” The song continues with the struggles she has dealt with as a widow and a single mother. “I’m reaching, I’m falling, I’m learning.” The song encapsulates Chrissie’s struggle and spirit.

She wanted to share the “reality that I am not perfect. I have so many struggles. So many people see a strong woman in me and they say I inspire them. But I wanted this song to share the truth, that it’s hard. I feel as if our world stops as we grieve. But I always try to keep pushing forward.”

Today we honor the service and life of Andrew P. Carpenter and the sacrifice made by his family.

Listen the song “Til the World Starts Turning Again”

 

Source: Originally posted on VAntage Point the official blog of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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