Losing the One You Love to War

Once someone we love has served in the military, we are family. – Tyra Manning 

Military life is rife with unwanted transitions, and military families can spend years grappling with the effects of military service on their lives. For Tyra Manning, the impact of that service came in one devastating moment—learning that her beloved husband Larry had been killed during the war in Vietnam.

Larry Hull Dress Blues

Larry Hull

News of her young husband being shot down over the Laotian jungle came to Tyra as she was going through struggles of her own. She’d recently been admitted to the Menninger Clinic for treatment for severe depression and addiction.

Separated from their young daughter Laura and extended family, Tyra was on a mission to keep her promise to her husband to get well enough to meet up in Hawaii for some much deserved R & R, as they often said to each other “where the water meets the sand,” when word of his death arrived. Her worst fears were now her reality.

When I heard recently of Tyra Manning’s book, Where the Water Meets the Sand, I wasn’t expected to be impacted so profoundly by her story.

Before becoming a widow at such a young age, she’d already faced many of the same fears and trials as military families today: worry over the effect of war on her young daughter, struggling to make it alone as a solo parent, and fears over her husband’s safety.