Jessica Skalberg opened up about losing her husband, Jamie, and how she is proud of her brother who continues to fight for our country.
"When Jamie and I met, I was 15 and he was 17... and we were just friends from the beginning." They may have started as friends, but their journey is a love story.
They got married when Jessica was 20. Soon, the couple grew to three. "We had such a hard time having a baby. Carter was our miracle."
Carter was just three months old when Jamie got the call. He was headed to Afghanistan. "This whole deployment, I hadn't worried about anything. Not at all," Jessica said.
But on June 27th, this family's life changed forever. Sgt. James Skalberg was killed when an IED exploded near his vehicle.
"The night before he was killed it was midnight our time and we had a great conversation. He just said, 'Honey, I love you. I'm getting ready to roll out... and I"ll call you when I get back.'"
But the next morning, Jamie hadn't called.
"Then those men showed up at my house," Jessica said. "It was the most heartbreaking thing because I knew it was my husband."
Jessica flew out to Delaware to receive her husband's body. Meanwhile, her brother Jake was still serving overseas.
"My brother, he's just lost so much himself because he went over there with his three best friends, and they've all been killed."
Jessica knew she needed her brother to get through the death of her husband. She met with a General in Delaware. hey asked is there anything the Army can do for you? I said can you please bring my brother home, please." They did.
Jake got to come home. His family, including little Carter, waiting for him at the airport.
"I'm so proud of my brother," Jessica said. Jake's visit was short. He wanted to go back and serve his country.
"He took into consideration he doesn't just have this family. He has that family, too. To have to let go of my brother like that was so hard. I don't want to lose someone else like that, I can't."
But Jessica acknowledged, fellow soldiers are family, too. "Those boys are brothers. They may not share the same blood, but they are brothers."
Jessica is just thankful for the support she's receiving from not only her family but the entire community as she sets out to raise Carter on her own.
"I just want Carter to be that same great person that his dad was. Totally humble, strong, and independent. I'm thankful for being in a small town. When you fall down, the whole town is there to pick you up."