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”
Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? You’re in luck! VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.
It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.
Operation Song™ has spent the last five years bringing songwriting to the military and Veteran community to help with healing, service-related issues and injuries. A 501(c)(3) non-profit based in Nashville, Operation Song™ holds weekly workshops in Middle Tennessee and sponsors events and group retreats throughout the Southeast. Those they serve need no musical background, only the desire to tell their story. In a typical session, the songwriter listens and encourages the participant to lay out the “puzzle pieces” of his or her experience. Together, they arrange those pieces into verses and choruses. The result is a complete song that they can call their own. Operation Song serves Veterans of all conflicts. For more information about Operation Song™, visit their website: http://www.operationsong.org/
Graphic By Kierra Willis: Kierra Willis is a Graphic Communication Major at the University of Maryland University College. She currently has an AAS in Graphic Design and Visual Communications.