Lt. Col. David Cabrera (USU)
HOUSTON (WUSA/KHOU) - The wife of the late Lt. Col. David Cabrera spoke to KHOU on Thursday to remind people about that the war is very real.
August Cabrera said, "This isn't a pretend war. These are lives. These are families."
Her husband, Lt. Col. David Cabrera, was among 13 killed in Kabul, Afghanistan when their NATO convoy was rammed by a suicide bomber on Oct. 29. The following day as she worked in the yard, two men in dress blues walked up to her driveway with the news.
"Just imagine somebody walking up and sitting you down on your sidewalk and opening up your chest and ripping out your heart with no anesthesia. No warning. He was everything to me," said Cabrera.
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LINK: More information on Cabrera and memorial fund for children
He was also everything to his children, and Cabrera is haunted by the words of her 7-year-old son.
"He woke up and said, 'So now I'm the oldest man in the house, Mommy.' What are you supposed to say to that?"
Cabrera said her husband had a servant's heart. If something was broken, he wanted to fix it. That's exactly what he was doing in Afghanistan as a licensed social worker for the U.S. Army, counseling troops suffering with PTSD.
"I think my fondest memory of Dave was that he could get me out of the box," said Major Scot Pears, a family friend who previously served with Cabrera in Iraq.
Pears said before Cabrera deployed to Afghanistan, he asked him to look after his family if something happened.
"I don't know how you could fill that gap," said Pears. "That's a hard gap to fill."
"I wish there was never another family that had to see someone walk up their driveway in uniforms," said August Cabrera. "I just, with all my heart, wish that somehow that could just stop."
But she knows in her heart that it won't.
David Cabrera's funeral took place at Spring Baptist Church at 11:11 a.m. on 11/11/11. An avid scuba diver, his final wish was to be cremated and his ashes placed on a coral reef.