CBS' Kimberly Dozier revisits war widow - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

CBS' Kimberly Dozier revisits war widow

SAN ANTONIO, TX  (CBS) -- Every few weeks, Jennifer Funkhouser brings Kaitlyn and Allison to visit their dad.

"Think he likes it when you bring him his yellow flowers?"

Captain James Alex Funkhouser was killed by a car bomb in Iraq, two years ago this Memorial Day.

Dozier was with him when he died, and injured by the bomb that cut through our patrol-which also took the lives of Captain Funkhouser's translator, and our camera crew Paul Douglas and James Brolan.

Jennifer and Dozier met first just over a year ago. She'd wanted every detail of her husband's last moments.

She asked to come back, to invade her privacy once again, to see if time makes it any easier for one of America's 4000-plus Gold Star families, who've lost a loved one to this war.


Jennifer Funkhouser says, "I have the one big one for me, two little ones for the girls and then another big one off to the side to symbolize their dad watching over us."

Their father Alex is everywhere-his smile on every wall, and in flashes of joy or stubbornness, on his daughter Kaitlyn's face.

"She tends to be very wild , she's a people person just like her daddy , always looking for a party."

She keeps his memory alive in everything they do.

"It's important to talk about him all the time. I want (them) to know that it's ok to always talk about him. It's not something they need to whisper about."

"Do they cry?" asks Dozier.

"Not as much," says Funkhouser.

The girls don't know all the details of how their dad died. But Jennifer has saved every medal, every picture and article.

After Alex died, they moved from Ft. Hood to San Antonio, to be near her parents.

But she misses her Army family.

"A part of me wishes that I had stayed. I just need that bond."

With people who understand things like...why she refused to cry in public at Alex's funeral...or even now.

"I just, (exhales) I want to be strong for him. And I know it's wrong but a part of me feels like if I were to cry, if I were to show how sad I can be - it might be showing a sign of weakness."

If she were to marry again, Jennifer says it would have to be someone in uniform, who would understand how Alex lived, and how he died.

"He made one promise, one promise he said, I'm going to bring every single one of my men back and they all came back. All of his men. He never promised me he was coming back."

And a promise to his men, and his country, he died to keep.


Posted by N Dutton


CBS News contributed to this report.

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