Anthony Lembo, a native of Queens, N.Y., served as a first class petty officer in the U.S. Navy. Stephanie married Anthony while he was still in the armed forces.
Anthony and Stephanie were married six months after meeting at a Walmart, and they had a beautiful child together just a few short months after the wedding. Anthony was in Germany on deployment when his son was born, but he couldn’t wait to get home and see his little family again. It was a lovely start to their life.
Stephanie says being a military wife wasn’t easy, but life had its good times too. The couple had a second son, and life went on more or less normally.
Unfortunately, the story that Stephanie Lembo wants to share with you is not about her “normal life” married to Anthony. It is a story about the love she has lost.
On November 8, 2010, her husband committed suicide after experiencing symptoms of PTSD and sleep deprivation. While this was absolutely devastating to Stephanie, she knew she couldn’t keep her story a secret while so many others were contemplating ending their lives for similar reasons.
She had to do her best to warn others about the signs so that more people could get help. And she made that her new mission in life. Her plans to raise awareness for PTSD, create training for family members of military personnel to help them understand the symptoms of PTSD, and start a program for emotional support dogs to help those with PTSD are commendable.
In the following video, Stephanie shares her poignant story with everyone by flipping through note cards without saying a word. She silently reacts to their contents in the background while she shows each slide, fighting back tears as she reflects on the past few years.