Char Westfall

Wife, Mom, Surviving Spouse of Navy SEAL Jacques Fontan, Author of A Beautiful Tragedy

What an incredible story of resilience Char has to share today. Her husband, Jacques Fontan, was one of nineteen servicemen killed when the helicopter he was in was shot down during Operation Red Wings in Afghanistan (from which the film Lone Survivor is based.) As a result, she has written a book, A Beautiful Tragedy, in which she speaks openly about the anger and bitterness that experience birthed, and her battle to regain her life, to heal within, and to serve others in the process. 

In this episode you will hear:

  • Jacques was killed when Char was only 29 years old.
  • We heard car doors shut. And they came to the door in uniform.
  • I remember asking them, “So there’s still a chance?” and he couldn’t answer me.
  • I’ve accepted that Jacques is gone, and he’s not coming back, but he’s not going away.
  • I wanted to find somebody that would allow me to still respect and honor Jacques, and not just put him away on a shelf and act like that never happened.
  • With my faith and my love for him, I saw how he was there hearing me through the darkest and hardest times.
  • With faith in God, you can be mad and you can have your moments. God wants to hear that.
  • If, on social media, your see you see a name of a fallen, look them up and get to know them personally. That helps them to never die.
  • Losing Jacques wasn’t beautiful but what I’ve been able to make of the situation and make my life from it is the beauty in it.
  • There’s a lot to think about when you start to date after the tragedy of losing your husband.
  • We all want to honor the men who paid the ultimate price, but we also need to lift up the women they leave behind.
  • I was lucky enough to find amazing love twice. 

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