For three years, Anne Muthoni had been married to Ephraim Gachoki, a soldier with the Kenya Defence Forces fighting the raging war against Al-Shabaab insurgents in Somalia.
The Standard reported on Wednesday, October 16, that Muthoni, who was 27 at that moment, had a one-year-old child with Gachoki who had been in the army for three years as a tanker driver.
Muthoni told the publication that in 2012, she was tending to her vegetable garden when she saw a military truck roll into her compound, an act she alleged startled her because for the three years her husband had been in the army, she had never seen military officials pay her a visit.
Just three days before, she claimed that she had stumbled upon news that the Alshabaab insurgents had ambushed Kenyan soldiers at the Fafadum region in Somalia, but she had never expected that her husband would have been caught up in the attack.
"Just before the Fafadum ambush, we had talked on the phone and he had informed me that they were headed to an area without good network coverage and therefore communication would have been difficult," she was quoted.
Immediately the news of the attack filtered out, she reported that she attempted to contact Gachoki, who was a tank driver, to no avail.
The moment she saw the men in uniform in her compound, she told The Standard, that she felt weak and beaten, and it took a relative to get her into the house to be informed what she had already deduced.
She narrated that immediately after the news had sunk in, the Kenya Defence forces took her through counseling and support, and after about a year, they enrolled her into a newly set up welfare and compensation program to help the families of soldiers who lost their lives in the line of duty.
She was hired to work in the Defence Forces Canteen Organization (DEFCO) as a shopkeeper, a position that she says has earned her a comfortable living.
Apart from the job that she had been given, she told The Standard that the Defence Department also gave her a sum of money as compensation, through which she launched major investments in real estate and farming.
"If it were not for the KDF welfare program, things would have been bad for the members left behind," she stated.
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