Her husband, Army Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss was killed in the Kabul airport attack last week. Staff. Sgt. Knauss was assigned to the 8th Psychological Operations Group at Fort Bragg.
Knauss joined the Army in May 2016, the same year the pair got married.
"The last thing I had texted him was, 'Hey, I love you, when you get the chance--I know you are busy--but can you please just text me and let me know you are OK?' He never got to respond to that," Knauss told ABC11.
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Knauss was one of 13 service members lost last week as they carried out their mission of getting Americans and Afghan refugees out of Afghanistan.
"I've never lost someone, and God how tragic that it was the person I cared about the very most, but for me, it's hard to be so sad when we were so happy. I might be in denial; I might be going through my grieving process. But at the moment it's more of just a strange clarity about how grateful I am that he chose me and we chose each other, and that it wasn't enough time--and I'll always be robbed of that time--but all of the time we had was so blissful," Knauss said.
Through pain and tears, Alena remembers her late husband as a charismatic personality people were drawn to. He loved and cared for anyone who needed help and was the first to step up and answer the call.
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"He was right in the field of work he wanted to be in, and if he knew the outcome, he would do it again," Knauss said.
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