WASHINGTON (CNN) - Flowers arrived at Capt. Marissa Alexander's office at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, on June 3, 2005.
Her husband, Staff Sgt. Leroy Alexander, was half a world away fighting with the Special Forces in Afghanistan, but he had found a way to send a floral arrangement to his wife, who was five months pregnant with twins.
"He called me and asked me what building I worked in. He said he had to update some records," Alexander said. The flowers lifted her spirits.
But a few hours later, her emotions would be thrown into a tailspin. Alexander saw two Army officers in dress uniforms knock on her front door.
One of the officers started to talk: "We regret to inform you..."
If he said any more, Alexander doesn't remember. "The next memory I have is in my kitchen, banging on the floor. I just couldn't believe it," she said.
The good feelings from flowers delivered a few hours before were gone, replaced by shock, pain and mourning.
A roadside bomb had made her a widow.