Those of us who choose not to enlist in the Armed Forces put our faith in the people who do to exhibit bravery, pride, and above all, trustworthiness. These are the people at the front lines, protecting our country from potential threats, so they need to be the most upstanding citizens possible.

However, just because someone swears an oath to protect their country doesn’t mean they’re not human and prone to mistakes. Major General David Haight found out the hard way that, even in a powerful position like his, secrets always reveal themselves over time.

Major General David Haight didn’t just love his country, he fought for it and put his life on the line while enlisted in the Army. He quickly climbed the ranks, proving he was a dedicated soldier the United States needed.

Major General Haight served all over the world during his military career, but in 2005, he was stationed in Iraq, where he spent a majority of his time. However, the job he was given wasn’t glamorous by any means. In fact, it was pretty horrific.

Tasked with the handling and processing the remains of fatally injured American soldiers, he handled the sad and challenging role with as much aplomb as anyone could expect. Still, the job wore him down.

While working in the grueling Middle Eastern heat around the gory remains of young fallen soldiers was brutal, but Major General Haight had the experience necessary. Despite the work, everyone always had the same thing to say about him.

His comrades, four children, and wife always admired his positive attitude and fantastic smile. War often hardens people and strips them of joy and peace, but not Haight. In fact, it was these traits that attracted a woman (who was definitely not his wife) overseas.

Her name was Jennifer Armstrong, and she worked for the United States government. She was on assignment in Iraq when she met Haight, and the two became close immediately. There was clearly chemistry between them.

It only took one meeting between Haight and Armstrong for the communication to go from innocent fun to overly flirtatious. In fact, the two soon began swapping late-night emails to coordinate secret romantic rendezvous.

The isolation of working in the Middle East surrounded by almost all men was one reason Armstrong felt an immediate connection to Haight. She also liked what she referred to in emails as his “hard part,” the part of him roughened around the edges due to war.

Even though Haight was clearly married the whole time, he and Armstrong were romantically involved. Even after the two came back to the states, they’d meet in private for drinks and intimate conversation, Soon, however, things got real crazy.

The two eventually started attending swinger parties, where they would connect with other couples and occasionally swap partners. A wild life of partying opened up over the next year, and it even trickled into Armstrong’s own home.

She started hosting her own swinger parties. It was a fast-and-loose lifestyle the two were living, but amidst the craziness, they seemed to actually feel a deeper connection to each other based on one note…

Armstrong was battling breast cancer, and Haight wrote a long letter of encouragement and love, urging her to fight hard and overcome the hurdle. Their relationship was serious. But, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end.

The pair became a little too comfortable with this under-the-radar secret life. Word got out, and the details of their affair were sent to all of Haight’s superiors. Of course, infidelity isn’t illegal, but in the military, there are different consequences.

Because should information about a high-ranking military officer fall into the hands of enemies, they can use the intelligence to blackmail them. This wasn’t the first time a military official was busted for having an affair, either.

In 2015, United States Defense Secretary Ash Carter discovered Army Lieutenant General Ron Lewis, his senior military advisory, was having an affair, and he had no other choice but to fire him. Therefore, once word broke of Haight, there was no other option.

After everything hit the fan, Haight spoke out and released a statement. He was embarrassed, ashamed, but most of all, he wanted to make sure his actual family were left alone and their privacy was respected. They were the ones suffering most.

Here was a man who graduated from the Army R.O.T.C. program at Brigham Young University and commanded platoons throughout Afghanistan, Panama, and Iraq. Now, he held his head in shame. But, the shame and embarrassment wasn’t even the worst of it.

According to Army Secretary Eric Fanning, Haight was immediately stripped of all three ranks, which is one of the worst consequences a decorated officer can suffer. He also lost $43,000 a year in pension money, as well as his pride.

Media outlets all over interviewed Haight shortly after. He spoke out about the love he still had for his wife Bonnie, but unfortunately, the damage was already done.

Military men and women are often required to make the difficult sacrifice of being away from their families for months — or even years — at a time. But while being away from those you love is hard enough as it is, it becomes even harder when you discover you’re being lied to.

Coronado Common Sense

For Navy Seaman Chris Daugherty, his six-month deployment aboard the USS Carl Vinson proved more difficult than imagined when calls home to his wife Natasha left him feeling like there was something she wasn’t telling him. Given their history, this wasn’t an unfounded fear for Chris…

After his second overseas deployment in 2009, Chris returned home to San Diego, California thrilled to finally spend some quality time with Natasha and their young son. What he found instead was every military man’s nightmare.

The entire house was empty, no sign of his wife or child anywhere. As he’d soon find out, Natasha apparently had enough of waiting around on her own for her husband.

After living and raising a child alone for an entire year, Natasha decided to move back to their hometown of Oswego, Illinois. Though Chris managed to convince Natasha to return to California, things were never quite the same.

Chris Daugherty / Facebook

Over the next few years, the couple welcomed two more children, yet all the long overseas tours and the trust issues that had developed put a serious strain on their marriage. A child of divorce himself, Chris was willing to do whatever it took to spare his own children the same fate.

But after a few months on tour, Chris received a message from one of his buddies back home about Natasha. Apparently, something seemed “off” about his wife, and she was becoming noticeably more reclusive around the neighborhood.

What’s worse, Natasha had even begun to sell off some of Chris’ personal belongings. Try as he might to justify his wife’s strange behavior, Chris couldn’t shake the feeling that Natasha was keeping something from him.

Mark Turnauckas /Flickr

As it turns out, she was. Natasha was keeping a huge secret from her husband, one she was dying to tell him. The guilt was eating her alive.

Natasha had considered emailing Chris dozens of times to break the news, but words on a computer screen wouldn’t do justice to a secret this big. To make matters even worse for Natasha, Chris’ life was now in more danger than ever before.

As a show of force, the USS Carl Vinson was ordered to the waters just off the coast of North Korea, extending Chris’ deployment for another month. This made keeping her secret nearly impossible for Natasha.

Fortune

Natasha knew that she would be devastated if something happened to Chris before he learned the truth, and she debated telling him over the phone. In the end, Natasha decided to wait until Chris came ashore to finally come clean.

Chris Daugherty / Facebook

On the day of Chris’ homecoming, Natasha gathered their three children and headed down to the docks. Nervous as she was, it was finally time for her secret to be revealed.

Natasha Daugherty / Facebook

As Chris ran to meet his children, he noticed that his wife was holding a strange sign, which read: “Welcome Home Baby Daddy.” Chris was puzzled.

Questions swirled in Chris’ head as he approached Natasha, but before he could ask she removed the sign and tossed it aside. Chris was stunned at the sight: Natasha had a baby bump!

Natasha Daugherty / Facebook

At first, Chris thought it was a prank, and even went as far as to ask his wife if it was real. Sure enough, it was, and Chris took Natasha into his arms to celebrate his wife’s pregnancy of their fourth child.

As it turns out, Natasha learned that she was pregnant just days after Chris was deployed. From that moment on, she was determined to keep the pregnancy a secret from him until he returned home.

Natasha Daugherty / Facebook

In order to pull off her ruse, Natasha stayed out of the public eye for most of her pregnancy and even went as far as covering her stomach when sending Chris pictures of her and the kids. No wonder everyone thought she was acting so strange!

Natasha Daugherty / Facebook

Though the couple didn’t have plans for a fourth child, they both secretly had hoped that Natasha would eventually become pregnant again. The look on Chris’ face clearly shows how happy he was to see that their secret hope had become a reality.

Natasha Daugherty / Facebook

Thankfully, Chris won’t be deployed again for several months, allowing him to be home for the birth of their child. And for those wondering at home: it’s a girl!