Our Young Military Marriage: Training, Tutwiler, and Thievery

Our Young Military Marriage: Training, Tutwiler, and Thievery

Home Sweet Tutwiler. My freshman year I lived on the 13th floor, aka the 14th floor. My junior and senior years I lived on the 6th floor.

For previous posts on our young military marriage, click here. This is part of the series I’m writing called The Real Army Wives.

As I mentioned before, Alan was away at training the first 4 months of our marriage, while I finished up my degree at the University of Alabama.

I lived in Tutwiler Hall. The funny thing about Tutwiler Hall, which is the freshman girls’ dormitory, is that there were actually 2 different buildings in the state of Alabama named Tutwiler.  The other Tutwiler is the women’s prison.

As you can imagine, everyone had jokes about that, especially Alan. He prided himself, once we got married, on coming to town to stay with me for my “conjugal visit.” Ha!

Our Young Military Marriage: Training, Tutwiler, and Thievery

Tutwiler Hall still stands today, right across the street from the University of Alabama’s famous football stadium.

Even though we lived apart, we took turns visiting one another.

I loved it when Alan would visit and handle all of my Excel homework. 15 years later, I wish I had taken the time to learn how to use Excel. It’s probably the only computer system that is still mostly the same, and I’m still clueless as to how to use it.

When Alan came to town, we slept on an air bed in the floor of my living room at Tutwiler. As the 6th floor Resident Assistant, I had my own living room, bedroom, and bathroom.

It wasn’t much better when I’d go to visit Alan in Oklahoma. I only visited for one extended weekend. It was Thanksgiving. Alan was training to be a field artillery officer. In layman’s terms, that’s the Army’s big guns (cannons), which Alan insists I call “howitzers.”

We had Thanksgiving dinner at Golden Corral that year because Alan called every place in town to see where we could get the most affordable steak.

I will never forget that Thanksgiving because of the crazy person who stole from me. I was staying at the Batchelor Officers’ Quarters with Alan, sharing a bed that could only be described as a 3/4 bed. It wasn’t even quite as big as a full size bed.

Down the hall from our room was the community laundry room. No big deal. I was used to that. We had community laundry at Tutwiler. I wasn’t the kind to sit with my clothes either. I left my clothes in the dryer and returned to my room. On the way out of the laundry room, Alan introduced me to a guy who seemed a little strange in a creepy way, but whatever. I didn’t think too much of it.

You can imagine my dismay when I took my clothes out of the dryer and discovered that all 5 pairs of my panties were missing from the load!!! The rest of my clothes were all there.

Only my underwear was missing!

I’d been stolen from before, but this was weird weird weird. Icky.

I looked at every man in the building with a healthy dose of skepticism after that.

Our Young Military Marriage: Training, Tutwiler, and Thievery

Beautiful bluffs near where Alan lived in Lawton, Oklahoma. Geronimo is buried near there. We visited his grave once.

Strange incidents aside, it was a semester of sacrifices. So much separation is hard on a marriage.

We worked hard. Alan was steadily training to lead soldiers to war, and I was squeezing my senior year of college into one semester.

That’s why we decided to do something way exciting and outside the box for fun that October. Remember how we had that free plane ticket left over from the mishap where we missed the military ball? We decided to cash in that ticket and have a 2nd honeymoon in a place neither of us had ever been before but where we’d always wanted to go.

We are both frugal people, but when it comes to relationships, we always fork over the money.

That’s why we fly in to visit our families every summer and Christmas, no matter how many tickets that costs us.

And that’s why we spared no expense going to see each other when we were living separately for a while.

People regret many things, but people never regret spending time with loved ones. No one on their death-bed ever said, “Man, I wish I hadn’t spent so much time with my family.” Nope. Doesn’t happen.

Relationships are always worth the money.

We decided to meet somewhere new and exciting. Alan would fly out from Oklahoma, and I’d fly up from Alabama.

So do you want to know where we went? Come back next Monday! I’ll tell ya all about it.




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Army Wives Series: The First Good-bye and Watching the News

Army wives series the first good-bye and watching the news

It’s been a couple of weeks since my last Real Army Wives series post, so where were we?

Oh, yes, Alan and I were engaged. The Army was starting to encroach on my plans and change my life. Hahahahahaha Oh boy, did I have no idea what was ahead or what!

Behind? You can catch up here with part 1, part 2,and the others weren’t exactly part of the story, per se, so we are really only on part 3 here.

Probably 99% of military couples plan their wedding date around a deployment, a move, a temporary duty assignment, or training.

For us, it was Officer Basic Course and my own college graduation. We could plan it for December or January, which was unstable because we were brand new to the military and didn’t know if that would work out…

Or we could plan the big day for August, exactly when Alan had about 10 days of leave between assignments.

So we went with the August plan.

Army wives series the first good-bye and watching the news

Picture of a picture….Yes, we got married before digital photography was big…Funny story….A guest that we didn’t know caught the bouquet. She said, “Wow! I don’t even know her!” So Alyson, Alan’s cousin, snatched it up. That makes me smile.

The first good-bye

I said good-bye to Alan around May 30 that year. He was off to Ft. Lewis, Washington, and I was headed down to my parents’ house to spend the summer working, planning the wedding, and taking Genetics via distance learning.

This was our first ever attempt at a long distance relationship. Two whole months–which sounds laughable NOW.

But, oh! The drama!

You would have thought it was World War II, rather than…..Tacoma. We hugged and kissed, and made speeches, and it actually makes me roll my eyes and shake my head now to even think about it. Gracious.

Two months of separation between Alan’s commissioning and the wedding.

But that was nothing.

Once we got married, in August, we celebrated with a honeymoon to Jamaica, and then we drove from Alabama to Oklahoma to settle him into his BOQ. (Batchelor Officer’s Quarters)

I rode out there with him, spent a day there, and then I flew back to Alabama to finish my own degree, at the University of Alabama.

Army wives series the first good-bye and watching the news

Yep. That was another 4 months of separation.

I don’t even think it’s that uncommon for military couples to spend the first months of their marriage apart. This has been a common theme throughout millenia of military couples.

As a newlywed 21-year-old young woman, it was agonizing.

How many times did I contemplate throwing it all out the window and moving to Oklahoma with my lieutenant? So many times! I could finish my degree anywhere, any time, why bother with all this? Ugh.

But my husband truly loved me, and was always looking out not only for his best interest, but for mine as well. Alan would not hear of me throwing away my degree only 4 months from completion.

Transferring to another college would have put all those credits at risk. I’d worked hard on this degree, and we both decided it would be best for me to stick it out and finish that last semester at UA.

…Even if I felt like I was the only married lady on campus. Actually, I wasn’t the only one, but I WAS the only married gal still working as a Resident Assistant, living alone, in the freshman girls’ residence hall, Tutwiler.

Army wives series the first good-bye and watching the news

My 3 closest friends junior and senior year: That’s me, Jennings, Leigh, and Chrisynda

But I was with my friends, and that made it doable. How many times have my friends kept me sane over all these years? Two things, y’all, there were two things that always got me through these obstacles.

  1. My faith in my heavenly Father. He’s seen me through too much for me to ever doubt Him.
  2. The support of my friends and family.

Around that time, speculation began to circulate about the possibility of war with Iraq.

It was the fall of 2002. We had troops in Afghanistan, not in Iraq, but the news kept building. I remember the day Chrisynda came to my room to tell me to turn on my t.v.

Army wives series the first good-bye and watching the news

Chrisynda and me, 2002

Chrisynda was one of my best friends, a tallish, slender brunette with straight shoulder-length hair, and a positive attitude. She was the Alan of my friends: super responsible, practical, level-headed, beautiful, kind, caring, and fun, but always well-balanced.

She’s just one of those people who seems to know things. She was the friend who would keep my favorite snack in her room. She’d come to my room with a Walmart bag containing batteries because she knew that if she wanted to watch t.v. in my room, someone would need to put batteries in my remote control. April did not have money to spare for batteries. For Guthrie’s fried chicken tenders? Yes, I had money for that. For batteries? Never.

I remember Chrisynda came into my room, and she probably brought food with her too, and she turned on the news. It is permanently lodged in my brain how she asked me about the Iraq news.

“Did you see this Iraq stuff?”

I muttered something about avoiding all that news and hoping it wouldn’t happen. I like to live happily in denial.

“Ehh…I’m pretty sure we’re going, April. It’s happening. Do you think Alan will go?” She was so polite, but she leveled the facts with me that I don’t think anyone else wanted to talk about.

Time stood still. Wait. What? I gotta start watching the news? The news….the news…

The news was suddenly intruding into my life. It was more than a channel to flip past. What we were seeing on t.v. was affecting me directly. It had always affected me, whether I realized it or not, but now I was in the front of the line of dominoes!!

Ever since, I’ve never been able to form a non-partial opinion on anything politically related. I always think, “Wait. How will this affect me? Or this friend, or my parents, or my children?”

Some people remain objective much better than I do, but I cannot do it.

So there we were…..young newlyweds…we’d been apart for 6 months, with short breaks in between, and now there was talk of war with Iraq.

The questions swirled around me, but what could I do? How could I know anything?

All a person can do in any situation at all is to put one foot in front of the other. Do the next thing. What needs to be done today? Do that. How do I stay spiritually and physically fit to handle all this? Do that too.

Pray. Hope. Love. Cling to the good. Always hope for the best but prepare for the worst, and life went on.

Army wives series the first good-bye and watching the news

Come back next Monday for the next installment!

Every Monday: a new installment of The Real Army Wives blog series on storiesofourboys.com




Memorial Day

Memorial Day

I don’t remember my very first Memorial Day as an Army Wife, but I do recall that it was 2003, and my husband was serving his first tour of duty in Tikrit, Iraq, at that time.

I also remember that in 2003, Memorial Day began to mean fathoms more to me than it had before because that year, 4 men in Alan’s unit died.

Memorial Day

photo courtesy of Rachel Jack

SSG Steven W. White

SPC. Richard Arriaga

SGT. Anthony O. Thompson

SPC. James C. Wright

I didn’t personally know these men or their families. Alan only knew one of them.

You would think that these deaths of soldiers serving with my husband and my friends’ husbands would have made me extremely fearful and anxious for Alan’s safety.

But I can’t explain it to you. I did not feel all that worried about Alan’s safe return. I always just figured he’d return home without a scratch. That sounds foolish, but you have to remember that I was 21, perhaps that’s yet another reason we let our young adults fight our wars. Some of us, like me, are still brazen enough to believe nothing tragic will ever happen to them.

Unfortunately, so many tragedies did happen, and are still happening all around us. In the past few weeks, several soldiers from Alan’s duty station have been killed in action in Afghanistan, and it always hurts.

It may not be us, and yet it IS us. Every one of these service members IS us, and they gave their very lives to fight for our country.

I asked my friends to share photos of friends and family members who were killed in action defending the red, white, and blue. It always makes it more real to me when I see the pictures and am reminded of those whom we have lost.

Today we want to honor all the men and women who have given all they had for this country.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”  –John 15:13

CPT Leif Nott., Operation Iraqi Freedom (photo from Sally Chavous)

Sally was one of my best Army wife buddies during Alan’s first deployment.

Sally wrote:

“This photo of Captain Leif Nott was taken the day the guys left. He was killed during OIF 1. He was in 1-10 CAV with Jon (Sally’s husband) and was killed in Belaruz, Iraq July 30, 2003.

The news of Leif’s death really impacted me (Jon too). Going to his funeral was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. He is buried in Cheyenne, WY. I remember the streets were lined with people between the church and cemetery.”

Sally and Jon also lost their friend CPT Matt Mattingly. He served with 1-10 CAV as well but he was killed during another deployment with the 82nd airborne in Mosel, Iraq in September 2006. I don’t have a pic of Matt.


Memorial Day

Sgt. Michael J. Knapp (1983-2012), Asadabad, Afghanistan, photo from forever missed.

My friend Kasey wrote, “He and his wife were dear friends of ours when we were stationed in Ft Lewis. We were in the same small group together.”


This next one is in our own family, Alan’s Uncle Carey.


Memorial Day

Carey Allen Cunningham, Vietnam War, USAF, photo courtesy of Anna Cunningham

Anna writes:

“Captain Carey Allen Cunningham, USAF, Navigator of an F4 Phantom. Shot down over North Vietnam while on a reconnaissance mission on August 2nd, 1967.

Status: killed in action, body not recovered until April, 1998, when new mitochondrial DNA testing was advanced enough to identify his remains so we could have a funeral. He was buried at the cemetery in his hometown of Collinsville, Alabama, overlooking his High School.

He is my Dad.”



Rachel, another one of my best Army wife buddies from way back, sent me a photo of SPC. Richard Arriaga, one of the 4 soldiers in Alan’s very first unit who died while they were serving in OIF I.

Memorial Day

SPC. Richard Arriaga, photo courtesy of Rachel Jack

He was only 20, of Ganado, Texas; was killed Sept. 18 during an ambush by small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades in Tikrit, Iraq.

We’ve lost so many of our very best. We could go on and on and on. I wrote about the time Alan’s boss died in Afghanistan, a few years ago. You might take a moment to read that one.

I recently made friends with a young Army widow with 2 elementary age school children. Her husband was a Ranger. She wasn’t expecting to live out life as a single mom either. Watching her is the most powerful reminder I’ve ever seen of just how great a sacrifice these men and their families have made. My own sacrifice pales to a mere thing that happened, rather than a sacrifice.

So today, we simply want to say thank you. We can’t express our gratitude enough. Thank you.



***This post is part of the Real Army Wives series, which runs every Monday morning, on Storiesofourboys.com.*****



It was time to meet the Army.

Us on the day of Alan’s commissioning

In April of 2002, the train ride into the future became more like a hurry-it-up rocket trip to Mars.

It was time to meet the Army.

Meeting the parents had nothing on meeting the Army.

So there I was, sweet, innocent, 21-year-old April, twirling my brand new engagement ring around and around, filled with visions of happily ever after.

Did I skip the fact that I started dating Alan in December, and we were engaged by Spring Break? Well, yes, that’s true. If you’re looking for more on that story you can find it here: The Boldest Thing I Ever Did for Love.

By April, we were getting ready to jump off the proverbial cliff. Alan had his orders, and they were for Fort Hood, Texas. On April 15th, I met with my advisor and learned that I had enough credits to graduate in December 02, rather than wait until May 03, as planned.

So, of course, we moved up the wedding date.

Our date books were exploding with significant events.  Alan would be commissioned on May 16, and he would leave May 28th for his military assignment in Washington state. Then in August, we would be married.

But first! There was the annual Alabama ROTC spring ball with my fiancee!! Squeeaaaaal!!!!

I was all giddy and nervous to prepare for my very first formal military event. I did all sorts of things to prepare for it, like buying 10 visits to the tanning bed. (Never do that. I paid for that with an early stage melanoma, 6 years later).

I drove home one weekend and picked up my beautiful indigo prom dress. No one at college had seen it, so it was as good as a new dress.

I hung the dress on the closet door, safely in its plastic bag, not touching the ground. I could just gaze at it and smile and think about how much fun I was going to have, going to the ball with my own Prince Charming. It was going to be the perfect weekend.

I was not in a sorority, so in my 3 years of college, I had never gotten to go to any formal dances.

I was finally getting my chance, but it was going to be complicated to pull this off.

Alan earned the George C. Marshall Award for outstanding ROTC cadets, so he was at the Virginia Military Institute the week of the ball, where he got to see none other than President George W. Bush speak along with many top Generals.  This was months after 9/11, y’all, this was beyond exciting.

It was time to meet the Army.

Alan took this photo of President George W. Bush addressing the George C. Marshall award winners at Virginia Military Institute, 2002.

I’ve done my share of vicarious living through Alan over the years, but that’s okay because you couldn’t pay me all the money in the world to strap on all that protective gear and guns and stand out in the 135 degree desert, away from home for a year at a time. No ma’am. No sir. April stays local. April doesn’t want a heat stroke.

Alan was flying into Birmingham, from VMI, just in time for me to pick him up at the airport and drive us to campus, do a quick wardrobe change, and charge on to the ball. The party must go on!

Around 3pm, I got a phone call from the airport pay phone. Remember those?

“Hey, honey, I’ve got bad news and good news. Um, they overbooked this flight, and anyone volunteering their seat gets a FREE ticket…which will always come in handy…we could even go somewhere fun later. What do you think?”

I tried to hide the disappointment in my voice, “Oh….”

“But honey, even if I don’t give up my seat, the flight is delayed, so I probably wouldn’t make it to the ball in time anyway. I’m sorry. I hope you didn’t have your heart too set on going to the ball.”

Disappointment. Yes, I was disappointed, but I was also relieved. No mad dash to the airport and back and quick change of clothes. No uncomfortable silences trying to make conversation with people I’d never met before.

I put the dress back in my closet. Some other day, perhaps.

I waited until 9 or so, and I drove to the Birmingham Airport to pick up Alan. I had only been in an airport once before, to pick up another friend, and I had never flown on an airplane myself, so airports were still a novelty to me.

During the day, airports are a bustling, upbeat place, but at 9 o’clock at night, it was much different. The airport was a quiet, deserted place that night. It felt like I waited forever, all alone, in an atmosphere that was foreign to me.

It was time to meet the Army.

Waiting at an airport gives you a dangerous amount of time to think.

I remember feeling contemplative, and I couldn’t help but wonder, “Is this what my life will be like, as an Army wife? Waiting at airports alone? Always watching for his plane to land?”

I wondered….

Just how many times will I sit here, waiting for him to return?

How often will our plans be canceled because the Army had other plans?

How much should a military wife even bother to plan?

Will it always be like this? Is this just a taste of things to come?

What exciting places will I get to go to too? When will I get to go along?

I looked down at my beautiful engagement ring and wondered just what sort of adventure I was setting out on, and I hoped that I wouldn’t always be the one waiting. I wanted to join him too, for some of the fun, not the Afghanistan trips, but certainly there were many places I’d like to travel to with him.

If I had a time machine, I’d go back and give my younger self a hug that night. I’d pat 21-year-old April on the shoulder and tell her that everything will be okay.

Would I tell her that eventually she will stop going to the airport and waiting? That he can ride the shuttle? That one day she will be so buried in babies, that she will actually let him come home from a SIX-MONTH Afghanistan deployment via taxi, because who takes 3 babies to the airport at 5am after so many years of this routine?

I can’t help but chuckle at that idea. No, obviously, I couldn’t tell her that. That would not help her at all.

It wasn’t a sad evening. I had that young, filled-with-hope, love, and joy feeling, but at the same time there was a hint of reality beginning to dawn on my heart.

I was realizing and accepting that when I got married, the adventures would not always be my own. There will be disappointments, and waiting, and tears. There will be a massive amount of uncertainty, but it will be worth it. It’s just what we do for those that we love.

And I couldn’t wait to begin the journey.

It was time to meet the Army.

The cover of my journal that year was perfect. Seize the day. That is exactly what we were doing.


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It was time to meet the Army.


The Real Army Wives #1: Tuesday, September 11, 2001

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

I was supposed to get up at 7:30 to be at work at 8:30 that morning, but I overslept, such a typical college student I was…Instead, I woke up at 9:10am for my 10am Anatomy and Physiology class. I had put off my shower long enough that it was non-negotiable that morning.

You see, I was a junior at the University of Alabama, and I had the hard-earned privilege of a private room, thanks to my job as a resident assistant in the largest freshman dormitory on campus, Tutwiler Hall.

I had my radio on while I was getting ready. Before I got into the shower, the D.J. mentioned that an airplane had crashed into the World Trade Center (north tower).

I paused in consternation. “What!? Weird.” That was puzzling, but I went ahead and took my shower.

The thing I will never forget is that moment when I got out of the shower, and I had my towel wrapped around me like a dress, and the man on the radio told us about the 2nd airplane hitting the other tower (south tower).

I immediately sat down.

“Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa. Wait. What? What is happening?”

I listened intently. I don’t know why it never occurred to me to turn on my t.v. to watch coverage of this. It’s like I was stuck in 1930, listening to my personal stereo. I suppose I was too shocked to think anything at all besides, “What is happening?? Are we at war? What will happen next??”

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

My Fall 2001 Journal.

They didn’t have much more information to give us that morning. What could they say? Unsure what else to do, I went about my normal routine.  I put my clothes on in a daze and walked the half-mile to my anatomy class, hoping to hear some reassuring words or just more information, from my professor.

Instead, I entered what felt like the Twilight Zone. Seemingly, no one in my class had any idea that it had happened. Probably they didn’t. The professor certainly didn’t know. He taught class as usual, and I absorbed absolutely nothing that Dr. Graham said.

Have you ever felt like you knew the world was ending, and no one around you had a clue?

And you start to wonder if you misunderstood? That one hour, on 9/11/01, I felt that way, which is funny because I was normally the one who was notorious for not being up on current events. Watching the news wasn’t my thing. I’ve always been more of a bookworm than a t.v. person.

I breathed a sigh of relief when I arrived to my 11am class, Psychology Research Methods, and the professor marched in and canceled class. Finally! I didn’t imagine all of this! I’m not crazy. This really did happen. Now I was free to talk about it.

There was a resident on my floor, named Stacy, who was from New York City. I had a burning urgency in my chest to get ahold of her. I left her notes on her door, I looked for her, I called her, and I prayed and hoped her parents didn’t work at the Towers.

She found me that afternoon and reassured me that all of her folks were present and accounted for. It wasn’t easy back then. This was 2001. Most of us did not have cell phones, and the regular lines were jammed with so many people calling that I heard reports that it was hard to get a call through.

Stacy told me this story:

“My parents are good. Everyone is fine. Even my aunt! This is incredible because this is the 2nd time my aunt has been rescued from harm in the towers. My aunt works in the WTC, but she had gone across the street to get coffee this morning. She saw the crash happen from a window and went straight home from there. My aunt is a faithful prayer warrior, and she says God has protected her, and it was not her time to go yet. She was spared once before, during the 1993 WTC bombing. She happened to be at home sick with the flu that day.”

Then Stacy went home to New York City to be with her people for the rest of that week. It was just as well. She didn’t miss anything.

The world stood still that week. 

Airplanes were grounded. Ball games were canceled. Tests were postponed. Candles were lit everywhere. You couldn’t walk a mile on campus without running across candles or a group of praying people.

I’ll never forget holding hands in a giant circle on the University of Alabama quad. There must have been 100 or more of us, both teachers and students. There were Jews, Christians, and agnostics all standing there praying together, between classes. We sang hymns too, though I don’t recall which ones. It was an empowering thing to be a part of.

In my journal that day, I wrote that “What worries me is–what if more awaits for tomorrow–or next week.”

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

My actual journal entry. Yes, you can laugh at me about the Pentagon bomb, but it was early, and I didn’t have all the facts straight yet.

I was only 20 years old at the time. I was a full-time student with 2 part-time jobs. Alan was just a guy in a group of friends that I ate lunch with on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

After 9/11, I looked at Alan differently.

On Wednesdays, the ROTC cadets wore their uniforms all day long, so the day after 9/11, I saw Alan in his uniform at lunch. Alan was the top ranking cadet at Alabama. He was an impressive looking young soon-to-be-officer in the United States Army, standing at 6 foot 3, 225 pounds, in his size 15 combat boots. Alan has a strong jaw line and an air of authority and strength about him, but once you get to know him you realize that he is also exceedingly kind, reasonable, disciplined, and even funny.

I asked him how he felt about all this.

Alan was so business-like and serious in his response to my question.  He said matter-of-factly, “We are always ready to go to war and defend this country, to keep Americans safe and defend our freedom. Always ready.”

“You’re not worried? This will affect you directly. You aren’t afraid?”

“No. This is what we train for. I can’t wait to go.”

Maybe that was the day I started to like him, though I didn’t know it at the time. At the very least, it was the day I began to deeply respect him.

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

a Crimson White clipping I saved from those days after 9/11


How September 11 would affect us

The already married military spouses knew they would soon be called upon to make humongous sacrifices.

As we watched all the sacrifices that the firemen, policemen, and rescue workers were making on 9/11 and the time following, we held our breath with them. We cried for them.

How could I know that someday my children and I would make sacrifices too, and that so many families would give all?

When you are enduring hardships for your country, like sending your husband overseas for months on end, over and over again, you need a good reason for that. 9/11 is always the reason I remind myself of.

When Daddy misses a whole year of birthdays….that’s for 9/11.

When I ate my 1 year anniversary wedding cake alone…..9/11.

When Christmas feels lonely……..9/11.

When I had to shepherd my son through the confusing and scary seizures and testing for epilepsy without my husband there to share the burden…….9/11.

And I remember what Alan said in 2001. It held true for all of these years, though no one ever wants war. War is a horrible thing, but on that day the terrorists attacked us first. They left us no choice.

“We are always ready to go to war and defend this country, to keep Americans safe and defend our freedom. Always ready,” and I am proud to be the flip-flops back home, supporting the boots on the ground overseas.

Every Monday: a new installment of The Real Army Wives blog series on storiesofourboys.com

This is just the beginning of my series of The Real Army Wives, stories from the home front of the War on Terrorism. 

I hope you will join us next week, Monday, May 21, for the next installment, Marrying the Lieutenant.


Were you already a military spouse or have a compelling 9/11 story to tell? I’d love to share it on Storiesofourboys.com. Please send your submission to april@storiesofourboys.com. Feel free to just send me your article or just your idea to see if it fits in with what I have planned. Thank you!



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