Letters to War June 24, 2003: The Teaching Test Troubles

******This post is part of the Real Army Wives series which runs every Monday on storiesofourboys.com. The series follows our journey through the 1st year of the Iraq war, 2003-2004. **********


June 24, 2003

Dear Alan,

……Operation Iraq is getting more news time now. The big issue is the mounting amount of coalition troop deaths since the official end of the war. Just this week there were at least 6 British troops killed, and American lives are constantly lost. » Read more

The Book–I had an exciting break through!


These women + Pam and sometimes Tegan, Amy,  and Katie. These women are how I got through Operation Iraqi Freedom I, 2003.

These women + Pam and sometimes Sally, Suzy, Tegan, Amy, and Katie. These women are how I got through Operation Iraqi Freedom I, 2003-2004. We were the real “Army Wives,” long before cable had that t.v. show. And I know so many spouses just like us, all over the world, across all branches of service. We have this unique life, which is both good and bad, and our stories are worth hearing.

I don’t know if you remember, but before I gave birth to JD, I was writing a book. Yes, that was over three years ago now. I haven’t touched it that whole time.

I can’t write that particular book anymore. It’s not the book I want to write at this time.

Each morning I open my inbox in hope of seeing a blog job offer that I will want to take on. This week I had opportunities to review a security system, a bidet, and coconut oil that costs $20 a jar…..when you can buy it for $8 a jar at any grocery store, yes, even organic. I was a little less than enthused. I passed on those.

(####As a blogger, it is my promise to you, my reader, to only review products I’m excited about or truly believe in.####)

I’m still happy blogging, and I’m constantly trying to learn how to be better at it and grow my audience. But for the past two years, I kept thinking about the book. (The first year I had JD the book wasn’t even on the radar. I was just happy to accomplish teeth brushing.)

I kept thinking, “Maybe once the move is done, I’ll work on my book again.”

And sometimes I mention it, and people ask me, “What is your book about?”

“Ummmmmm..uhhhh…” Cue the crickets….

“I don’t actually know what I’m going to write a book about, but for some reason, I’d really like to write one.” I actually feel this pressure to do it. I can’t explain it.

Then three nights ago, I had just gotten out of the shower, and BAM! It hit me! I knew what to write about.

Don’t you get your best ideas while showering? I mean I do, normally, unless there is a toddler beating on the shower door whispering, “Mom, get out. Mom get out.”

Sometimes JD just whispers. It’s cute, not creepy though. Well, sometimes it’s creepy.

Sorry. I’m rambling. So what am I going to write about?

I think it’s time for me to tell my war stories and how God and some wonderful friends brought us through them.

It’s been 15 years now since Sept. 11. It was the war of my generation. And it’s still a gigantic problem. I was 20 back then, and I sent my husband overseas to take part in the War on Terrorism three times already, as did many of my friends. We’ve spent a cumulative total of three plus years of our marriage apart. 


’03 or ’04, with my sister military spouses

There are so many stories to tell! Some hilarious, like times spent with my 4 best friends back in Texas in ’03, before any of us had children. Some sad, like when Caleb ran to a random dude instead of Alan at Alan’s 2010 home-coming. Some heartbreaking, as when we lost friends and bosses as casualties to the war.

It’s been so long now that people are beginning to forget. I’ve actually had someone ask me why I should get a military discount. And Congress is constantly threatening our benefits. Then there was that whole VA healthcare debacle.

So many things happened. And while you often hear of books about “letters from war”, you seldom hear about letters TO war. Well, who wants to read about that? There’s no shooting or convoy attacks in letters from home, right? Well, there are our reactions to them. Then there are the hilarious and sometimes gut-wrenching adventures that an Army wife takes on with her family while she’s left behind.


My sweet military kids during their first deployment experience. At this point,in 2010, Alan had returned from a 15 month tour. Caleb was still calling MY dad “Dad.”

Things like walking your son through EEGs and MRIs because he’s suddenly having seizures and trying to explain it all to your husband in Iraq, while your son’s pre-school teacher calls your son their “little class mascot” as they support him through his medical trials.

Things like getting over-the-moon-I-just-won-the-lottery kind of excited watching the train traveling back into town, loaded down with tanks and Humvees, and wondering what day that they will send your husband too, but knowing that they are finally, after the longest year ever, actually going to come home!!!

And oh, sharing deployment with four close friends who saved each other’s lives that year. Okay. Not literally, but we’ve seen how stress can kill a person, so maybe literally! Yes, definitely literally. Yes, we saved each other’s lives.

I had no idea what I was getting into, but I couldn't wait to start!

I had no idea what I was getting into, but I couldn’t wait to start!

There are so many things I want to tell. Military wives, I know you have stories just like mine and worse and better and then some. I’d love to hear your tales. Maybe after I tell my story I can tell yours too. Hopefully, by telling mine, I will also be telling a lot of yours too. But it’s beautiful how each one us has a slightly different story to tell.

Okay. JD is here, and his nap is apparently over, and he needs me to put his pants back on him, so I’m outta here. Tell me what you think about my book idea. Don’t worry. I’ll change the names, and I’ve already gotten Alan’s buy-in.

We wish you all a fabulous Labor Day weekend!