From Chicken Soup for the Military Wife's Soul


Julie Angelo received her bachelor’s degree in education from Youngstown State. She has been a military spouse for more than sixteen years and has taught in Texas and Louisiana. Currently living in Ohio, she is doing the toughest job of all—raising children! She can be reached at [email protected]

Both Megan Armstrong and her husband serve their country from Washington State: He is in the army, and she is in the air force. They were married in 2003, and because of a related article, had a picture and story of their wedding featured on the front page of the Seattle Post Intelligencer on Saturday, March 1, 2003.

Steven Arrington (Col., USAF—Ret.) is a decorated combat veteran and retired after thirty years of service. He’s been married to Jane for twenty-eight years, and his tribute to all military spouses was born from his observations— and quiet admiration—of the numerous sacrifices he watched her make through eighteen PCS moves.

Tracy Atkins received a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Maryland in 1998. She and her husband, MJ, have two children, Brittany and Michael Jr. She enjoys traveling, reading and volunteering.

Patricia Barbee grew up and was educated in Boston. She began writing in the fifth grade. She has written for various publications and is a published fiction author. She met her late marine husband in church in Boston the same week he arrived on the USS Wasp.

Susanna Hickman Bartee received degrees in history and journalism from Southern Methodist University in 1990. She and her husband have four children. In 2004, she launched, a unique and humorous look at the military lifestyle. She can be reached at [email protected].

Melissa Baumann is a freelance writer (wishing for a job), navy wife and mother of three boys whose antics practically deliver column fodder. She’s also a full-time college student, Webmaster and fund-raising guru for her sons’ crew team in Chesapeake, Virginia. She can be reached at[email protected]. Jessica Blankenbecler is fourteen years old and a sophomore in high school. She loves the sun and swimming, and enjoys writing in her journal. She plans to go on to college, but her field of study is unknown at this time.

William H. Blankfield Jr. (Col., USAF—Ret.) received a B.A. from Lasalle College (now University) in Philadelphia in 1949. He taught school (history, geography and Latin) until being recalled to active duty in 1951. He was commissioned in 1952 and spent most of his twenty-six years in the service in communications/electronics. His service included two years during World War II. He retired in 1974 and has been basking in idleness ever since—busy idleness, of course.

Carrie Boggs currently resides on a farm with her husband, Jeremy, in the beautiful hills of Tennessee. The couple is very active at Gum Springs Baptist Church near their home. The couple enjoys the outdoors and spending time with their families. She can be reached at [email protected].

Heidi Boortz received her B. A. in English/creative writing from the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire in 1996. She has two young sons, and they are her inspiration for children’s stories she would like to publish someday.

Margaret Buchwald was the quintessential “camp follower” for twenty-three years. She mastered the art of wives’ clubs, raising children and pets, managing husband and soldier, and years of separation. After receiving her bachelor’s and master’s degrees later in life, she is now an English teacher in Palm Beach, Florida.

Saundra L. Butts is a youth pastor, navy wife and mother of three residing in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She received bachelor of arts degrees in American government and rhetoric and communication studies from the University of Virginia in 1983. She is currently working on her master’s degree in Christian ministry at Asbury Theological Seminary, and enjoys writing, reading, softball and golf. She can be reached at [email protected].

Candace Carteen has obtained several degrees. She’s a Toastmaster (CTM-B), mother of one son and wife to her beloved best friend. Candace enjoys swimming, reading, skating and playing with her family. She’s currently seeking a publisher for a book series she’s written. She can be reached at [email protected] (Note: Yes, she owns the picture.)

Mary Catherine Carwile has just published her first book, Heartstrings at 35,000 Feet. Her contribution is from that book. Her book holds a collection of personal stories she garnered in her job as a flight attendant: from conversations she had with passengers—stories about tragedy, happiness, romance, family, courage, friendship and heroism. Mary can be reached at

Mary C. Chace is a seasoned army wife, who has navigated combat deployments, cross-country moves and long separations from her favorite helicopter pilot, all while homeschooling their large family. She is currently developing a freelance career from their home near Fort Campbell, Kentucky. She can be reached at [email protected].

Roxanne Chase is a U.S. Air Force veteran. Her poem was inspired by her “fly-boy” husband Sergeant Reed Chase. Roxanne enjoys writing, cooking and entertaining. Her biggest joy, however, comes from raising her daughter Hayven. She can be reached at [email protected].

Amie Clark is currently a home daycare provider for military families. She attended Ashland University in Ohio and is currently working on her elementary-education degree. Amie is a wife and mother of two boys. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, reading and spending time with her family. She would like to take up painting when her children are a little older. She can be reached at [email protected].

Lisa Cobb is a registered nurse and an army wife. She is the mother of three children. She and her family have traveled extensively during their seventeen years of service. She enjoys caring for her family and outdoor activities. Professionally, she enjoys hospice work and teaching childbirth classes.

Dianne Collier, author, columnist and military wife for more than thirty-five years, has experienced firsthand the unique challenges faced by military families. In her bestselling book, My Love, My Life (2004), Dianne turns to military spouses from across Canada, the United States, and overseas to tell their stories. She can be reached at [email protected].

Jill Cottrell is an army wife of eight and a half years. She has been active in the army community, receiving numerous awards for her volunteer work, for bettering the lives of soldiers and their families. She currently resides at Fort Benning, Georgia, with her husband Paul, their eight-year-old twin daughters and four-year-old son.

Joanne Danna has been a secretary for the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs in Cumberland County. Over the years, as a widow of a Vietnam veteran, she has had several experiences with the Gold Star Wives of America. She enjoys painting, the beach and spending time with her two grandchildren.

Jude Dennis lives with her second husband on a 1939 wooden boat in Oregon. Together, they own and run a company committed to designing and manufacturing products that help more military personnel return home safely. Her sister, Mary Kramer, a professional writer, helped her compose what was in her heart.

Mary E. Dess received her master’s degree in English from Sacramento State University and taught English at American River College in Sacramento. She has written for The Retired Officer’s magazine, Young Miss, Home Life, Woman’s World, The Woman and various Christian publications. Mary, her husband and five children traveled extensively as a military family.

After twenty-five years as an air force wife, Twink DeWitt—with her husband, Denny—serves with Mercy Ships and Youth with a Mission. She enjoys helping others write family stories that become legacies for future generations. The DeWitts have three married sons and five grandchildren. She can be reached at [email protected].

Theresa Doss received her bachelor of arts from Mount Marty College in Yankton, South Dakota, in 1995. She currently teaches at the middle-school level, and also speaks to young audiences about self-esteem issues and mother/daughter relationships. She can be reached at [email protected].

Amy J. Fetzer is the daughter, wife and mother of career U.S. Marines. A best-selling author, she aptly marked her thirtieth published novel with Tell It to the Marines (action-adventure, Brava, December 2004). After twenty-five years of traveling with the Corps, Amy and her family live outside Charleston, South Carolina, enjoying the quiet, retired life and trying to behave like civilians. Visit her Web site:

Diane L. Flowers is married and the mother of one young son and two stepchildren. Her husband was called to active duty in February 2003, and was sent to the Middle East for Operation Enduring Freedom, where he remained until December 2003. Diane lives with her husband and son in Maryland.

When Jane Garvey’s husband retired from the military, their family settled in small-town Westerville, Ohio. Jane loves batik, watercolor, oil and silk painting, and writing. If asked for a favorite pastime, she will say she hasn’t decided what to be when she grows up. She can be reached at [email protected].

Martha Pope Gorris received her bachelor of arts in English/creative writing from George Mason University while her husband, a career naval officer, was assigned to duty at the Pentagon. Her first book, Held Captive by Futile Thoughts?Break Free! was published in 2000.

Sally B. Griffis is a licensed professional counselor in private practice in Peachtree City, Georgia. Sally is a frequent speaker, TV guest and presenter for numerous organizations across the country. Her current project is a book, On the Back of the Beast, featuring the stories of courageous military survivors. She can be reached at [email protected].

Sue Groseclose-Combs was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. She graduated from Wright State University with a sociology degree. She married her husband Bill in 1978, becoming a military wife the same year. Sue has taught preschool and served in numerous volunteer positions. She can be reached at [email protected].

Gail Gross is a Christian author and counselor currently working as director of Westbrook Health Services in Spencer, West Virginia. Her husband retired from the U.S. Army in September 2004, and they moved from Germany back to the States, residing now in Ripley, West Virginia. She can be reached at [email protected].

Nancy Hall is a navy spouse with prior navy military service. She was a volunteer ombudsman (liaison between military families and Seabee Battalion Commanding Officer) during Desert Storm. The Halls have recently retired, live in an RV full-time and are traveling throughout the United States to discover its history.

Abigail L. Hammond has been an army wife for thirteen years and is the mother of four children. She enjoys cross-stitching, photography and reading. She is active in her Family Readiness Group and Army Family Team Building, and has won numerous awards for her volunteer efforts. She can be reached at [email protected].

Jonny Hawkins is a nationally known cartoonist from Sherwood, Michigan. Thousands of his cartoons have been published in magazines such as Reader’s Digest, Guidepost’s, Saturday Evening Post, Harvard Business Review, Boy’s Life and over 250 others. He lives with his wife, Carissa and their two young sons, Nathaniel and Zachary. He can be reached at 616-432-8071 or at P.O. Box 188 Sherwood, MI 49089, or via e-mail at [email protected]

Amy Hollingsworth is a military wife to U.S. Marine Sergeant James Hollingsworth and a stay-at-home mother to Abigail and Jacob. They currently are stationed in beautiful Hawaii and look forward to living the military life for many more years to come.

Jan Hornung, military mate (army wife) and former army helicopter pilot, is the author of five books, including This Is the Truth as Far as I Know: I Could Be Wrong (humorous stories of married to military and life) and Angels in Vietnam: Women Who Served. Her Web site is

Carol Howard is currently working on her associate’s degree. She enjoys writing and is an avid reader. She has three wonderful children and is happily married to her own personal hero. Carol is writing a historical romance novel and hopes to one day see it published. She can be reached at williamandcarol [email protected].

Denise J. Hunnell has been a military spouse for twenty years. She is also the mother of four children and a family-practice physician. Home is where the air force sends her family. Denise writes about family issues from her current home in northern Virginia. She can be reached at [email protected].

Terry Hurley is a retired U.S. Army major. She lives in Woodbridge, Virginia, with her husband, an active-duty officer, and their young son. Terry enjoys volunteer work and home-improvement projects. She plans to write her autobiography some day. She can be reached at [email protected].

Mary D. Jackson was born in March 1923, to Adelia and Charles Drummer in Ottawa, Ohio, the seventh of ten children. She married Barton Campbell, who was serving our country as a Naval Chief Petty Officer. She had five brothers who served in the war, all of whom returned home safely. Barton did not return from action in the Pacific to see their son Michael grow up. Upon retirement from the New York City childcare system, she began to write her life story, Some Are Magic and Some Are Tragic.

Michael J. Jett graduated from Wake Forest University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His first novel, Secret Games, was published in 2003. A financial executive, he resides in Phoenix and is working on his second novel. He can be reached at [email protected].

Angela Keane is the proud military wife to Lt. Dan Keane, U.S. Coast Guard. She is a stay-at-home mom to their two children, Braeden and Morgan. Angela enjoys traveling, shopping, reading, scrapbooking and spending time with her family. She can be reached at [email protected].

Jilleen Kesler is currently a housewife living in Southern California. Between the navy moving her around frequently, raising her children and proudly supporting her husband through his naval career, she is working on her first of hopefully many novels. She can be reached at [email protected].

Born in Buna, Texas, Stacy Smith Kirchheiner has been writing poetry that reflects her love of God and family. She has been married for sixteen years to Richard. They have four children and enjoy the navy life of travel. She can be reached at [email protected].

Kelli Kirwan is the wife of a U.S. Marine and a mother of six. She’s written for GoodSense magazine and a weekly column in the El Paso Times. Kelli plans to write a book on raising children in the military and speaks about families and military life. She can be reached at [email protected].

Debbie Koharik is an air force wife who served on active duty for nine years. She has an M.A. in English and has taught ESL and English composition courses. Currently, she is a full-time, work-at-home mother of two and a part-time writer of children’s stories. She can be reached at [email protected].

Krystee Kott received her bachelor of science in ocean engineering from the United States Naval Academy in 1995. She enjoys traveling, running, reading and hiking with her husband. Krystee is currently cowriting a young-adult novel with her father, Michael Kott. She can be reached at [email protected]. Amanda Legg is a proud wife, mother and daughter. She is in the process of going back to college for her nursing degree at Central Texas College. Amanda enjoys spending time with her family, watching old movies and camping.

Tammy C. Logan is a military wife of eight years and has at least twelve more years to go. She relocated to three different duty stations with her husband Jim. In addition, she has supported and held her family together through three deployments. They have one son who is the light of their life. Tammy is currently a third-grade teacher with the Department of Defense Education System, at Fort Benning. Her passions include teaching and spending quality time with her family.

Gary Luerding, a retired army NCO, has been married to Lynne for forty-two years and has three children and eight grandchildren. He enjoys fishing, pyrography and writing. Published works include Inshore Ocean Fishing for

Dummies (San-Dal’ Publications © 1994), and “Beyond the Breakers” (Chicken Soup for the Fisherman’s Soul).

Elizabeth Martin, a registered nurse, is the wife of a career military officer, mother of two grown children and grandmother of three young grandsons. Her father was a World War II veteran who was wounded on Iwo Jima. Her brother, son-in-law and son are also military veterans.

Shelley Lynn McEwan lives in Sarna, Ontario, with her husband Gord and their sons Joshua, Adam and Noah. She is an early childhood educator in the Ontario Early Years Program at Labton College. “Letter of Hope” was written for Gord’s grandparents, William and Martha Lindsay, who are now together in heaven, never again to be parted.

Shelly Mecum is an inspirational speaker and the author of the award-winning book God’s Photo Album. Her work has been featured on Dr. Robert Schuller’s Hour of Power, PAX TV’s It’s a Miracle, Guideposts Magazine and Chicken Soup from the Soul of Hawaii. The University of San Diego presented her with the prestigious 2001 Author E. Hughes Career Achievement Award. This former navy ombudsman and proud wife of a retired navy chief is currently at work on other writing projects. She can be reached at

Jennifer Minor received her bachelor of arts degree in French from Valparaiso University in 1997. She married Kevin, now a captain in the air force in 1998. She stays at home with their two young daughters, Hannah and Hope. She enjoys traveling, writing, playing sports and spending time with her family.

Sarah Clark Monagle is a guidance counselor, currently a stay-at-home mom to three daughters. She is also the proud wife of a navy helicopter pilot. She earned a B.A. in sociology in 1990 and an M.Ed. in counseling in 1992. She can be reached at [email protected].

Amy Naegeli, twenty-eight, is a military wife to her best friend and husband of six years. She is currently earning a degree in elementary education. When Amy is not chasing after her two-year-old son, she enjoys cooking, movies, books and crafts. She can be reached at [email protected].

Ann Hail Norris holds a bachelor of science degree from Southwestern College. She owns Norris Consulting and Design, a professional writing and layout business, in Sheerwood, Arkansas. Between work and raising her military family, Ann volunteers her time and talents to various nonprofit organizations. She can be reached at [email protected].

Kathy Oberhaus, a former flight attendant for amajor airline, met her husband during his internship for Special Operations’ most sophisticated helicopter, the MH-53 Pave Low. To unite spouses, she created numerous productions to entertain and promote morale of active-duty military. She and her husband are the proud parents of three children. Currently, she is pursuing legislative changes to protect the elderly.

Jennifer Anne Oscar is a 1997 graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and former army intelligence officer. She and her active-duty husband have four children. Her passions include family, quilting, scrapbooking and skiing back in Colorado. She also volunteers helping other military spouses. She can be reached at [email protected].

After graduating from Sophia University, Tokyo, Marilyn Pate taught both children and adults. In addition to family and writing, her interests include researching pioneer women’s stories, Western history and stitchery. She and her retired navy husband, married for more than fifty years, live near Tucson, Arizona.

Thomas D. Phillips (Colonel, USAF—Ret.) led a detachment through a Red Brigades terrorist episode, served as director of the Air Force Personnel Readiness Center during Operation Desert Storm and commanded troops in Bosnia. He and his wife Nita, a registered nurse, reside in Lincoln, Nebraska.

MSgt. Benjamin Pigsley will retire from active duty in the U.S. Army in May 2005 with more than twenty-one years of dedicated service. He and his wife Julie have been married for seventeen years, and have two children, Daniel Joseph, age sixteen, and Samantha Nichole, age fourteen.

Donna Porter is a freelance writer, mother and proud air force spouse. Her husband, SSgt. Douglas Porter, and their three children, Carrington, Jensen and Emmalyn, are currently stationed at Landstuhl Teginal Medical Center in Germany. Donna enjoys crocheting, reading and spending time with the family. She can be reached at [email protected].

Diane Proulx holds a B.A. in history and M.Ed. in curriculum and instructions. She retired from Verizon and currently teaches U.S. history and civics in New Hampshire. Diane and her husband have two sons. She enjoys traveling and reading. She can be reached at [email protected].

Michele Putman is a twice-published poet, but her true passion lies in suspense thrillers. She works for a successful restaurant chain in Arizona where she is continuing her education. Michele spends her free moments scrap-booking, gardening, hiking and spending time with her two daughters and partner in crime, James. Michele is currently writing another nonfiction book and hopes to have it published within the next few years.

Elizabeth Rae is a wife and mother. She has an associate’s degree. She enjoys gardening and walking and has a strong faith in God. She was raised in a military family, and has two sons and a husband who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom. She is proud to be an American.

Sonja R. Ragaller currently lives in Virginia and has been married for twenty-one years to Rick. Together, they have two beautiful children, Nicolas and Sabrina. Sonja is very proud to be both the wife and the daughter of military servicemen, and would like to thank all who serve and sacrifice for our country.

Kim Riley is an army wife of more than thirteen years. She and her husband George are New Jersey natives who currently live near Fort Campbell, Kentucky, with their boys Josh, twelve, and Kevin, eight. Kim enjoys spending time with her family as well as substitute teaching and volunteering at her boys’ schools.

Gwen C. Rollings received her bachelor of arts degree, magna cum laude, and is a master of human communication. She has written a book of poetry, Seasons of a Woman, owns a training and development business, and conducts Christian women’s seminars. Married since 1966 to Maj. Gen. Wayne Rollings (USMC— Ret.), they have four children. She can be reached at [email protected].

Sara Rosett received her bachelor of arts from Texas Tech University, graduating summa cum laude. She is a military spouse, stay-at-home mom and writer. Her stories and essays appear in several anthologies. She is the author of the Military Mom Mystery series. She can be reached at

Tammy Ross is a three-time cancer survivor and believes that miracles happen every day. She has two children, Kayla and Anna. She gives thanks to God daily for the protection he provided to her husband Terry during his service in Baghdad. She can be reached at [email protected].

Kimberly L. Shaffer earned her bachelor of science from Salisbury University in 1993. She teaches fourth grade in a rural elementary school overlooking the Potomac River. Kim and her solider husband Joe have been married for eleven years. They have a nine-year-old son and a four-year-old daughter. She can be reached at [email protected].

Tracey L. Sherman married her high-school sweetheart, now a twenty-two-year veteran, twenty-five years ago. Prior, Tracey was a lifelong air force brat. The mother of three awesome children, Tracey is certified to teach English and actively pursues her dream of writing for children and young adults. She can be reached at [email protected].

Sarah Smiley is the author of “Shore Duty,” a weekly syndicated newspaper column for military spouses. In October 2005, New American Library will release her first book, Going Overboard. Stay tuned to for more details.

Alice Faye Smith is the mother of three and grandmother of nine, wife of ex-Seabee Jerry Smith for forty-one years. She taught herself to type and considers her writing ability as a gift from God. Her stories capture her love for her God, her family and her America.

Jodie Cain Smith received her bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of South Alabama in 1999. In 2003, Jodie began the column “Married to the Military.” She enjoys theater, crafts and, most of all, time with her husband. She can be reached at: [email protected].

Kristin Spurlock is a native of Dover, Ohio, and a graduate of Bowling Green State University with a bachelor of fine arts degree. She and her husband Brian have one son, Drew, and are currently stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas, where she volunteers her time to several military-family organizations.

Naomi Stanton received her B.A. from Bradley University in 1995. She is the proud mommy to three children and married to Capt. Paul T. Stanton, the love of her life. She can be reached at [email protected].

Joyce Stark lives in northeast Scotland and splits her time between her writing and working for the community mental-health team. She is currently writing a children’s series to promote early learning of a second language and a cookbook entitled You Put WHAT in It?

Chanda Stelter is a devoted wife and loving mother living in North Dakota, where she enjoys the diversity of seasonal changes. Throughout her husband’s deployment she realized that each day is a gift with a purpose. She is a woman who commits every day to glorifying God. She can be reached at [email protected].

Mashawn Sticca received her bachelor of arts degree from Fort Lewis College in 1995. She is currently a stay-at-home mom enjoying volunteering with many different groups in Fort Riley. Mashawn enjoys quilting, walking, reading and working with children. She can be reached at [email protected].

Sharon C. Stephens Trippe is a retired businesswoman. She was born in Oklahoma, and, being married to a career military man, has lived and traveled most of the world. Sharon’s current project is a book for children of divorce, and the love of a horse. She can be reached at [email protected].

Leah Tucker has been married to her soldier since 1993. Together, they have an autistic son who is a joy. With her husband’s work, Leah feels it is important to maintain some sort of stability for their son Thomas. They had another child in November 2004, a girl named Rylee. Leah enjoys her job as a technology manager. In her free time, she is a graphic artist and a volunteer for Family Readiness Groups.

Rachel Twenter graduated from the University of Missouri in 1999, where she received a bachelor of arts in communication. She is a wife and mother of two boys. In her free time, she paints children’s artwork for her business cREaTe (

Vicki A. Vadala-Cummings grew up on Cape Cod in Massachusetts, and is currently living on Cape Ann, where she teaches elementary school. For thirty-two years she traveled extensively, living and teaching on three continents and in five states in the United States. She has been published in The International Library of Poetry.

Linda Valle is the wife of Air Force Lt. Col. JC Valle and mother of two teenagers, Tara and John. They currently live in Stuttgart, Germany. Linda enjoys antiquing and traveling. Her story is dedicated to the 34th Bomb Squadron families, “The T-Birds.”

Lora Vivas, M.Ed, is a literacy specialist and life coach in Colorado, who also teaches yoga, meditation and life skills to children and adults. She considers being the mother of two her most important role. Her children’s book will be published in 2005. She can be reached at [email protected].

Bethany Watkins received her B.A. in 1993 from Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island, and her M.S. in educational technology from TSU in 2000. She is the mother of three children and has been a military wife since 1993. Bethany’s hobbies include cake decorating, writing, computers, traveling, cooking and reading.

DeEtta Woffinden Anderson is the wife of a military man whose assignments introduced her to many and daily changes of culture, ideas and challenges. At the golden age of eighty-something, this is DeEtta’s second published work, her first being in Chicken Soup for the Fisherman’s Soul. She may be reached at [email protected]

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