REFLECTIONS OF AN ARMY WIFE
On December 26, 2009, Don and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. It has been a lifetime of joys and blessings with a few challenges along the way.
After Don proposed to me, he sent me ' The Army Wife ' by Nancy Shea. Having never been exposed to military life, I am sure he thought his young naive bride needed all the help she could get to be successful as a 2nd Lieutenants wife. I read it cover to cover and felt confident and excited about starting our new adventure together. Our first duty station was Ft. Lewis, Washington. Two days after he reported in he left to go out to the field for a week. Suddenly I realized that being an Army wife was a lot more than knowing Army etiquette and traditions. It was apparent that I better get used to my responsibilities and my role in this partnership.
In reflection, our family ' s favorite duty station was at West Point from 1973-1976. The kids and I were able to truly appreciate the history and beauty of Don ' s beloved Alma Mater. We have many happy memories. I loved hearing the cadets chanting as they ran by our quarters during morning PT. We had a very close relationship with the 4 cadets we sponsored and they became a part of our family.
On July 4, 1976, we celebrated America ' s bicentenial by boarding a plane and heading for Germany for Don to take command of the 565 Engineer Battalion. Arriving in Frankfurt with two sleep deprived kids on foreign soil and finding out that our family dog had not made our flight was memorable! The language barrier did not make things any easier. While I tried to communicate with German airport employees with two crying kids hanging on, Don was talking with the young soldier who was there to drive us to Karlsruhe. Finally we were able to be on our way. We still are in touch with that young man. It was a great 2 years and we made lasting friendships and wonderful memories.
There were challenging times during the Vietnam years with Don serving two tours there. But the rich rewarding times during his career were many and seeing how our children feel about their childhood make us proud.
Having the bond with so many of the class of ' 59 is truly a gift. I am priviledged to be connected to Don ' s Band of Brothers.
1950 Census - 13th Street, Merced, Merced Co., CA
1960 Census - Steilacoom, Pierce Co., WA
1970 Census - Livermore, Alameda Co.,CA
1980 Census - Battersea Lane, Alexandria, VA
1990 Census - 1871 Vista Grande Ct., El Cajon, San Diego Co., CA
2000 Census - 1871 Vista Grande Ct., El Cajon, San Diego Co., CA