HOMETOWN Fort Hood, Texas
NUMBER OF CHILDREN Two
DAY JOB Company Commander, US Army / Author
RELATIONSHIP STATUS Married
ON THE WEB
HOW DO YOU COMBINE WORK AND FAMILY?
My husband and I are a dual military couple. We both struggled with the reality of becoming parents and continuing to serve, especially with the back-to-back troop deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. He’s deployed four times to Iraq and I’ve deployed once. We decided after the only tour we did together, if we could help it, that we would never put our kids through that again. Currently, I’m a single mom because he’s away once again. Being a commander and parent is double duty—but our kids hold up pretty well. I do my best to keep life pretty routine for them and we stay connected to the kids by e-mail and Skype. I’m also an author. I wrote about my experience in Iraq for The New York Times At War blog and PBS’ POV Regarding War series, and now I’m excited to announce the November 2011 release of my first novel, Because of You.
WORST PARENTING MOMENT
There are many moments when I seriously reconsidered my military career. The worst moment occurred just recently, when I was away on a temporary assignment. My mom had come in for a few days to watch the girls. On my way home she called to tell me that my youngest had fallen from the top bunk, and that she was taking her to the emergency room. The short version is that my four-year-old was airlifted to Dell Children’s Hospital with a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain. Luckily, I’d made it home in time to fly with her to the hospital, but the three days in the intensive care unit was terrifying. She recovered fine and didn’t require surgery—but I wasn’t there—at least, not at first.
BEST PARENTING MOMENT
Coming home from Iraq and walking into my mother’s house to cries of “Mommy, mommy!”, as my daughters wrapped their little arms around me for the first time in a year.