Author Q & A with Blue Star Families

A handbook for Army Wives … oh how we could have all used this at one time or another. Intro to Army life is about to hit the shelves. Meet the cool author right here!  Allison Mewes has written a fabulous book about being married to the Army …er, an Army man!  Here’s what she had to say!

1)  Where did you meet your spouse? 

My husband and I met on a blind date at PF Changs. It was a double date. I had set my friend up with a guy but she didn’t want to go out with him alone so I told her to find a guy who could simply hold a decent conversation over dinner – I didn’t care what he did, how tall he was, how he looked. I had no expectations. Surprisingly, we just really hit it off right from the beginning and were engaged 6 months later!

2) Is he still active duty — from your bio, you are in Idaho. Is there a base there?

He is an Active Duty Army National Guardsman so he goes to work at Gowen Field every day. Gowen Field is a training center and support site in Boise for power projection missions. He is also a former Marine (but really I think it’s “Once a Marine, always a Marine”).

3)  What was your view of the military before you met your husband? And now?

Before I met my husband, I had the viewpoint many civilians have which is of apathy towards the military. I am ashamed to admit this now. Honestly, I had no idea what a soldiers life was like and it didn’t apply to my life on a day-to-day basis so I didn’t think much about it. Seeing soldiers on TV and in homecoming video montages is very abstract unless you have a personal connection. Quite immediately after I met my husband and understood his lifestyle, it became so much more real to me.

4) Do you think that women are more apprehensive about marrying into the military since the war has begun?  In other words, has the war and its deployment cycle made it more difficult for women to ‘agree’ to marry a military man?  

It’s easy for someone to say they’d never date a military man, until they meet the man of their dreams and he happens to be soldier! If they’re anything like me, they are blinded by love and just jump in head first!

5)  What is the best part about being married to a military man?  And the worst … or perhaps your least favorite part?  (mine is the laundry and the stinky flight suits!)

The best part about marrying a military man is that I feel really safe on hikes! My husband is so prepared and he thinks fast on his feet. We’ve also had some really fun travel opportunities we’d never otherwise have experienced if it wasn’t for his deployment. The worst part is the long stretches of being apart such as deployments and training. The fact that he can be called up at any time to attend a class or a training in the U.S. (INCONUS) or internationally (OCONUS), with only a few days notice can be stressful. In my second semester of pregnancy, I don’t like this very much!

6)  What do you hope readers will take from this book?  

I hope that they will learn a little bit about what to expect in the Army lifestyle, which in turn will make it easier for them and their families. Hopefully they’ll understand why their soldier behaves the way he/she does when they put the Army first. One of the most important things to know is that there are so many resources available for military families, but you have to take responsibility to seek them out and follow through to get the help you need.

7)  When you first sat down to your computer to write, did you ever think you would end up with a book?  

That was my whole goal from the beginning so, yes, I did! My publisher really inspired me to believe in myself and what I was passionate about sharing with others.. I definitely hit some rough patches throughout the process but just kept at it.

8)  What would you say to a newbie spouse who is apprehensive about writing down her thoughts?  In other words, do you have words of wisdom for aspiring writers?

Like I mentioned above, I think first and foremost you have to be passionate about your topic. It is easy to write about something you care about. It’s also important not to aim for perfection in your first draft. Get your thoughts down first and you can fine polish them later. And if you’re writing a book, hire a good editor!!

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