Meet Rynn, Sara, Yolanda, Lindsey, Blair, Salina and Traci. Their husbands are serving in the 4th Brigade in Afghanistan. They are real Army wives living in Alaska, not to be confused with these ladies:
Yolanda’s husband is the commander of 3500 soldiers and she is looking after their families during this deployment.
We meet Lindsey. She is proud to be Major Bergeron’s wife, proud of the Army spouse life. She reads her ‘Army Wife’ handbook and says she represents herself and her husband at all times.
She goes shopping with, as she tells us, a fellow officer’s wife, looking for a dress to wear to greet her husband for R&R. Her friend wants to look for some sexy gear (Yay!), but she wants to roll conservative in her attire. Appearances! “Boring,” says her friend. Lindsey explains that she was married to a junior enlisted soldier, but being married to an officer, there’s a shift in roles for her and she has to always be presentable and sophisticated. Four years ago she was introverted and overweight. She had gastric bypass and loves the results. I think she looks great. She said people accuse of her of gold digging with her marriage. Her husband’s arriving earlier than expected, so there goes the pretty dress fantasy! This reunion will happen in not so presentable leggings with sleepy kids. Well played, editors.
At Rynn’s, we see that she has teens and tweens to care for. Their relationship seems solid, loving and close. She speaks about the challenges of her husband, also a Major, being away and in danger with kids old enough to understand that he may not come home. They share the family Skype session with us and openly discuss recent rocket fire that put him in danger. Rynn is holding it together, but there seems to be more brewing below the surface that she doesn’t want to burden others with.
Sara, Brandi, Salina and Traci go view an Army jump. This is what their husband’s do. Troops jump out of the plane, looking like toy soldiers from far away. The ladies get a thrill seeing this live and in person. It’s a light moment of laughter and joking around.
Yolanda has a get together with the women. Lindsey says that it’s not common for officer’s spouses and enlisted spouses to mix socially. It’s been that way for 240 years and she’s not the one to change it. Thankfully, there has been a good 30+ years of spouses who have changed this and socialize as what they are: people. Actual fraternization is what occurs between people in uniform, but I digress.
Traci reveals that she met her husband while employed at ‘Hooters.’ Lindsey believes that it’s not appropriate to say one worked at ‘Hooters’ at the Brigade Commander’s house. It’s not a good look for their spouse and has a direct reflection on his career. Direct reflection is a bit much since this is an actual fact. Traci thinks Lindsey acts “Holier than thou” and “Wears her husband’s rank.” This is a touchy issue among military spouses of all branches. These two are either going to be sworn enemies or become great friends. Lindsey isn’t much older than the enlisted spouses but she feels they act younger. Someone’s going to have to teach Traci, in her opinion.
Back inside, it’s the four month mark of the deployment and Yolanda wants to know how everyone is doing emotionally. Rynn says this is the hardest deployment her family has been through with teen boys needing their father. She’s visibly upset. Sara, being new to this, is still learning and unsure of how this deployment will change her husband.
Yolanda passes on a thank you to the women from her husband. They keep his troops strong by taking care of their families and home. It’s deeply emotional for all of them and you know her words are genuine and heart felt. She pins each woman with a Brigade pin and a hug. You want a Yolanda in your life.
Lindsey prepares for dinner with her husband and she wants to get his advice on how to ‘handle’ Traci. Mind you, he has 14 days at home and then it’s back to Afghanistan. Two weeks. Traci would be the furthest thing from my mind, but you do you, Lindsey. She asks for his advice and he tells her to “Relate.” Lindsey said in her old enlisted wife life, she didn’t act as an Army wife should. She can relate to Traci’s ‘mistakes’, but what if she doesn’t care when they do talk? “Then let it go.” He’s right. Neither woman works for the other and neither needs to adhere to Army conduct regulations.
We visit Traci’s home as she’s hosting a gathering. Introductions are made and her daughter is identified as the one who “Came out of my vagina.” Traci married her husband a week after they met at a bikini competition she was in. She loves him and is proud of his job and what he does. As for her forwardness, she’s going to stay true to who she is no matter what. If people don’t like it, it sucks for them. Her husband phones during the party and she lets the baby see daddy on the video chat. Traci has a softer side that shows when she talks about her worries about her husband being there to raise his little girl.
Lindsey rings Traci because as a proper Army wife, there are things you just shouldn’t say. I think Traci knew this wasn’t a “Hey girl, hey!” chat when Lindsey identified herself. She invites Traci to meet up and talk about a few things. Some things have been said around others and may be perceived as inappropriate. Traci tells Lindsey, “You can go fuck yourself, because I did meet my husband at Hooters and I’m damn proud of it!” She doesn’t know who Lindsey thinks she’s talking to but if that fact offends then fuck her. Click.
“And this is why we don’t associate,” Lindsay says in sing-song voice as I face palm.
Salina, Blair and Traci come to Sara’s house to surprise her with a housewarming party. Rynn is there! She’s not allergic to women who marry enlisted men. Sara is happily surprised by the party. She has the sweetest smile and disposition and is truly touched by their thoughtfulness.
The discussion turns to the Blackout. No communication from their spouses means that there has been a casualty situation. It is designed to keep improper injury or death notifications from being leaked back home. Rynn said that this when it becomes real and you remember the risks. Sara says you pray his boots hit the soil again and he’s in them.
I love this show and look forward to learning more about Blair and Salina. I also want to see about Yolanda’s life with the responsibilities that she carries. Will Lindsey and Traci mend fences? Is Rynn really balancing things this go around?
Leave me a comment on your thoughts about the premiere or tweet me @afglamlife
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