Drama and authenticity

Call her an over-achiever, or just call her a typical Army wife. During the past few months, Tanya Biank finished writing her second book, had her second child, served as a consultant on “Army Wives” for Lifetime and now is preparing for her next PCS.

She also visited the Charleston, S.C., set of  “Army Wives,” which was based on Biank’s first book, “Army Wives: The Unwritten Code of Military Marriage.” She was there to film a cameo appearance for the show’s upcoming 100th episode, to air this summer. In a previous season, Tanya made a cameo alongside the vice president’s wife.

Absence makes the dad grow fonder

My husband has a favorite photo of our children. All three of our kids are in our front yard on a sunny spring day in Georgia, where we lived at the time. Each sits on a skateboard holding a colorful sign. Each sign is has one word, and in sequence they say, “Happy – Father’s – Day.”

My husband says he likes the picture because it brings back good memories. But he wasn’t there when I took it. It’s a picture of what he missed in June of 2003. He was in Iraq, and the photo was our gift to him on a Fathers Day he could not share with us.

Pages from life

Natalie was not happy when her dad was in Iraq for a year, but she is pretty excited about seeing her deployment experiences in a new picture book for children, according to her grandmother, who wrote the book.

In the book and in real life, Natalie calls her grandparents Papa and Nana, but the rest of the country knows them better as Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden.

TAPS: More than a song

Fish splashed, geese chattered and long-legged herons skimmed the surface of the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C., as tour buses began rolling into the visitors’ parking at the nearby Lincoln Memorial.

White marble and limestone structures on the National Mall contrasted with red flowers, bright flags and a blue sky. The alabaster city gleamed, undimmed and even enhanced by human tears that Sunday morning.