Calling all spouses
Growing up with a father in the military and now being married to an active-duty servicemember, Terri Barnes has a lifetime of experience to share with fellow military spouses.
She knows what it’s like to move every few years (nine places since marrying). She knows what it’s like to have a husband deploy multiple times. And she knows what it’s like to make new friends in new, sometimes foreign, places.
“It’s been a good experience,” said Barnes, who lives with her family in Ramstein, Germany. “I wouldn’t trade it. I wouldn’t say that it’s all good because if you say that it’s all good, then people think that there’s something wrong with them when they’re having a hard time.”
Barnes looks to offer insights and garner feedback from readers in “Spouse Calls,” her weekly column debuting April 1 in Stars and Stripes’ Scene magazine.
Readers will submit questions to Barnes, and she will respond in this space with answers, advice and anecdotes in her column.
A mother of three and wife to an Air Force chaplain stationed at Ramstein Air Base, she does not assume to have all the answers. If a question comes up that’s outside her realm of expertise, Barnes will research, talk to friends and do what it takes.
“One way I hope to develop is to find out where those answers are,” she said. “That will benefit me as well as people who read the column.”
In addition to offering advice, Barnes welcomes spouses to share how they work through different situations.
“I would love to hear people’s answers,” she said. “If they say, ‘This is something that happened to me, and here’s how I solved it.’ Those kinds of things are helpful. I hope it will become a forum for spouses.”
Combine Barnes’ life experience with the journalism major’s work as a freelance writer, and you get someone extremely qualified to write about life as a military spouse.
“The first rule of writing is to write what you know; well how about that?” Barnes said. “Here’s what I know. I’m really excited about it.”
Barnes’ column will appear online at stripes.com and in Stripes Europe and Pacific editions.
Questions can be submitted to email@example.com.