Army Wives: The Unwritten Code of Military Marriage

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9780312333515: Army Wives: The Unwritten Code of Military Marriage

Army Wives goes beyond the sound bites and photo ops of military life to bring readers into the hearts and homes of today's military wives.

Biank tells the story of four typical Army wives who, in a flash, find themselves in extraordinary circumstances that ultimately force them to redefine who they are as women and wives. This is a true story about what happened when real life collided with army convention.

Army Wives is a groundbreaking narrative that takes the reader beyond the Army's gates, taking a close look at the other woman―the Army itself―and how its traditions, rules and war-time realities deeply impact marriage and home life.

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About the Author:

TANYA BIANK is a Fulbright scholar, journalist and syndicated columnist. She is a contributing writer to several military-related publications and is a frequent guest speaker. The book is the basis for Lifetime TV's hit show Army Wives.
The daughter of a career Army officer, Tanya lives in Virginia with her husband, an Army officer assigned to the Pentagon.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter One
Christmas 2000 had been a slower news cycle—but not so slow that I didn’t have to cover the cop beat well after eleven on a Sunday evening the week before the holiday. As I parked my car and ran into an adjacent parking lot, I sank deeper into my coat.
“Hi, excuse me, I’m with the Fayetteville Observer. Is it a man?” I yelled out to a group of policemen walking toward me with yellow crime-scene tape.
“Yeah,” an officer cop answered back, as he went to cordon off the business office parking lot. It was so cold and so quiet. Who would be around here on a Sunday night? It was an odd place for a random shooting, I thought. The weekend cop beat was a rotating duty all the reporters shared and most, like myself, dreaded. The paper had been getting ready to go to press, and I was about to go home, when news of someone being shot multiple times buzzed across the scanner.
“Just confirm it’s a man and find out if he’s dead,” the weekend editor, Steve Coffman, had called out to me as I headed to the door. “And get back here as soon as you can.”
I had arrived in time to see medical personnel load a body into the back of an ambulance.
“Just one more question, and I’ll leave you alone. Is he dead?” The policeman didn’t answer. I knew I was like a cockroach to this guy, feeding off any morsel of information I could get.
“Please, that’s all I need. I’m not asking for a name, and I swear I’ll leave. Please help me, I’m on deadline. Is he dead?”
“Yes,” the cop said, a little amused at my desperation. I didn’t care. I’d take an amused cop over a derisive one any day, and I’d gotten what I needed.
“Thank you so much.”
“Yeah. Merry Christmas.”
And with that I dashed back to the newsroom. Like most of the reporters at the paper, I hated being a weekend ambulance chaser, covering fires, murders, and car wreck fatalities, and in the summer, drownings, but there never seemed to be a shortage of those things in Fayetteville, especially around the holidays.
“He’s dead,” I yelled, running back into the newsroom.
“Good. You’ve got literally three minutes, Tanya, and then I need it. Just a graph.” A follow-up story the next day would give more details. The dead man turned out to be a thirty-two-year-old Air Force pilot named Marty Theer, stationed at nearby Pope Air Force Base. He had been shot multiple times by his wife’s lover, Army Staff Sergeant John Diamond, who was convicted of murder at a court-martial in August 2001. A civilian jury convicted Captain Theer’s wife, Michelle, for his murder and conspiracy to commit murder in December 2004. Both are serving life sentences.
It had been a bloody Sunday. That afternoon I had walked across a yard littered with beer bottles and tried to peer into a rusty trailer with broken windows, some boarded up with plywood. A man had been shot dead inside, with a bullet to the head, as he napped on the living room couch. His fourteen-year-old son was already a suspect.
I finally got home around midnight, glad that my run as “cops girl” had ended. Most Decembers were quiet times for Army news. Soldiers were on “half-days,” an annual truncated schedule that allows them time off they miss out on much of the year. For me half-days meant it was difficult to get in touch with people or set up stories, and as far as training there wasn’t much of that going on—until the world came unhinged nine months later. In December 2000 the attacks on the Pentagon and the Twin Towers would have seemed like an outlandish plot in a Christmas blockbuster release, and most Americans couldn’t pronounce Osama bin Laden. Terrorism, anthrax, jihad, and weapons of mass destruction were not yet part of the everyday vocabulary.
A month later eight hundred Bragg soldiers would deploy for a six-month tour to Kosovo as “peacekeepers,” but for the most part this Christmas was a time when the Army spent its days training for war rather than going to war. Some soldiers were able to take leave. For those who stayed at Bragg, there were lots of holiday festivities and parties, including battalion Christmas buffets at which one of the soldiers always dressed up like Santa with a sack full of presents for the kids. Andrea Lynne Cory, wife of Lieutenant Colonel Rennie Cory, had planned her own big party, despite her husband’s initial reservations.
Under a crescent moon and dark night sky, the Corys’ Fort Bragg quarters at 11 South Dupont Plaza radiated with twinkling lights and candles, and their three Fraser fir trees were lavishly decorated with ornaments collected during twenty years of marriage. Garlands of greenery and handmade Victorian lace adorned the mantelpiece and windowsills. It was four days after Christmas 2000, and Andrea Lynne steadily carried a carnival green punch bowl filled with spiked eggnog from the maid’s room through the kitchen, where a huge vat of glühwein, mulled red wine, was simmering on the stove. Both were popular drinks with the ladies. Andrea Lynne used the maid’s quarters—an anachronism from the days when officers’ families had hired help—as a keeping room for extra dishes and kitchen sundries.
Outside, guests strolled up the sidewalk and passed a wrought-iron lamp holding a Plexiglas nameplate that announced the officer of the house in black letters: ltc rm cory jr.
Andrea Lynne placed the punch bowl on the dining room table and called to her husband, “Rennie, the door!”
It was precisely seven o’clock. Military people always showed up on time or early for social functions. Arriving late was considered rude and undisciplined.
This Christmas party was a chance for Andrea Lynne to show off her home—and her husband. Rennie Cory had finished commanding the 2nd Battalion of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment (the White Devils) that summer at Fort Bragg and was now spending the year in Vietnam as a detachment commander, searching for the remains of men missing from the Vietnam War. He arrived home December 4 and was on leave for a month. So many people had asked about him that Andrea Lynne thought it would be a grand idea to throw a huge party. Her guest list included everybody who was anybody—even members of the “Bragg mafia,” the insiders who ran the post and handpicked officers for important positions.
That kind of networking wasn’t her husband’s style. Rennie was a straight-shooter. A well-built man of forty-three, who walked with a swaggering gait (the result of too many parachute jumps), he had little patience for officers who put their own desires above the needs of the Army. Though he enjoyed having friends over to the house for drinks and dinner, Rennie wasn’t out to impress or make contacts with anyone who outranked him. He certainly didn’t relish these big affairs. When Rennie saw the names of generals and brigade commanders on the list of invitations, he hesitated, but Andrea Lynne wasn’t about to budge.
“Rennie, let me explain three things,” she said. “One, everybody always asks about you, and with all the press on Clinton’s visit to Vietnam, it’s a great opportunity for you to update people. Two, think of all the invitations we’ve received. It’s only right to reciprocate at least once. And three, it’s my party, and I’m making a command decision.”
Rennie laughed, his eyes turning into half-moons as deep creases at the outer corners arced downward. “Baby, whatever you want.”
So here he was, standing in the foyer under the mistletoe-hung chandelier, greeting guests as they streamed through the door bearing flowers, boxes of candy, and bottles of wine or Gentleman Jack. Rennie was a Jack-and-Coke man, a detail not overlooked by the company commanders who had worked for him. They brought him only the best.
I met Lieutenant Colonel Cory just one time, the previous spring at the traditional Army airborne ritual called Prop Blast. He struck me as serious-minded. His face still bore the remnants of camouflage paint, partially worn off from a day that had started at 2:00 a.m. with a rucksack march, a river crossing, and a parachute jump. Although the Prop Blast activities by tradition were raucous—including a fair amount of drinking and joshing and a mock airplane jump where inevitably some boneheads wore only a parachute and a helmet—Rennie had been in a solemn mood. He had come in late from the hospital, where one of his lieutenants had been taken after being gravely injured on the morning’s parachute jump.
It’s funny what you remember about people. From that night, sitting behind Rennie, I remember the deep creases that looked like a road map on the back of his neck, not an uncommon feature for a lifelong infantryman.
Rennie had a strong handshake, and as he greeted his party guests, he looked people in the eye. He often touched his men when he talked to them; now he gave them a hug and a slap on the back. He had an uncanny sense of right and wrong, and he never lied, no matter what. His temper might flare up every now and then, but he wasn’t afraid of anybody and told it like it was, damn his career. Sometimes that scared Andrea Lynne. She feared he’d get into trouble, but instead he just earned respect. His men loved him.
Exactly six feet tall, Rennie wore his dark hair short on the sides and only slightly longer on top, just long enough for a side part, as was the custom of many field-grade officers in the 82nd Airborne Division. His pale skin had long ago turned ruddy from too much sun. For the party he wore Levi’s and the green Irish sweater that was a Christmas gift from Andrea Lynne. The jeans were Rennie’s standard outfit, no matter the occasion. Besides, thi...

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Descrizione libro St Martin s Press, United States, 2007. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Army Wives goes beyond the sound bites and photo ops of military life to bring readers into the hearts and homes of today s military wives. Biank tells the story of four typical Army wives who, in a flash, find themselves in extraordinary circumstances that ultimately force them to redefine who they are as women and wives. This is a true story about what happened when real life collided with army convention. Army Wives is a groundbreaking narrative that takes the reader beyond the Army s gates, taking a close look at the other woman--the Army itself--and how its traditions, rules and war-time realities deeply impact marriage and home life. Codice libro della libreria AAS9780312333515

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Descrizione libro St Martin s Press, United States, 2007. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Army Wives goes beyond the sound bites and photo ops of military life to bring readers into the hearts and homes of today s military wives. Biank tells the story of four typical Army wives who, in a flash, find themselves in extraordinary circumstances that ultimately force them to redefine who they are as women and wives. This is a true story about what happened when real life collided with army convention. Army Wives is a groundbreaking narrative that takes the reader beyond the Army s gates, taking a close look at the other woman--the Army itself--and how its traditions, rules and war-time realities deeply impact marriage and home life. Codice libro della libreria AAS9780312333515

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Descrizione libro St Martin s Press, United States, 2007. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Reprint. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Army Wives goes beyond the sound bites and photo ops of military life to bring readers into the hearts and homes of today s military wives. Biank tells the story of four typical Army wives who, in a flash, find themselves in extraordinary circumstances that ultimately force them to redefine who they are as women and wives. This is a true story about what happened when real life collided with army convention. Army Wives is a groundbreaking narrative that takes the reader beyond the Army s gates, taking a close look at the other woman--the Army itself--and how its traditions, rules and war-time realities deeply impact marriage and home life. Codice libro della libreria BTE9780312333515

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